Fall is the season of all things pumpkin, and what better way to embrace the autumn vibes than with a hearty and nutritious Chunky Pumpkin Granola.
Whether you're a fan of crunchy clusters, a hint of spice, or a wholesome breakfast, this recipe has it all.
Why You Should Make This Chunky Pumpkin Granola
- Nutrient-packed: Packed with the goodness of oats, pumpkin puree, and seeds, this granola is a nutritious start to your day.
- Customizable: You can tailor this recipe to your dietary preferences and include any variations or substitutions.
- Quick and Easy: This granola is simple to make, and it's a fantastic make-ahead breakfast option.
- Versatile: Enjoy it as a crunchy cereal, a yogurt topper, or a snack on the go.
The heart of any good granola, oats are a great source of fiber and provide a satisfying crunch.
Substitute: Instant oats or steel-cut oats.
I love adding pumpkin puree because it helps naturally bind the ingredients together and is an additional boost of vitamins and fiber.
Substitute: Mashed sweet potato or butternut squash for a similar fall flavor.
For sweetness and a touch of caramel-like flavor.
Substitute: Honey, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup for sweetness.
A rich, creamy paste made from sesame seeds that naturally helps bind the granola together.
Substitute: Almond, peanut, or any nut/seed butter.
A blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for the perfect fall spice.
This surprising addition balances the sweetness and helps the granola caramelize in the oven.
If you don't have balsamic vinegar you can omit it in this recipe.
Mix all of the ingredients together and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-50 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
Tips for Chunky Clusters
- Pumpkin Puree as a Binder: The pumpkin puree in this recipe acts as a natural binder, helping to create those delightful clusters.
- Don't Stir While Baking: Resist the urge to stir the granola during baking. This allows clusters to form as it cools.
- Pinch of Baking Soda. Baking soda aids in browning and creates a crispy texture, contributing to the overall appeal of your homemade granola. It's important to use it sparingly – a small amount goes a long way. Be mindful not to overdo it, as excessive baking soda can affect the taste.
- Press for Chunky Clusters. Before baking, press the granola mixture down firmly on the baking sheet. This will help create those satisfying, oversized clusters.
- Yogurt Parfaits: Layer this granola with yogurt or cottage cheese and seasonal fruits for a wholesome parfait.
- Trail Mix: Combine with dried fruits and nuts for an energizing snack.
- Granola Pancakes: Sprinkle your granola onto your pancake batter just after pouring it onto the griddle. It bakes into the pancakes, adding a fun crunch to each bite.
Storage and Shelf Life
Proper storage to ensure that your granola stays fresh.
- Cool and Dry: Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Shelf Life: Homemade granola typically stays fresh for up to 2-3 weeks.
- Freezing: For long-term storage, you can freeze in a sealed container.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make granola more clumpy?
To create those satisfying clusters in your granola, use ingredients that act as natural binders. In this Chunky Pumpkin Granola recipe, pumpkin puree serves as an excellent binder. Baking without stirring also helps chunky clusters form as it cools.
Why are homemade granola not crunchy?
Homemade granola might not be as crunchy as store-bought versions due to differences in moisture content. Homemade recipes often use natural ingredients like honey or maple syrup, which can retain some moisture, resulting in a slightly less crispy texture. However, you can enhance the crunch by ensuring it's completely cooled and storing it in an airtight container.
What is the binder in granola?
The binder in granola is an ingredient that helps hold the mixture together, forming clusters or chunks.
Common binders include honey, maple syrup, molasses, or in this case, pumpkin puree. These binders add sweetness, flavor, and a sticky texture that binds the ingredients during baking.
How to make soft granola crunchy?
If your granola turns out softer than desired, you can easily make it crunchier.
Spread the soft granola on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven (around 250°F or 120°C) for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Keep a close eye to prevent over-browning, and let it cool completely before storing. This will help it crisp up.
Does homemade granola get crunchy as it cools?
Yes, homemade granola often gets crunchier as it cools. When granola is initially taken out of the oven, it may still be slightly soft.
As it cools, the ingredients harden and create those desired crunchy clusters. Be patient and allow it to cool fully before transferring it to an airtight container for storage.
Why do you put baking soda in granola?
Baking soda is occasionally used in granola recipes to aid in browning and to achieve a crispy texture.
It helps create a Maillard reaction during baking, which adds flavor and a golden brown appearance to the granola. However, not all granola recipes include baking soda, as it's not essential for every variation.
Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 4 tablespoon maple syrup
- 60 g of tahini
- 2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda optional
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, tahini, pumpkin spice, vanilla extract, balsamic vinegar, baking soda (if using) and a pinch of salt. Mix everything thoroughly to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until the granola turns golden brown, stirring it every 10 minutes for even cooking.
- Once it's done, remove the granola from the oven and let it cool completely. As it cools, it will become crispier.
- Once cooled, store your homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola in an airtight container.
This Chunky Pumpkin Granola Recipe is an easy and healthy fall breakfast option that is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and extra crispy.
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