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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Pumpkin Granola (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Pumpkin granola = all the fall feels. This granola will put you in a fall-time mood regardless of when you're enjoying it. Made with pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin seeds this granola is sure to satisfy your autumn craving for pumpkin-themed anything. This granola is made with gluten-free whole rolled oats and therefore is not paleo because oats are a grain. However, this recipe is gluten-free.



My first pumpkin recipe!! FYI you'll be seeing A LOT more pumpkin recipes on The Dimpled Date. This granola is wholesome and has a nice fall spice to it.


This pumpkin granola is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and is sweetened with fruit (specifically, dates). And if I haven't won you over yet, this recipe is easy, quick, healthy, and cleanup is easy! It can be made ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week, so it's perfect for meal prepping. This granola is also protein-rich, packed with vitamin A, and is high in iron.



Nutritional Profile of Pumpkin Granola


Rolled oats- rolled oats are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and iron. These nutrients aid digestion, promote heart health, build muscle, and help form red blood cells.


Coconut oil- coconut oil is rich in healthy fats and fatty acids. Coconut oil may increase metabolism, have anti-microbial properties, and is proven to nourish skin & hair. Additionally, it's good for heart health and brain health (Tip: if you're like me and you tend to get dry, cracked hands in the winter, melt some coconut oil in your hands by rubbing the raw coconut oil between you hands and slather over the dry areas on your skin).


Pumpkin purée- pumpkin purée is filled with fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and potassium. These nutrients promote a healthy GI tract, a healthy heart, healthy muscles, a healthy immune system, healthy red blood cells, and have antioxidant properties.


Pumpkin pie spice- pumpkin spice (typically made with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and/or allspice) contains antioxidants, beneficial plant compounds, and micronutrients that promote circulation, may have antimicrobial effects, and support digestive health.


Dates- dates (therefore, date paste) are antioxidant powerhouses and also contain considerable amounts of protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Dates help with PMS symptoms, protect against anemia, are good for digestion, and are heart healthy.


Nuts & seeds (in general)- Generally, nuts and seeds are great sources of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and micronutrients. Walnuts contain omega 3s which are good for many different parts of the body, including the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Pecans contain high levels of antioxidants and fiber which fight free radicals and aid digestion. Almonds are particularly rich in soluble fiber and vitamin E which are good for cholesterol levels and skin & hair health, respectively. Pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, iron, and antioxidants which are good for muscle health, blood cell health, and preventing disease. (You really can't go wrong with which kinds of nuts/seeds you use, but I recommend using raw, unsalted, and unsweetened nuts & seeds. I used raw, unsalted, and unsweetened walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in this granola).


Dried fruit- dried fruit in general is rich in fiber, vitamins & minerals, and micronutrients. (Opt for unsweetened dried fruit without any additives).


Shredded coconut- coconut is chock-full of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and iron. Coconut is good for metabolism, heart health, brain health, digestion, and complexion.



Substitutions


The oats are necessary for this granola, but perhaps you could substitute a gluten-free or grain-free, unsweetened crisp cereal like a rice cereal or use just the nuts and seeds. You can sub any healthy, neutral-flavored oil for the coconut oil. The pumpkin purée is necessary, seeing as this is a recipe for pumpkin granola. If you don't have pumpkin spice, mix equal parts cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger to make your own pumpkin spice.


You may swap out the date paste with stevia or monk fruit (or any artificial sweetener), to taste OR 1/4 cup pure 100% maple syrup, agave, or date syrup. I don't recommend omitting a sweetener for this recipe. The nuts & seeds can be replaced with more oats, gluten-free unsweetened crisp rice cereal, or can be omitted from the recipe. The pumpkin seeds can be replaced with sunflower seeds, additional nuts of choice, or may be omitted. The vanilla extract can be omitted or swapped out with vanilla powder. The unsweetened dried fruit is optional and can be substituted with sweetened dried fruit if you can do sugar on your diet or can be omitted. The coconut is optional and can be replaced with additional nuts or seeds or can be omitted.



I'm finally back to posting! School is getting busy towards the end of the semester, so I haven't had as much time to post, but I assure you I have been creating and testing recipes the entire time! Some recipes to look forward to:


-Butternut Squash Soup

-Fruit-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

-Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

-Matcha Donuts

-Gingerbread Smoothie ...

And more coming soon!!



Hope you all had a great and safe Thanksgiving! Before you know it I'll be making winter-themed/holiday-themed desserts which, in complete honesty, I've been planning since last summer. I can't wait to try out my ideas!


In the meantime, stay safe & healthy and...


Enjoy! <3

-K.



Pumpkin Granola (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fruit-Sweetened)


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Servings: Approximately 3 cups


Ingredients:


-2 cups gluten-free whole rolled oats

-1/4 cup coconut oil

-heaping 1/3 cup pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

-1 heaping tsp pumpkin spice

-1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp date paste

-1/3 cup of raw unsalted nuts/seeds of choice, chopped (I used walnuts, pecans, and almonds)

-1/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

-handful of sugar-free craisins or raisins (or other unsweetened dried fruit) (optional)

-handful unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)


Directions:


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper or a large silicone baking mat. Make sure your date paste is made ahead of time and chop the nuts in advance.


2. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped nuts/ seeds of choice, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, dried fruit (if using), and desiccated coconut (if using). Stir to mix together. Set aside.


3. On the stove in a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the coconut oil, pumpkin purée, date paste, and vanilla until liquified (or at least mostly liquified and pourable). Allow to cool for a couple of minutes.


4. Pour the melted coconut oil and pumpkin purée mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated into the dry ingredients.


5. Spread the granola out onto the lined baking sheet and, using a spatula, evenly distribute the granola on the sheet so it's in a single layer and isn't in any large clumps.


6. Place the granola in the preheated oven (at 325 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping the granola halfway through baking.


7. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes (as the granola cools it will form clusters and the flavors will become enhanced).


8. Serve this granola with unsweetened coconut milk yogurt and fresh fruit, unsweetened plant milk, on top of pancakes or vegan French toast, or on its own. Enjoy!


Store leftovers in an airtight container (I use a washed out glass peanut butter jar with a lid) in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.



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