Nov 292012

Have some extra pureed pumpkin lying around from that pumpkin pie?  Or pecans from the pecan pie you wish you hadn’t had that extra slice of?  Or dried cranberries from, well, whatever you used cranberries in?  Well you are in luck because this recipe will use up all of those without making you feel the miserable sugar hangover that the pie did last week.  You may think you’re pumpkin-ed out, but once you try this amazingly healthy and delicious Pumpkin Spice Granola, I guarantee you won’t be.

Granola is one of those foods that can be deceivingly unhealthy when you buy the store bought kind, but when you make it at home you see exactly what’s going in.  This version has oats, quinoa, tons of nuts/seeds (pepitas, almonds, pecans), dried cranberries, and is flavored with maple syrup, pumpkin, and spices.  This might just be my new favorite granola recipe…well at least in the fall.  Also, did I mention that this is super easy to make?  Well, it is.

Nutritional Highlights:  After the eating free for all that was Thanksgiving week (for me at least) you may be looking for a healthy change.  This granola has tons of protein and fiber so it will keep you full all morning.  I had never used quinoa in granola before, but was excited about the nice crunch it added and of course a ton of protein.  Compared to store bought versions, this granola is significantly lower in fat and sugar.  Still, try to keep serving size between 1/4 and 1/2 cup because even though it’s super healthy, it still has a decent amount of fat and calories from the nuts.  Serve over fruit with greek yogurt or skim milk for a healthy fall breakfast!

Plus, granola makes a great homemade holiday gift that everyone will love!  You can also get a little fancy lik I did and serve the granola over a scooped out pear half filled with greek yogurt and a little dab of cranberry sauce on the side for color :)

Pumpkin Spice Granola
adapted from Skinny Taste 


  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and pat dry with paper towel
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not all oats are gluten free so if you want gluten free granola make sure to pick your oats carefully.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds and/or 1/4 cup wheat bran 
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (or other seed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp oil (coconut or canola)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325° F. 

Spread oats* and quinoa out on a parchment lined baking pan. Toast in the oven 10 minutes, stirring once.

Remove the oats from the oven, pour the toasted oats into a medium bowl and addthe ground flaxseed/wheat bran, pepitas, almonds, pecans and dried fruit.

Reduce oven to 300° F.

In a second medium bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin puree, oil, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour over oats and stir together with a spatula.Spread back onto a baking sheet and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until golden.

If you want to serve it in the pear boats, simply cut pears in half vertically, scoop out some of the center and fill with greek yogurt.  Top with pumpkin spice granola and enjoy.  If not, a bowl will do the trick!

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