I love granola and although I often buy my favorite organic pumpkin seed granola, I also love to make my own. It makes a fantastic homemade gourmet hostess gift, giving your friends or family a delicious, easy and healthy breakfast for the day after the glutinous decadence of a holiday dinner.
Granola oftentimes gets a bad rap as being unhealthy, as a lot of commercial brands add in way too much sugar, additional oils and overly processed ingredients, but when you make your own you have complete control and therefore can create a delicious and healthy version all your own!
I have been making my own granola for years now using a much loved recipe I stumbled upon, but more recently I’ve been changing it up and creating some of my own flavor combinations and since it’s pumpkin season, I thought why not add a little to the mix. I combine pumpkin puree and maple syrup – yum – add to that raw pumpkin seeds (just to keep the theme going, plus they’re yummy and so healthy!) and some ground flax and
hemp seeds for good measure and finally pecans, shredded coconut and of course cinnamon, which all go so perfectly with the flavors of pumpkin.
And after years of trying to figure out how to make my own granola with nice big clusters as you find in the boxed versions, I finally came up with something that really helps hold it all together, while not necessarily forming big clusters, I do manage to get nice big pieces akin to brittle or bark, by using my new favorite ingredient…psyllium husk! Most people use psyllium husk to add extra fiber and bulk to their diet, but it also works ingeniously in recipes like this where you’re looking to get things to hold together thanks to it’s ability to “gel” when wet, similar to flax or chia, but I think even better, since it’s completely tasteless and just disappears into the other ingredients, once combined, you’ll never know it’s there. Once you try it, you’ll start finding even more ways to add psyllium to your recipes, try it, I dare you.
Aside from being oh so very yummy, this granola is so good for you, with heart healthy oats, omega 3 filled flax and hemp seeds, pumpkins beta carotene, and power packed pumpkin seeds high in minerals zinc & magnesium, plus protein from the hemp, pumpkin seeds and pecans and plenty of fiber to boot! All that goodness wrapped up in a crunchy, tasty bite, perfect for breakfast and snacking alike, enjoy!
Pumpkin Pecan Granola
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
3 cups rolled oats
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup pepitas – raw green pumpkin seeds *
½ cup pecan – chopped *
¼ cup ground flax seed
¼ cup hemp seeds OR flax seeds
2 Tablespoons psyllium husk **
1 teaspoon salt – sea salt or Himialayan
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons coconut oil – organic / unrefined
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup pumpkin puree – organic / BPA free can
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons water **
Preheat oven to 300° F * or see note below if soaking nuts/seeds.
In a medium-large bowl – combine all the dry ingredients.
In a small saucepan over medium heat – melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together. Once warm and melted, turn off the heat and stir in the pumpkin puree & vanilla extract.
Pour the combined wet ingredients into the dry mix and thoroughly mix, add the water and continue to mix until no dry bits remain and everything is cohesive.
Pour the granola mixture out onto a parchment lined rimmed 13×17 inch baking pan. With the back of a spatula or measuring cup, firmly press down the granola into the pan.
Bake on the middle rack for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip the granola in pieces, then return to the oven and bake another 25-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking pan before placing in jars. Enjoy!
favorite ways to eat – stirred into yogurt or milk topped with fresh berries, sprinkled on top of sliced banana with peanut butter, mixed into hot oatmeal, as a crunchy dessert topping on ice cream or just snacked on straight from the jar. What’s your favorite way?
* I have been reading a lot about the importance of soaking grains, beans and nuts to improve their digestibility and increase the absorption of nutrients. I don’t soak everything, every time, but when I have the time and forethought I will. In this case I don’t soak the oats for the granola as I feel they will be too wet to adequately crunch up in the final granola, But I do like to soak my pecans and pumpkin seeds. I start the night before I plan to bake my granola. Pecans should soak in warm water with a bit of salt for 12-18 hours while the pepitas need only soak for 6-8 hours. Once the nuts/seeds have soaked, drain and thoroughly rinse off. I throw them on a baking pan before I mix up the other ingredients and let them dry out a bit in the oven heated to 185° F.
** Psyllium husk – my new favorite ingredient! Psyllium husk is a ground fiber that has the benefit of gelling up when mixed with liquids just like flax and chia seeds do. Why I like to use it here is because the gelling action helps the granola mix stay together and form nice clumps or shards, which I love in my granola. It makes it so you can pick up a nice one or two bite size piece of granola to snack on. Yum and enjoy!
Tagged: Gluten Free, Oats, Pecans, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds
Looks delicious! Can’t wait 🙂
[…] the recipe and have created a few different versions that I really like (for a nice twist try my pumpkin pecan granola). This one is close to my original, but with a few really great updates. For one, I’ve figured […]