Most days, I'm tip-toeing out the door before 5:15am for work. I still get up pretty early on my days off to make the most of my mornings to myself. So on my most recent day off, when it was uncharacteristically foggy and chilly outside, I decided to take advantage of it and experiment a little in the kitchen with one of my favorite ingredients: pumpkin. Although it's not officially fall yet, I couldn't help myself! It's by far my favorite season.
This recipe is really basic and can be easily altered to your preference. The brown butter adds a great flavor dynamic with the pumpkin will fill your house with an intoxicating, nutty aroma. (I suggest baking this when you have a few hours to linger around your house, sip coffee and listen to Bon Iver.)
5 cups regular or GF oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup brown butter*
Stir the spices into the oats in a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, vanilla, brown sugar and browned butter together.
Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the bowl with the oats until even coated.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread the mixture.
Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stir, and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until toasted.
Turn off your oven and leave the granola in there until completely cooled (it will help it keep it's crunch).
I like my granola fairly simple, but you can add dried fruit or sliced nuts once it's cooled. This is great served over yogurt, milk, apple sauce or cinnamon ice cream! Or you can pour some into a jar and pass it out to your friends who are mourning summer.
*Browning butter is incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. Slice up desired amount of butter and place in a skillet on low/medium heat. Whisk the butter as it melts down until it is foaming. Continue to let it heat up until it turns golden brown. It will be giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, whisk lightly and use immediately. Careful! It goes from brown to burnt fairly quickly.
If you're looking for a low-fat version without butter, look here, where I loosely adapted the recipe.