Taste it: Pumpkin Granola

It's fall and you know what that means? Pumpkin flavors are abound.  Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin flavored beer, pumpkin oatmeal.  It seems as if you cannot escape it.  And you know what?  I love it! Pumpkin is inextricably tied to fall which happens to be one of my all time favorite seasons.  I love the crisp fall air and the crunch of the leaves under foot and I love the warm, earthy flavors that dominate the seasonal food of a New England fall.

So when I came across a recipe for pumpkin granola I knew that I would be mixing up a batch in my kitchen.  I really was not sure how it would come out.  I was worried that the pumpkin puree would keep the oats too damp to crisp up properly but let me tell you how wrong I was!  The result is a crisp, slightly sweet, hint of pumpkin crunchy delight that is fabulous for snacking and goes beautifully with your favorite yogurt.

1 cup pumpkin puree
11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of ground clove
1/3 cup of vegetable oil or mild olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
5 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
11/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup wheatgerm
11/2-2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove, oil, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
Stir in the oats, almonds, coconut, and wheatgerm.
Divide the mixture between two baking sheets and bake 45-60 mins, stirring occasionally until everything is golden and toasty and the granola is dry.
Let cool completely on baking sheets.
Transfer to a larger ziploc bag and shake with the cranberries until all incorporated.

 Eat! Enjoy and share.

Adapted from this recipe on foodess.com.

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