Granola is my kryptonite. It’s one of those foods where, even with the best of intentions, I still always manage to go overboard on.
I’ll sit down with plans to eat a handful at most, and before I know it, I’m sitting there with a near empty box wondering where all my granola went.
There was actually time where I had to ban it from my house because of my inability to control myself when it was around, buuuuuut that lasted all of about 2 weeks before I decided that life was too short and that denying my cravings was only going to catch up to me in the long run, so I’m back to keeping my home well-stocked at all times.
That being said, I’m extremely picky with the granola I choose to eat, and I have no problem turning my nose up at most store-bought brands. Okay, so a lot of that has to do with the fact that I can’t actually eat most store brought brands because of my nut allergies, but this is one of those cases where I don’t even mind those getting the way.
I mean, have you ever taken a look at the nutrition labels on some of the more popular granolas? Lots of sugar, lots of salt, lots of fat. And all this in something that’s usually being marketed as a health food?
Not okay! I try not to get too obsessive with labels, since that can be a slippery slope in itself, but if I’m going to eat something that has the nutritional value of a candy bar, I’d prefer to just eat a candy bar.
Thankfully, granola is super simple to make at home, and doing so not only saves you money, but allows you to control what goes into it and come up with delicious flavor combinations. Flavor combinations like chocolate chip and pumpkin spice…
I love baking with pumpkin, but my biggest problem with it lies in the fact that most recipes only call for 1/2 cup or so, leaving you with a good amount of pumpkin left over in the can when you’re done… pumpkin that you have to find something to do with so that it doesn’t go bad.
Now, I’m not opposed to eating it straight up by the spoonful with just a sprinkle of cinnamon, but I’ll admit that it’s not really the most appealing approach. A better idea is to have a handful of pumpkin recipes at your disposal so that you can knock them out in quick succession and not have to worry about any spoiling squashes…
And might I suggest adding this pumpkin granola recipe to your arsenal?
Why? Well, because it’s delicious, for starters. The combination of pumpkin and chocolate ranks up there as one of the best, and the subtle hint of warming spices is perfect for this time of the year.
It’s also incredibly easy to whip up, requiring only a handful of basic ingredients, one pot to clean, and a mere 10 minutes of hands-on time, max. The other 25 minutes are spent enjoying the amazing smells that come out of the oven while you plan on how you’ll be enjoying your freshly made granola.
With milk? With yogurt? On it’s own by the handful?
No matter which way you spin it, one fact remains — this chocolate chip pumpkin spice granola makes for one heck of a healthy and satisfying meal or snack.
- ¼ cup canned pumpkin
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp. pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325F and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, spices, and salt, whisking until smooth.
- Remove from heat and add oats and ground flax, mixing well to ensure that all of the oats are well coated.
- Spread the granola mixture over a baking sheet, leaving as many clusters as you want. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring at the halfway point to prevent burning. When it begins to turn golden brown, remove from oven and let it cool completely before adding dried cranberries and chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container.