Granola claims a colorful and circuitous history, strangely intertwined with religion, health nuts, and hippies. Odd, but familiar bedfellows, indeed. Starting with Sylvester Graham (yes, of graham cracker fame), ending up with the hippies of the ’60s, and continuing on to the modern nutrition-conscious housewives of today, it satisfies the need for a quick and healthy breakfast for bleary-eyed mornings.
There are many wonderful things about granola, not the least if which is its adaptability to the contents of your pantry, your dietary needs and desires, and even to the season and its produce. Using a background of a variety of grains and seeds, the fruits of the season can shine in their limelight and create a wide variety of pleasing tastes and textures.
And, of course, pumpkin is the star of the harvest season, and deserves its chance to hog the spotlight. When combined with the usual spices, and some honey, it creates the perfect dressing for granola, made even better by the addition of dried cranberries and apples. Autumn in a delicious handful.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cup puffed millet, or other puffed grain
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal, or other crispy cereal
- 1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apples
- Stir together the grains and seeds in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, honey, and seasonings.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the grains, and stir thoroughly until well coated.
- Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, and bake at 250F for at least an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Bake until desired crunchiness, up to 2 hours.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with cranberries and dried apples. Store in airtight containers.