Virtual Pumpkin Party 2k16 - PUMPKIN GRANOLA!

Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016

If you haven't noticed by now, Fall is my favorite season. I enjoy the ritual of it, the open window chapping my lips and cooling my coffee before I have time to finish it. The unpacking of sweaters and the boots with broken zippers. The festivals that sell apples on sticks and the only Catholic church in town that sells beer on tap from a pick-up truck. I've said it before, but I missed this season dearly. I missed it while in California and how different it tasted when I lived in Italy, too. There's nowhere else in the world like a Pennsylvania autumn. Beautiful, crisp, silent and yielding to the most sleepy of urges and memories, swaying branches and moth-eaten scarves. 

I like that there are only certain foods that are only appropriate in the fall, the cans of pumpkin puree and the misshapen gourds they sell roadside and at Wal-Mart. The bags of kettle corn my mother makes at the candy shop that goes stale after a week. I used to have pumpkin pie on my birthday instead of cake. When Sara emailed me about participating in the Virtual Pumpkin Party, I tried to make a cake in a gutted pumpkin and it never turned out right. So I took all the flavors appropriate of Fall, the threshold flavors of the holiday seasons, and put them into a snack I could have anytime of the day - granola, by the handfuls and on my morning yogurt. Something to wake up to, to sustain me when work gets too stressful. A break and a rest, a prize and a necessity--that's what fall is to me these days.

I was so happy to participate in this year's Virtual Pumpkin Party. Check out Sara's (Cake Over Steak) and Aimee's (Twigg Studio) posts for a full list of those contributing to #virtualpumpkinparty!

Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016

Ingredients:

  • 4 cup uncooked oats
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (I used these easy directions for mine!)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste, based on if you used salt in your pumpkin seeds!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 TB molasses 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup tahini or peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, seeds, pecans, sugar, salt, and spices with a wooden spoon
  3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together remaining ingredients together until wholly incorporated
  4. Using your wooden spoon, create a well in the center of your dry ingredients and, stirring slowly, pour in your wet ingredients
  5. Stir until all dry ingredients are coated (here, I actually used my hands because it was easier!)
  6. Spread mixture onto baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes, stirring 3 times at around every 8 minutes, as the high oil and sugar content can burn the oats easily
  7. Take out of oven, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016
Pumpkin Granola - Virtual Pumpkin Party 2016