•What a yummy fall treat!! This is a healthier version than granolas you might be used to making; it’s dairy free, extra nutritious, and packed full of flavor. Secret weapons? Applesauce and pumpkin puree. I’ve never made granola with applesauce before and really am quite a novice to making granola all together. My first real venture was with crock pot granola last winter which was just as good, but called for butter (which I’m not opposed too) but with some of the dietary retrictions, this is a great recipe. The pumpkin seeds add a bit of fall whimsy and the dried cherries and cranberries add the tartness that is only accentuated by the orange zest. I was going nut free, but walnuts or slivered almonds could be a nice addition.
10 cups oats-not instant 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 2 tsp cinnamon 1 ½ tsp kosher salt 1 orange-zested 1 cup honey 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup pumpkin puree-not the pie filling ½ cup unsweetened applesauce ½ cup pure maple syrup-get the good stuff (no Mrs Buttersworth allowed) 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1 cup dried cherries 1 cup dried cranberries makes 13 cups of the best granola you will ever have!! Recipe can easily be halved or doubled =) prep and cooking/cooling time- 1 hour 325°
Preheat oven to 325° In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, and pie spice. Really mix well, and make sure to distribute the orange zest throughout.
In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, vanilla, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, and applesauce.
Combined the wet ingredients with the dry and mix well to make sure all is coated.
Spread out on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet. Pop into the oven and stir every 10-15 min. Total baking time approx 30 min (depends on how crispy you like your granola). When you think “could just use one more min” add the pumpkin seeds to toast up a bit.
Remove pan from oven and stir in the dried fruits. Let cool on sheetpan before packing in airtight containers for up to a week.
Serve with yogurt (greek honey yogurt is awesome), in a bowl with some milk and sliced banana, on top of ice cream or just to snack on♥Enjoy