Fall may be my favorite season. When I walk into Walmart at the end of August and see that the back to school isles have been restocked with autumn décor, I get pretty excited. Yes, according to the calendar they’re a few weeks too early. Fall officially begins on September 23rd this year, and even then, I live in Florida. If you’ve never been to Florida in the fall, one of my friends posted this on Facebook a few days ago:
That pretty much sums up Florida’s weather in autumn. Ok, heat stroke may be a little bit of an overstatement. But cute boots and scarves have to be paired with shorts and a short sleeved shirt if you plan to spend any time outside.
So, it may not actually be fall yet. And the weather may not be very fall like, but we can turn the a/c down, bake a fall treat and pretend, right?
When this Pumpkin Pie Spiced Granola is roasting in the oven, it makes the whole house smell like fall. Like most of my favorite money saving recipes, besides being cheaper than premade store bought granola, it is so simple to make! Just mix the dry ingredients (minus any nuts, seeds or dried fruit you may be adding) in a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl, combine and give everything a good stir, spread on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven!
You can add any dried fruits, nuts or seeds that you like at the end, or play around with how much sugar you put in, to customize the granola to your tastes. I chose to skip dried fruit this time (though dried cranberries would work well in this recipe) and used pepitas (uncooked pumpkin seeds) as the finishing touch.
This granola is so good that you may wind up eating it straight out of the pan. If you have strong enough willpower, you can save it to sprinkle on yogurt, mix it into muffins, throw some into your oatmeal, make granola bars with it, or try one of these ideas (number 6 looks pretty interesting!).
- 3 cups rolled oats (Old fashion recommended. Use a gluten free version to make this gluten free.)
- 3 TBS packed light brown sugar
- ¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice (add more or less to taste)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey*
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix next 3 ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pour over dry mixture and stir until well mixed.
- Spread the mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes. Stir and add the pumpkin seeds.(If you prefer raw pumpkin seeds, add these at the end)
- Bake 5 to 10 minutes more until granola is very light golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.