Sweet & Savory Granola

Here’s a cool spin on an old classic. While there are many ways to prepare this snack food, I decided to create a fall granola, specifically pumpkin. Because come October, I love everything pumpkin–coffee, cupcakes, bread, bagels, and now, granola. Yep, granola. Healthy granola, too! Sort of. Everything but the maple syrup, anyway. And really, can’t a girl splurge during the holidays? (My holiday season officially begins when the pumpkin-fall menus enter the scene.)

Decadent Pumpkin Granola

pumpkin granola2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup pumpkin seed, natural, not salted or roasted

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 TBSP orange zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, pumpkin and flax seed. Mix well. For the granola glue, whisk together maple syrup, melted butter, orange zest and vanilla extract. Pour over oat and seed mixture and mix all ingredients until well blended. Note: this might be easier done with your hands. If you like the orange zest, go ahead and add some more. It’s a nice compliment to the maple syrup.

pumpkin granola ingredients

Cover baking sheet with foil (I like non-stick foil, especially when working with syrup) and evenly spread granola mixture out over the baking sheet.

bake granola

Bake for 20 minutes, turning granola mix once or twice during the baking process. Add raisins, and bake for 5 minutes longer. Allow granola to cool on metal rack.

For options on this recipe, I’d toss in almonds or hazelnuts, maybe add a bit of nutmeg or fancy pumpkin spice flavoring, dare I say, chocolate? It’s all good and very tasty!

For a complete one-eighty, try this Sun-dried tomato granola. Interesting, unusual, but delicious! I’d toss some on a salad, over a baked potato, or once again, straight out of the pan.

Sun-dried Tomato Granola

savory granola2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBSP honey

salt, pepper & garlic powder, to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Preheat the oven to 300°F.  In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and pine nuts. Mix well. For granola glue, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and honey. Pour over oat and seed mixture and mix all ingredients until well-blended. Note: this might be easier done with your hands.

Cover baking sheet with foil (I like non-stick foil, especially when working with syrup) and evenly spread granola mixture out over the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning granola mix once or twice during the baking process. Add cheese and tomatoes and allow granola to cool on metal rack.

Options for this one include fresh chopped rosemary (baked with granola), or basil (mixed in while cooling).

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