Pumpkin Spice Granola
One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is plain Greek yogurt with granola and berries. I love the fruit on the bottom Greek yogurt cups but they contain a lot of sugar so sometimes I buy the plain flavor and put fresh fruit in them instead. Crunchy granola is also a tasty snack to eat on its own, especially the kinds with nuts and seeds!
Store-bought granola is easy and delicious, but home-made granola is actually fun to make and you get to choose everything that goes into it! The granolas you buy at grocery stores can sometimes have too much added sugar and preservatives. This granola doesn’t have too much sugar in it so it is lightly sweetened, which I think is just perfect.
The pumpkin spice granola I made has a pretty complex texture since there is such a variety of ingredients in it. The main ingredient, oats, contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. It also includes quinoa, a seed that acts like a grain and is full of protein. The granola also contains chia seeds that have lots of fiber to keep you full.
I made the granola for people I used to work with as a holiday gift and packaged them in cute mason jars from Michael’s. Everyone loves food gifts, especially healthy ones!
PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA
3 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, chia seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until well-blended. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened.
Spread onto two baking sheets and bake each batch for 40 minutes. Stir the granola every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheets so it can get crunchy. Pour into a large bowl and add the dried cranberries.
Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Over time, granola will lose its crunch.
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction