This pumpkin granola is perfect for fall. It is refined sugar free, gluten free, vegan, easy to make, and will have your house smelling amazing.
It’s fall. And it’s cold. But it is pumpkin season! And I am a huge fan of any sort of healthy pumpkin recipe, especially this pumpkin granola. There are so many yummy ways to eat it… with almond milk, sprinkled over ice cream, make some apple nachos, or add on top of waffles for a nice crunch. The list could go on and on!
Homemade granola is so easy to make and so much healthier than most store bought varieties, which are high in refined sugar, contain unhealthy oils, and have unnecessary ingredients (like preservatives and added flavors).
This homemade pumpkin granola starts with a simple mix of oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and spices, which is then lightly coated with the perfect combination of pumpkin, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup. This keeps my healthy pumpkin recipe nice and clean!
Making Homemade Granola
It’s seriously so easy to make homemade granola, and this pumpkin granola is no exception!
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Mix the dry ingredients and spices: Add the oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and spices to a large mixing bowl and stir together.
- Next, combine the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, melted coconut oil, pure maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients: Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oats mixture and mix until all ingredients are fully combined.
- Spread granola on a lined baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour finished granola mix onto prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a spatula, evenly spread and lightly push down granola into pan (this will help make “clumpier” granola).
- Bake: Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring half way through. After stirring, evenly press the granola into the pan again.
- Let sit after baking: Once you notice the edges are beginning to slightly brown and the granola is very fragrant (not burnt smelling) you’ll know it’s done. It may seem underdone at first, but the granola will set as it cools. Pro tip: Let the granola fully cool before stirring. It will be tempting to stir right away, but letting it sit as it cools will help create some nice clumps in your granola!
Tips for Keeping the Ingredients Clean
These are specific things I look for when buying the ingredients for this granola. Ingredients not listed don’t have any specifications when it comes to keeping/purchasing them clean. If you don’t purchase items with my recommendations below, know the recipe will still turn out great.
OATS – I always opt for gluten-free and organic oats. Oats are naturally gluten free, however, during processing they can be contaminated with gluten. Because of this, I look for certified gluten free. In addition, I always buy organic. Oats, and most grains, are typically treated with glyphosate before harvest, which means you are likely getting a hefty dose of glyphosate (chemical linked to cancer) with your oats if you aren’t buying organic. My favorite oats are One Degree and GF Harvest oats.
PUMPKIN – you can go organic or non-organic here (since pumpkins have a thick outer skin and you are only eating the inside) but just make sure you are buying canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling/mix. Pumpkin puree is simply pumpkin, while the pumpkin pie mix contains sugar and added spices. We want the straight up pumpkin!
COCONUT OIL – coconut oil can be a very clean oil. You’ll notice though that you can buy refined or unrefined. I typically opt for unrefined (think less processing), however, there are some refined that are clean/good for you too! I have an entire post about coconut oil HERE if you’re curious to learn more. I love Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil.
MAPLE SYRUP – make sure you are buying pure maple syrup, meaning the only ingredient is “maple syrup”. Organic or non-organic? Organic ensures no chemicals are used around the maple trees (typically they aren't sprayed directly on the trees). And it has a lot to do with the environment and farming and land management; like diversity of trees, size of trees before tapping, how many taps can be placed in a tree, etc. Because of all of this, I opt for organic.
SPICES – I highly recommend organic spices when possible. Why? The FDA does not require spice manufacturers to label spices with added ingredients, like sugar, salt, colors, or preservatives… so you never know exactly what you are getting with conventional spices… yikes! Certified organic spices have more standards. They don’t have anything added, so what you see is what you get. With organic, you can also be sure no chemicals were used in the growing process of the spices.
Why I Love This Granola
- WHOLE GRAINS: Made with whole rolled oats, which are a whole grain – nothing refined here.
- REFINED SUGAR FREE: Lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup.
- NUTRIENTS: Contains nutrient dense foods like pecans, pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is extremely high in vitamin A, high in fiber and vitamin C, plus contains many other vitamins and minerals.
How Long Will This Last?
Homemade granola will stay good in an airtight container for up to two weeks – if you don't eat it all before then.
Don’t forget… homemade granola makes the perfect gift. It is one of my favorite things to give around the holidays. Scoop some in mason jars, add a festive ribbon, and perfecto.. the perfect gift for family and friends!
Other Amazing Fall Recipes
If you make this pumpkin granola recipe, please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below and/or share a photo on Instagram and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (if not gluten free, any rolled oats will work)
- 1 ½ cups pecans
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. all spice
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup pure maple syrup (room temp)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add this to the oat mixture and mix until ingredients are fully combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dump finished granola mix onto prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a spatula, evenly spread and lightly push down granola into pan (this will help make “clumpier” granola).
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring at around 20 minutes. After stirring, evenly press and lightly push down the granola into the pan – this helps with clumpy granola. You will know your granola is done when the edges of the oats begin to lightly brown and the granola is very fragrant. Don't overcook - burnt granola is not good! Note: granola will continue to harden as it cools.
- Allow to fully cool on baking sheet before mixing and moving to a storage container. Allowing to cool first will help the granola be extra clumpy.
- Make sure to use rolled oats (also known as old fashioned oats) and not quick cooking oats.
- In order to create "clumpier" granola, make sure to push granola down in pan prior to baking and then again after you mix in the middle of baking. Using the back of a spatula works great. In addition, let the granola fully cool before mixing - this also helps those nice clumps to form!
- I like using a commercial bakers sheet, like this one - this allows you to more evenly spread out the granola, which will help create the nice little clumps.
- When mixing your wet ingredients, make sure that your maple syrup is room temp - this will help the melted coconut oil from solidifying again (if it comes in contact with a cold liquid it will begin to turn into solid little pieces - and we don't want that).
- You can sub any nut for the pecans - I think almonds or walnuts would be great.
- Some unsweetened coconut flakes or chips would be good to add into the dry ingredients (½ cup or so).
- AFTER baking (and after you've let the granola cool), try adding in some chocolate chips for an extra special treat.