Baking with Pumpkin: Like the Typical Girl That I Am

Well it's officially fall and now officially October, so bring on the pumpkin! Pardon me while I fall into the cultural cliche of being a pumpkin, PSL, cozy sweater loving girl. I am very particular with my pumpkin recipes though. None of those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or two ingredient pumpkin cake recipes. I'm sorry but pumpkin and chocolate do not go together for me. And that two-ingredient cake, I've tried it and it's disgusting. Let me tell you another pumpkin fail I've recently discovered. Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn. Don't even buy them to try for yourself, just pass by and get the original (if you must). Candy Corn is one of those mystery candies to me that I actually think is disgusting, but I eat it anyway at this time of year because it's like, what you're supposed to do. 

As for when I'm baking with pumpkin, I like good rustic pumpkin recipes. First up this season is none other than a granola recipe! We all know us Tucker girls love a good batch of homemade granola and this doesn't fall short! 

Pumpkin Granola adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
yields 5 cups

3 and 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (I used red quinoa and loved how the color looked!)
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (vegetable or olive oil would work too)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss oats, coconut, quinoa, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for about 1 minute. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil (I'm on a coconut oil kick!!) brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined. Pour over the dry and ingredients and mix everything together until it is all moistened (ew, moist, did you all just squirm?). 

Spread onto two baking sheets and bake each batch for 40 minutes. Stir the granola every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning and to create even baking!  Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheets. This will help it get crunchier. I sprinkled a little more cinnamon over the top once it came out of the oven but that is optional.  Store in an airtight container or mason jars for up to 2 weeks. Granola will lose its crunch overtime because of the pumpkin. 

*This isn't a super sweet granola, but that is just how I like it. It has a really authentic and natural pumpkin taste to it!

I have been enjoying mine with plain yogurt and an extra sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, as a snack and even as a topping for my pumpkin banana smoothies! Have you baked with pumpkin yet this season?