Does anyone else start to feel overwhelmed when seasonal decor starts coming out? (p.s. – I’m aware that Halloween stuff came out in July). I’ve been successfully avoiding it for months, but it caught up with me on Monday and I came home with a bunch of mismatched pumpkins that basically have no place to go in our house. The white ones are so pretty, the orange ones you can carve into jack-o-lanterns, and the green/grays ones are WTF. (how do they make those?) So I got some of each, and they’ll probably all be dead by Halloween because it’s still 90 degrees in Texas. Oh and I got a half-dead Mum. But I get like this for every holiday: wanting, wishing, hoping to put together a wonderfully festive home..and winding up with something that falls dramatically short. I can’t tell you exactly why this happens, but I think it basically comes down to a lack of creative talent and little to no forethought. Last year I hastily ordered these beautiful little silver Christmas trees for our fireplace mantle, only to have them arrive in 5-foot-tall boxes at about 25lbs each. Not mantle material.
Anyway…I hope someday my brain flips a switch and I start to enjoy/become good at home decorating. But in the meantime, even if I can’t make my house LOOK seasonal, I definitely know how to make it smell and taste seasonal. So I hate to be cliche with all the pumpkin and “fall” recipes, but I can’t help it. I’m fully on the fall bandwagon and we’re moving fast. I LOVE FALL FLAVORS. This granola literally tastes like someone took Fall, crushed it into a bunch of little pieces and threw it in your mouth in the form of cereal. Not even exaggerating a little bit here. For full disclosure, this stuff is truly amazing and addictive. Let me say Fall a few more times. Fall fall fall.
And one more note before the recipe. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, do yourself a favor and buy the pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds in the nut section. They are AWESOME. I was actually shocked at how good they are. And they really turn this granola into something special. Otherwise, you can easily make your own.
- 4 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds or recipe here
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a large jelly roll pan (or large baking sheet with rims) with foil. In a large bowl combine the oats, pecans, and pumpkin seeds (or basically 6 cups of stuff – oats, dried fruit, nuts, etc). In a separate bowl whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, canned pumpkin and seasonings. Pour over oats and stir until well combined. Transfer to the baking sheet, making sure it can all fit in a relatively thin layer. Bake for about 1 hr 25 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so.