This loaf is perfect for a Dusshera celebration. With simple...Read More
Pumpkin Spice Granola
A healthy breakfast filled with a handful of nutritiously delicious ingredients. In this recipe you will learn how to make granola at home using a few pantry staples like oats, nuts, spices and dried fruit. Turn your breakfast into a yummy treat with this granola.
Granola is one of those dishes that you must have had at some point in your life. Now, if you ate it and enjoyed it then, most likely you would want to make it at home and try experimenting with it. However if you ate it and it was not pleasant then you would have written it off as something you won’t eat again. This blog is dedicated to the granola haters. If you are reading this then I am not here to convert you but I am here to merely suggest that you should try this recipe and let it speak for itself when you eat it.
What makes my recipe stand out over the plethora of recipes that exist already? Well, am glad you asked. Firstly, this is a fool proof recipe for crunchy granola, I don’t think anyone likes granola that is soft or stale in any way. This recipe packs a good bite after adding the milk, true story based on fact. Secondly, I don’t add the dried fruit into my granola mix – this helps keep the mixture crispy and dry, ensuring no sogginess in the bowl while eating. I add my fruit only while serving. Thirdly, this happens to be a vegan recipe as we use olive oil and maple syrup here instead of butter and honey. You. Do. Not. Miss. The. Latter while eating the granola.
If those weren’t reasons enough, we will also talk about how to make this crunchy granola on the stove top. That is correct. If you don’t have an oven and want to make this recipe, then all you need is a stove top and frying pan. Further more, if you were STILL not convinced about my recipe, here is my final reason for it being fantastic – it stores well in a mason jar for up to 3 weeks at room temperature. I mean if you aren’t inclined after reading all this, just try the recipe out, as it uses up a little of your time and if you don’t like it gift it to someone who would like it. But I think once you’ve made it, it is a win win situation.
Traditionally granola is made with oats, nuts, dried fruit, fat and sweetener. I mean you could add flavorings such as spices or vanilla and even some orange zest but those are add ons. The best part about making granola at home is you can customize it as you like. Swap the almonds for cashews or the pecans for walnuts etc. I’ve used peanut butter in this recipe and you can use any nut butter you like or have at home. Same goes with the sweetener, you can use honey or agave syrup in place of maple etc.
While I encourage freedom in personalization of the granola, do not change up the ratios as if there isn’t enough wet mixture to coat the dry mixture some of the granola will get soft and not stay crunchy. If there is too much of the wet mixture the granola will get soggy, crispy up real fast and might even burn in some places. It isn’t a difficult recipe but once you’ve understood the ratios and requirements everything else will flow easily.
Let us talk about ingredients and what you can use in place of some within the recipe:
Oats – I use a combination of oat flakes and instant oats. You can use either or but oat flakes give a lot more crunch and is great for texture. You can use 1/4 th of the amount as oat flour and this will make more chunks than a crumble once baked.
Nuts – I have used cashews, peanuts, walnuts and pecans as they are my favorite. I’ve made many granola recipes with almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnut nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts etc. Hence you can use any nuts you like. Let us talk coconut real fast, I like using shredded coconut, freshly grated coconut or coconut flakes/chips in this recipe. But you could use desiccated as well. Coconut tends to crisp up easily and well hence adds for texture and a floral nutty flavor..
Seeds – I love using Pumpkin seeds to compliment the season of Fall. But sunflower seeds or sesame seeds are also delicious in this recipe. Flaxseed powder here helps the granola stay chunky and crunchy you can leave it out if you don’t have any. I have added an egg white in place of the flaxseed powder and it works wonders as well but then it won’t be vegan anymore.
Peanut Butter – I made my peanut butter at home you can find the recipe here. But you can use any peanut butter for this recipe, smooth or chunky works fine. Also you can use almond butter, cashew butter or tahini as well.
Olive oil – I LOVE the flavor of olive oil in this granola but if you are adding coconut you can use coconut oil to highlight the coconut flavor here. Any vegetable oil will work in this recipe. So use what you have on hand.
Maple syrup – I think maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, pecans and pumpkin spice make for a yummy combination hence, I think it is the best option but you could totally use honey, agave syrup, date syrup or coconut syrup. As this is a healthy recipe, try to stay away from highly processed sweeteners. But the sweetener needs to be in liquid form.
Pumpkin spice – Since it is pumpkin spice everything right now this only makes sense to me. It is a quintessential fall ingredient. In saying this you can buy the mixture from the store or you can make it at home with my Pumpkin Spice blend recipe here. If you aren’t feeling the pumpkin spice, you can use cinnamon powder or cardamom powder on its own as well. I also like using a little vanilla here but that is totally optional.
Baking the Granola – If you are baking the granola I would recommend using baking paper as this will help ensure once the maple syrup starts caramelizing, the granola will not stick to the pan. I don’t use it as my pan is non stick. It is important to stir the granola and rotate the pan while baking to ensure an even bake all through and through. This will help keep the granola crunchy with no soft or soggy parts. You will bake the granola at 180℃ for 45 mins. You know the granola is done when you smell all the spices, the nuts are toasted and the mixture is dry to touch.
Stove top Granola – If you are using a stove top you will use a large shallow frying pan and a spatula to stir the granola around. The flame must be low in the beginning to gradually heat the mixture from inside out. This is what will help keep the granola crunch later. This is a shorter process but needs more patience as you need to stir it often. You cannot leave the stove as it needs to be stirred every 3-5 mins. Once you have cooked it for almost 20 mins you can increase the heat to medium and stir again. It should be done in 30 mins or so. You know the mixture is done when it is hot, the color has changed to a deep brown color, the nuts are toasted, the mixture is not sticky anymore.
Once the granola is baked or cooked, it will take time to cool and as that happens it will get crunchier. It must be left to cool at room temperature. After it has cooled down, you can store it in an air tight container – ideally a glass jar would be perfect – at room temperature. I like to add some dates, dried cranberries and apricots to make my breakfast bowl complete while serving. Some fresh fruits also work well together. You can serve this with your preferred choice of milk.
We have talked about granola a lot, let us make some. You can watch how I made it here. Happy Baking Ninjas!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Baking paper
- 1 cup Oat flakes
- 1/2 cup Instant Oats
- 2 tbsp Flaxseed powder
- 1/4 cup Coconut freshly grated
- 1/2 cup Cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup Pecans
- 1/2 cup Walnuts
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup Peanuts
- 1 heaped tsp Pumpkin spice powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/3 cup Maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 2 tbsp Peanut butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 180℃.
- Add all the wet ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and pour the wet mixture on top. Stir together until everything is evenly coated, either in a large bowl or baking tray.
- Transfer to a baking tray (13’ x 5’) and using the spatula, flatten it out so it can bake well.
- Rotate the tray every 10 mins to ensure an even baking through out. While rotating stir the granola around from bottom to top.
- After 45 mins the granola should be ready, the mixture would have changed color into to a deep brown, the nuts would be toasted and the mixture should not sticky anymore.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool at room temperature. Break it apart and transfer to a glass jar.
- Store for unto a month, serve with milk, dried and fresh fruit or as you like.
- Make sure to rotate the baking tray and to stir the mixture around to ensure even cooking through out.
- You can find substitutes for the ingredients in the write up mentioned above.
- Don’t add your fried fruit into the granola jar while storing, serve it separately while eating. This will keep your granola crunchy longer.