Pumpkin Spice Granola (The Leftovers Club)

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This year I kicked off the fall baking extravaganza with homemade pumpkin granola. It can be difficult to get excited about autumn in New England when I know how long the upcoming winter will last . . . but when I stirred the spices into the oats for this recipe, the aroma of pumpkin pie put a grin on my face.

Some reflux suffers don’t do well with cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. I recommend making this granola with the full amount of spices (which I have reduced from the typical recipe) but eating it in small quantities. I like it sprinkled on oatmeal or fat-free vanilla yogurt to add crunch.

Cloves and raisins, which have a lot of haters out there, are optional in this recipe. Cloves have very strong flavor, and if you don’t like them, even a pinch may ruin this recipe for you. People also have strong feelings about baking with raisins. In addition, raisins are acidic. I included only a quarter-cup here, so they shouldn’t cause heartburn—but don’t start eating them alone out of the box 🙂

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I sent this granola to Elizabeth of In the Loop for this month’s edition of The Leftovers Club. Elizabeth sent me a sweet and salty concoction that resembles caramel Chex mix—it was delicious! If you’re a food blogger and if you love snail mail as much as I do, you should check out this club.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of cloves (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour these wet ingredients onto the oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. Use a spatula to spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the almonds and raisins. Break up large clumps with the spatula so they can cook thoroughly.  IMG_4570
  5. Bake until the granola is crispy, about 20 or 25 more minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing (and eating; it won’t be crispy until it’s cool).

Makes about 6 cups. Adapted from http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/pumpkin-granola/

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