Gluten-Free Pumpkin Coconut Granola

One yummy treat that has actually NEVER been a staple snack in my home is granola...although, that is all about to change!

Don't get me wrong-I LOVE granola!  I guess I'm just too busy making Pumpkin Pie Spiced Carob Chip BiscottiPumpkin Spice Muffin BitesNutella Swirl Pumpkin MuffinsCoconut Carob Puffed Rice Bars, etc. to be making granola on a regular basis as well!

I've made many variations of granola in the past, but this particular recipe is an obvious reflection of the obsession I've had lately with coconut and pumpkin.  It is so easy to make (although it involves patience-read on to find out why!), is hearty AND healthy, and not to mention, delicious!

Need ideas on how to incorporate granola in every day recipes? Keep reading on for a list of delicious and inventive ideas!

(Makes about 6 cups)
3 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill rolled oats
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil (or butter or applesauce)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
3/4 cup sweetener of your choice (agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup or brown sugar) *I mixed 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/4 cup agave nectar)

*TIP: Bob's Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats can be found in most grocery stores in the organic section. (If gluten-free isn't your concern than any regular brand of oats will do!)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

In a small saucepan, heat wet ingredients (maple syrup, agave, coconut oil, pumpkin puree) on low heat for about 5 minutes or until melted and combined.
(You can also warm them in the microwave if you prefer.)

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with a wooden or plastic spoon until combined.

*TIP: If the granola is slightly dry simply add more of a wet ingredient (sweetener or pumpkin puree) until you get the desired consistency.

 

Cook, stirring every 8-10 minutes, for about 45 min or until golden brown.

*NOTE:  DO NOT turn up the heat because you are too impatient to wait for the granola to cook with the notion that the granola will cook faster.  It WILL cook faster and it will also BURN faster too!  I learnt the hard way...

(I'm embarrassed to admit that my husband and I actually sifted through the burnt bits and scarfed down the rest-it was still THAT yummy-burnt and all!)

Much better the second time around...

Serve alone...

...or try one of these tasty options:

1.) Replace your every day cereal with granola.
2.) Add it to your favourite cereal for extra crunch!
3.) Create your own parfaits with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt and granola.
4.) Use as a topping on your favorite flavour of ice cream.
5.) Use as a topping on baked apples or applesauce.
6.) Add it to muffins for extra texture.
7.) Use it as a garnish on pancakes and waffles or add directly into the batter.
8.) Use as a topping on crumbles instead of flour, sugar, and butter.

What's your favourite way to eat granola?

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