It’s pumpkin season ladies and gentlemen! We all know this. We all dream about this time, all throughout the year. Anxiously await its arrival. Right? Even if pumpkin isn’t what you dream of from December through mid-September – when you finally start seeing the beautiful squash start to pop up into the fields again, this recipe is still delicious and one worth trying!
A little information about pumpkins before we get baking! In the world of nutrition, the pumpkin is like the Hulk! It’s incredibly nutritious. Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and minerals, they’re low in calories, and are loaded with the antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is what gives pumpkins their vibrant orange colour. It’s transformed into vitamin A by our bodies. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may help to reduce the risk of developing some cancers, delay aging, body, and eye degeneration and help protect against heart disease. Pumpkins are packed with fibre and actually provide a good source of protein as well. BAM!
They’re super versatile and can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Pumpkin pies, custards, breads, loaves and muffins, cinnamon buns, oatmeal, GRANOLA, smoothies to name a few on the sweeter side! Soups, curries, roasted vegetables, stuffed squash, enchiladas, to name a few on the savoury! You literally can cut this fruit up (yep, its technically a fruit) and put it in anything! Dare I say, even tacos!
The thing to be mindful of is that the large pumpkins that are grown primarily for carving, aren’t the best for baking and eating. Although you 100% can roast the pumpkin seeds inside for a really delicious and healthy snack! But for baking or if you’d like to make a soup or curry, you want to look for a sugar pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin or sweet pumpkin).
The recipe for the granola is down below. Try it out! Let me know if you love it! The lovely thing about this recipe is that you can change it if you’d like! If you don’t like walnuts, just add more pecans, or add cashews, or hazelnuts! If you’re allergic to hemp hearts like my brother, add chia seeds or sesame seeds or add a bit more of the other seeds. Also, I think that dates (medjool) would be so awesome in this if you wanted to add some dried fruit. My little people aren’t the biggest fans of dried fruit in the granola yet, so we just skip that option!
- 6 cups rolled oats (you don’t just have to use oats here either people, you can use rolled barley, rye, spelt!)
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)*
- 1 cups raw walnuts
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar**
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Place 2 Silpat liners on 2 cookie sheets. This is a large recipe so I either bake on my extra large cookie sheet or I split the recipe between two.*
- In a large bowl combine the first 8 ingredients.
- Mix the last 4 ingredients together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Pour granola onto the prepared cookie sheets and pop in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Stirring every 10 minutes.**
- When you can smell the granola and it looks nice and golden brown, it’s done. Remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Enjoy with your favourite plant based milk or on dairy-free yogurt!
You can keep this stored in a glass jar or Tupperware container for 1-2 weeks.
*If you don’t have a Silpat liner (invest in one!), you can use parchment paper.
** I baked my granola for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. It turned out really nice and crispy!