This healthy homemade granola with pumpkin pie spice is so toasty, crisp and flavor-packed that I'll never consider buying granola again.
My hubby simply adores it, and even our Marine son, who vowed off of it for a while, is more than willing to get back on the granola bandwagon again after tasting it. And that's as good a compliment as I could ever ask for. 😉
Granola, That Must-Have Pantry Staple
Granola was always that one item that was, without fail, on my weekly shopping list back when our son was in high school and still living at home.
It was his daily breakfast, that super quick and easy fill-the-belly meal he would prepare for himself when he only had 15 minutes before he had to zip out the door, always enjoying it with a little vanilla almond milk and lightly warmed in the microwave.
And being the creature of habit that he was back then, he never deviated from granola for breakfast, the only variation being between flavors: vanilla or chocolate, and every now and then, one with a hint of spice.
But by the time high school was over, he was over granola—he had eaten enough of it to last him a very long while!
I myself have never necessarily been the biggest granola eater, and not because I don't like it; I just typically go for a cereal that is more on the plain side, one that I can add my own bells and whistles to, like nuts and dried fruit, my favorite toppings.
But for some reason, this year granola has been on my radar, and has really been sounding so appetizing and appealing!
Healthy Homemade Granola Means Never Buying Granola Again
I had never really thought about the fact I could make my own uniquely flavored homemade granola, in my own oven, with all sorts of personalized tidbits and with the flavors I wanted—even healthy.
And I never knew that it was so easy! And so fun! Two of my favorite things.
And that's how this healthy homemade granola with pumpkin pie spice was born, loaded with all those healthy goodies that I love—fall-inspired goodies like cranberries, pumpkin seeds, almonds and flax seeds, along with warming pumpkin pie spice, which is so fragrant and flavorful, and perfect for this time of year.
And it made my kitchen smell absolutely divine, which is another wonderful perk!
Tips & Tidbits For Making Healthy Homemade Granola with Pumpkin Pie Spice:
- Use a low oven temp: I find that a 325° oven temperature (and using a lower oven rack) works best for toasting/baking homemade granola; in my opinion, anything higher and the granola burns too quickly.
- Stir half-way through: Give your granola a gentle stir about half-way through the baking process, and even turn the baking sheet for even toasting.
- Add spices after baking: I found that adding spices prior to baking caused them to burn, so adding the spices after the granola is out of the oven and warm allows the spices to add great flavor without getting burned and bitter.
- Use raw nuts: Using roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds is fine, but adding raw nuts works best so that they can have time to toast in the oven without burning.
- Substitute other dried fruit: I love the tart-sweetness that cranberries offer this spiced granola, but dried tart cherries would be great as well, or even golden raisins.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Healthy Homemade Granola with Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pumpkin Seeds, Cranberries and Flax
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 11 servings (1/2 cup each)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 1 cup sliced, raw almonds
• 1/4 cup shelled, roasted pumpkin seeds (or “pepitas”)
• 1/4 cup whole flax seeds (not ground)
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar
• 1 teaspoon (slightly heaping) pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 cup (heaping) cranberries
• 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
-Preheat the oven to 325°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
-To a large bowl, add the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds, and toss to combine.
-Warm the honey very gently for 10-15 seconds (microwave is easiest), and set aside for a moment; warm the coconut oil just until melted, about 20-30 seconds; combine the two and whisk to blend well.
-Pour the honey/coconut oil mixture over the oat/nut/seed mixture, and add in the vanilla extract and the salt; using a spoon or spatula, mix together until everything is well coated.
-Pour the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until a light golden-brown, stirring the granola carefully about half-way through the baking; turn the oven off after 25 minutes, and allow the granola to sit for 4-5 minutes more in the oven.
-Finish the granola by sprinkling over top half of the maple sugar and half of the pumpkin pie spice, and mixing everything together to incorporate; then, sprinkle over the remainder of the maple sugar and pumpkin pie spice, as well as the cranberries and the coconut, and mix together once more to combine; gently press the granola with a spatula and allow it to cool completely, about 30 minutes, before breaking it up and storing in an air-tight container.