Meatless Monday – Start right with Pumpkin Cranberry Granola!

I love granola. I love it so much I want to marry it. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I really do love the stuff. The problem is my wallet doesn’t really like shelling out $5+ for a bag of “the good stuff” that’s mostly air. I recognize the need to be healthy and that complex carbohydrates, with unsalted nuts, seeds, other delicious things, etc. for breakfasts are a good start, but $5 or more?! It’s unnecessary.

So what did I do? I made my own! Super simple, super healthy and my whole house smelled like Thanksgiving! I will never buy granola again. Not only did this come out to being approximately $.30 per serving (what?! YES!) but it also doesn’t have the “shelf life extending” preservatives. This is whole, healthy and fun to make. I have some other flavors I want to test, but this pumpkin cranberry will surely be at the ready for me going forward! Take a look and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Granola

Yields: 28 1/3c servings
Takes: 10 minutes prep, 60-90 minutes cook
Keeps: Shelf a few weeks, but you can cool to keep longer
Cost: ~ $.27
Calories: 179 per 1/3c

What you’ll need:

- 8 cups organic rolled oats (I used quick rolled)
- 1 can pumpkin puree (or homecooked if you’re cooler than me)
- 1/2c coconut oil
- 1/2c 100% maple syrup (or agave)
- 1c raw unsalted walnuts- rough chop
- 1/2c raw unsalted cashews- rough chop
- 2tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2tsp teaspoon ground ginger
- 2tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2tbsp salt
- 1/4c vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1c dried cranberries (cherries would work well too)

What to do:

1. Pre heat oven to 275 F; if you have a convection setting use it, this will help in reducing the cook time
2. Combine all “wet” ingredients- basically everything except the oats- in a medium sized bowl
3. Add mixture to oats in a large bowl (I actually used my wok)
4. Once ALL oats have been covered in pumpkin mixture spray a large glass casserole dish with non stick spray and dump oat mixture in
** I worried that I would need to lay it flat, but you really don’t. Just see below.
5. Place in oven and set timer for two hours
6. Now- here’s the tricky part- you have to stir this stuff every 15-20 minutes to make sure it’s drying properly and not burning the top. Grand time total? It took me about an hour and a half to get it to the proper crunch factor, but you can test it as you’re going and take it out when you’re ready, it’s really up to you. Be careful as it gets close to being done though as it will start burning.
7. Stir in cranberries when it’s cooled and store in air tight containers – I use Mason jars – and enjoy at your leisure!



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