Crunchy, Pumpkin-y Goodness

Pumpkin Spice Granola https://naturalstateflowerfarm.com/2016/11/01/crunchy-pumpkin-y-goodness/

I’ve been on a granola kick lately.
I love the crunchy texture in my yogurt and oatmeal (which I eat almost every day), so I go through a lot of granola.
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It all started when I bought a bag at the Amish store in town.  It was  flavorful and fresh,  but also pricey, so I knew I needed to learn to make this myself.
This is also the season for everything pumpkin.  The poor pumpkin is basically ignored until October.  Then, for the next three months, it’s game on.
So far this month, I’ve made pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins and now….
Pumpkin spice granola.
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I can definitely say life is better with pumpkin granola in it.
Granola is a very easy and forgiving snack to make.  It adapts well to substitutions which is good since I adapt quite a bit when I cook.  Here is the original recipe and here is my version.

Pumpkin Spice Granola
3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1 c. almonds or peanuts, chopped
1 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c.-3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. sunflower oil*
1/2 c. honey
1-1/2 TBS pumpkin pie spice**
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250* F.  In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, almonds,
(or peanuts), and brown sugar.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining
ingredients until well mixed.  Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until
all ingredients are wet.  Spread mixture on a baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 min.  Every 15 min., remove from the oven and stir
mixture to evenly bake.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container.
**if you don't have pumpkin pie spice, you can use:
2-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

*Side Note:  This summer, when I attended the Farm2Home Event at Moss Mountain Farm, I met the maker of a special sunflower oil.
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Made on Wayne Plantation in Scott, AR, this virgin sunflower oil is cold pressed to retain flavor, aroma, and nutrients.  As an added bonus, it’s made with non-GMO sunflowers, provides twice the amount of Vitamin E than olive oil, and is low in saturated fats. Sounds like healthy to me.  I love it when that happens. 
When I made the last batch of granola, I used this oil in place of vegetable oil.  What a difference!  The nutty flavor of the oil was the perfect compliment to the already nuttiness of the granola.  Goodness Gracious this is Good Granola.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to play around with this recipe.  The slightest substitution can make a surprising difference.
Enjoy!
Brenda