It’s time to make use of the last of the fall pumpkins, and this granola is the perfect venue. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, pumpkin is a great source of vitamins E, A, C and B6; thiamin; niacin; folate; iron; magnesium; potassium and fiber. I love making granola because it’s not an exact science. I can use whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruits I have on hand. This batch is not overly potent (though that depends heavily on the strength of the oil you use), and I can divvy it into pocket-sized portions for a portable snack.
Making this with fresh pumpkin requires more prep time; the pumpkin and its seeds need to be roasted the day before. This adds several steps, and you can easily substitute canned puree and store-bought pepitas (pumpkin seeds). A 5-pound pumpkin makes about 5 pounds of puree, so store the leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer to use in other recipes. You’ll probably have extra pepitas to snack on as well.
1 small sugar or pie pumpkin (about 5 pounds or smaller)
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (or store-bought pepitas)
2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup sliced almonds
8 –dried dates, pits removed, chopped (a few more if you like dates)
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup cannabis-infused coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
Blender or food processor
To make pumpkin puree:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and stringy flesh (an ice cream scoop works great for this). Reserve seeds and set aside.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 45 minutes until flesh can be easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven and place on a baking rack to let cool. Scrape out flesh, remove any peel and puree in blender or food processor or mash by hand. (Store extra in fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.)
To make pepitas:
Place seeds in a colander and rinse under cold water, removing as much pumpkin flesh as possible. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let set for several hours or more until completely dry.
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Drizzle seeds with olive oil and toss with your fingers until seeds are evenly coated. Season lightly with salt to taste.
Cook for about an hour, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make granola:
Preheat oven to 340 F.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the pepitas, almonds, dates, coconut, pecans,
coconut sugar and sea salt.
In a saucepan over medium-low to medium heat, whisk together coconut oil, syrup, ½ cup pumpkin puree, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until thoroughly combined.
Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with wooden spoon.
Put parchment paper on baking sheets. Spread granola in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake 20-35 minutes, until golden brown. Stir about halfway through cooking time.
Remove from oven and place baking sheets on wire racks until granola has cooled.
Transfer to labeled airtight container. Granola can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks or frozen for several months.