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I have been craving pumpkin. Strange, in May, when most people are dreaming of the first fresh strawberries and succulent stems of asparagus. Maybe my body needs vitamin A.

I’m not one to argue with a craving, and I had a bit of pumpkin puree left in the freezer from my recent Pumpkin Pineapple Muffins. Plus, I’ve been in a bit of a breakfast rut (toast with almond butter anyone?), so I decided to make a big batch of pumpkin granola.

There are lots of pumpkin granola recipes out there, but most of them are really just pumpkin “spiced”, or studded with pumpkin seeds, without a trace of the actual gourd.

I think I found out why…

When you add pumpkin to oats and bake them, the extra moisture makes the granola soften as it cooks – so it turns out more chewy than crunchy. Which was fine by me, but the texture might be a bit different from what you expect.

This makes quite a large batch – I made enough to share with my neighbour. Feel free to cut the recipe in half. Also, you could substitute shelled pumpkin seeds for the almonds if you’d like.

It keeps for about a week at room temperature, but I recommend freezing it – you can eat it right from the freezer without thawing, and it stays fresh for a couple of months. And I really love the crunchy, cold almonds. And the milk stays ice cold… yum.

The granola isn’t too sweet – if you prefer more sweetness, taste a teeny bite before you spread it on the baking sheets – if you’d like, go ahead and add another splash of maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (if using canned, make sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin and not pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups old fashioned large flake oats
  • 2 cups natural almonds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, almonds and flaxseeds.

  3. Divide mixture between two large baking sheets and bake 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking frequently, until the almonds are golden and toasty and the granola is dry.

  4. Let cool completely on baking sheets if larger clumps are preferred. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in cranberries. Transfer to airtight containers.

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