It seems like over the past few months, pumpkin granola has leaped into the forefront of "it can be paleo and still granola" as well as many "skinny" (aka low-fat / no-fat / we'll prove we can use less or no oil and not use apple sauce") recipes. Certainly, if you got here by googling "pumpkin granola," you probably noticed how many recipes came from this year -- and how many are grain free or say you can use pumpkin instead of canola oil.
These things are not what I was thinking about when I decided I wanted to experiment with a pumpkin granola recipe. Instead, I thought about the granolas I've already made this fall, and how pumpkin granola seemed like a fun and tasty late autumn breakfast. I thought about how much I like pumpkin things (and how my parents didn't make them when I was growing up). I thought about how easy it is to find pumpkin at the store right now, both fresh and in cans.
With this recipe, I use buckwheat, a gluten-free (un)grain (we treat it as a grain, but it's technically a psuedo-cereal and not a grain at all). I secretly really wanted to use millet, but I seem to be able to handle millet only in small amounts. Working with buckwheat can be a bit harder -- if you cook it first, it turns into a somewhat gelatinous blob and doesn't look very appealing. Fortunately, it doesn't really need to be cooked beforehand to be soft enough to chew. I used raw buckwheat, as opposed to kasha, because I was going to stick it in the oven anyway, and because kasha tends to be more expensive than regular buckwheat.
Pumpkin seeds add a little additional protein to this granola. I suggest 1/3-1/2 cup because they can be kind of spendy, but feel free to add more if you like -- or to wait and add them until you're ready to eat your granola.
As with most of my recipes now, this is gluten-free and vegan. If you store the granola in an air-tight container (I like storing it in jars), it should keep for about 2 weeks -- if you live in a humid climate, maybe not quite as long.
Pumpkin Granola with Buckwheat & Pepitas
4 cups GF rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3-1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup pumpkin puree mixed with 2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, and then add the pumpkin puree mixture. Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake 40-50 minutes, stirring the granola to break up the pieces about 30 minutes into the baking time. Remove from oven and allow to cool. If the granola still feels wet (and this is dependent on your climate, mostly) once it's cooled completely, return to the oven and bake at 300 for another 15 minutes.