Is it time to switch up your breakfast to something more seasonal? Heart Healthy Pumpkin granola has you covered! This granola recipe is really simple, delicious, and has no added sugar or oils (I have included an option for a sweetener though if you're working on decreasing your sugar consumption slowly!).
This recipe uses real pumpkin, and is lightly sweet, with warming, complementary spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. It's nicely crunchy and chewy, and holds up to milk without getting soggy. It's great by the handful, in a bowl of milk, or layered in a parfait. The sky is the limit with this pumpkin granola! Have I mentioned its yum-factor yet? YUM! It seriously tastes like a crisp Fall morning.
How To Make Heart Healthy Pumpkin Granola
You probably know by know how I really prefer to keep things simple, and this is no exception. Toss everything in a bowl and mix it up. Bake. Yum! 😋
This is really customizable though. You can use any nut or seed for any nut or seed, and any dried fruit for any dried fruit in the ingredients. No need to run out to the store for just one thing! Don't have pecans? Use walnuts, or more slivered almonds. Have sliced almonds instead? Use those! No hemp seeds? Use flax. Want to make it totally nut free? Use sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc., instead of nuts.
If you do replace the dates with something else, I high recommend using the optional maple syrup or honey in the recipe, though. The dried dates are very sweet, and another fruit may not impart the same sweetness.
Is Granola Healthy?
I get this question a lot, and it's a fair one! Granola has a reputation for being healthy. The internet has even begun referring to people who used to be called "health nuts" as "crunchies" - which is a reference to granola being crunchy. So, is granola worthy of the health halo it's received?
The answer is: sometimes. It seems to be the answer in all things nutrition, doesn't it? It depends. At its heart, granola is pretty healthy: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and usually a whole grain of some kind. Sounds great! But it kind of goes downhill from there.
Because we like sweeter things in America, there's almost always some kind of sugar added: honey, maple syrup, agave, rice syrup, molasses, or corn syrup. They all mean the same - added sugar. Which alone isn't terrible, but there tends to be a lot of sweetener added. Plus, it adds up over the day really fast because it's an ingredient in much of what we eat. Added sugar is a known contributor to heart disease and many other maladies. If you want to learn more about added sugar, check out my YouTube video on the topic. I avoided having to use a sweetener by using dried fruit chopped small, so you get some in every bite! For my granola recipe, the fruits I chose were dates and raisins. Raisins are easily found, and already small, and dates have a very sweet caramel flavor, so they fit perfect.
The next addition in commercial granola is often oil of some kind. Again, not necessarily terrible, but granola is usually full of nuts and seeds. Remember that nuts and seeds are high calorie foods, because they have a lot of fat in them. Good, heart healthy fat, but still a lot of fat. I avoided using an oil by using pumpkin, which helped bind the granola together, and coat it to prevent quick burning.
What else have you seen in boxed granola? Chocolate chips? Marshmallows? Other such add ins. None of that here. I used a combination of warming, familiar spices to amp up the flavor and perceived sweetness so nothing else was needed! I also fit in 24% of your daily fiber, as much protein as an egg, and 32% of your daily magnesium in a ½ cup serving!
Here's to your health and taste buds!
Heart Healthy Pumpkin Granola
Is it time to switch up your breakfast to something more seasonal? Pumpkin granola has you covered! My version is really simple, delicious, and has no added sugar or oils! Mix, bake, enjoy, repeat!
- 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 cup chopped, pitted Dates
- ½ cup Raisins
- ¼ cup Sesame seeds
- ¼ cup Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ¼ cup slivered Almonds
- ¼ cup chopped Pecans
- ¼ cup Hemp seeds
- ⅔ cup Pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- (Optional) 2-3 tablespoon Maple Syrup or Honey
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Transfer to a baking sheet, and spread thin.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until mixture is dry and crispy, but not burned.