One of the great things about granola is that it's versatile. And it's a good thing, too. Our granola cooking went something like this.
Me: Ok, can you read me the recipe?
Me: Got it.
Husband: Pumpkin pie spice.
Me: Hmm. We don't have any of that. Let me look up a recipe for it. (Time elapses). Ok, we'll just use cinnamon and cloves. It calls for ginger too, but I ran out of that making gingerbread last week.
Husband: Next are the spices. (We have them all this time!)
Husband: Apple sauce. Maple syrup.
Me: We ran out of maple syrup when we had the rest of those pumpkin waffles. (I'm beginning to think I need to go grocery shopping at this point.)
Husband: How about that agave nectar?
Me: That works!
Husband: It also calls for pepitas.
Me: I have no idea what that is. (Googles it). Oh, they're pumpkin seeds. Why didn't they just say pumpkin seeds? No matter. We don't have them anyway. How about almonds instead?
So really, I could call this Use What You've Got Pumpkin Granola. Other possible names for this recipe: Makes the House Smell Amazing Granola, Feels Like Thanksgiving Granola, and Delicious Granola.
So here's the original recipe.
Here's what we ended up with:
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (substituted with cinnamon+cloves)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup (1/4 cup agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas (1/2 cup sliced almonds)
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. 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, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.