Say "hello!" to (and I quote) "the best granola I have ever had" per my mom. If you know my mom then you know this is a MAJOR compliment. Karen Thompson (my momma) is a great cook and amateur baker, and she is very critical when it comes to food. So with a stellar review from my mom, I feel really good about this Pumpkin Pecan Granola recipe. This granola recipe is sweet and salty, nutty, spicy, and super crunchy. You have to try it this fall!
Fall has always been my favorite season. What comes to mind when you think of fall?
All of the above?
It's "all of the above" for me! This fall-inspired Pumpkin Pecan Granola recipe doesn't quite embody all of these fall things, but it does incorporate several. For starters, the recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, pecans, and warm spices like cinnamon and apple pie spice. Also, this granola most definitely has a warm color scheme and it's a great snack for munching on during a hike (in your hiking boots on a crisp autumn day)!
So not counting "all of the above," this granola relates to 8/12 of the things on this list!
More Seasonal Recipes to Try this Fall:
Ways to Enjoy This Granola
Are you a texture person? I definitely am, and when it comes to food, the more textures the better!
That said, other than eating my crunchy, sweet, spicy, nutty, and super delicious Pumpkin Pecan Granola straight from the jar, one of my favorite ways to enjoy this granola is with Greek yogurt. The creamy, crunchy texture combination of yogurt and granola just can't be beat!
In addition to yogurt, this seasonal granola is great for adding a *crunch* to other dishes like pumpkin pancakes or waffles, ice cream sundaes, grain bowls, and even fall salads.
The Nutrition Benefits of Pairing Granola with Yogurt
As if you needed another reason to pair this granola with yogurt, there are several nutrition benefits to pairing granola with yogurt. Bear with me as I get a little "science-y" in my writing.
Yogurt is rich in protein and probiotics while this granola is rich in whole grains, healthy fats, and prebiotics. You've likely heard about probiotics before, but if you're not familiar with "why" and "how" they are beneficial, you can read this post to learn more about probiotics. Prebiotics, however, are little less well known.
According to the Mayo Clinic, prebiotics are "foods that act as food for human microflora." What the heck does that mean? First, the human body is the host to a variety of beneficial microorganisms, many of which reside it the gut. These microorganisms either need to be replaced by the consumption of probiotic rich foods or they need to be fed. Basically, foods that are rich in prebiotics (like oats, garlic, artichokes, and more) act as fuel for the beneficial microorganisms in your gut. Together, probiotics and prebiotics work to promote gut health! How cool, right?
Additionally, combining a carbohydrate rich food like granola with a protein rich food like Greek yogurt will give you a quick burst of energy (thank you carbohydrates!) and keep you full for hours (thank you protein!).
Now that I've "enlightened" you, it's time to get to this granola recipe! I have to warn you, this stuff is ADDICTIVE. Remember folks, keep your friends close and your Pumpkin Pecan Granola closer.
What's In This Recipe?
Oats – a whole grain that is naturally gluten free; rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers that aid in in digestion, promote fullness, can reduce cholesterols and help prevent spikes in blood sugar; contains several vitamins and minerals
Pecans – rich in healthy fats to aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (ADKE), contains fiber, has antioxidant properties, and contains amino acids
Pumpkin seeds – rich in healthy fats to aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (ADKE), contains fiber, has antioxidant properties, contains amino acids
Shredded coconut – contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are more easily utilized by the body than other saturated fats
Flaxseed meal – contains ALA omega 3 fatty acids and fiber which both promote heart health
Coconut oil – contains fiber and may have anti-microbial properties
Maple syrup – natural sweetener
Seasonings – cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt
Notes: This granola recipe is both dairy free and vegan and can easily be made gluten free* by using certified gluten free old fashioned oats.
Pumpkin Pecan Granola
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats*
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. apple pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 250oF.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the oats are coated and the ingredients are well dispersed.
Line a baking sheet (use one with a lip!) with parchment paper.
Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your oven), stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is light golden brown.
Remove the granola from the oven. Allow the granola to cool completely on a baking rack before storing in an airtight container.