Gluten-Free Pumpkin Granola

We have what some would call a parfait problem at work.  There is a local coffee shop that makes the most delicious parfaits… and we’re all addicted.  I have not been consistent in making my own breakfast over the past couple of months, so, at least three times a week, I take that 3 minute walk over to Java Monkey and buy one of those amazingly delicious parfaits.  And what makes these parfaits so yummy?  The granola.

“Well… I can make my own granola and make it simply scrumptious as well,” I said to myself one day. And so it was.  Since it IS winter (even though I think winter forgot to make an appearance down South), I searched around for a simple recipe using pumpkin and came across the blog With Style & Grace.  Thank you ma’am, for creating such an amazing recipe!  After a few tweaks to a couple ingredients, my homemade parfaits are forever grateful!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Granola
Adapted from With Style & Grace

4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large cookie pan with parchment paper (use two if needed). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix rolled oats, almonds, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla together until smooth. Once combined, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Stir together until all dry ingredients are coated.

Once coated, scoop mixture onto the parchment paper and spread out evenly to the edges (why I prefer a cookie pan vs. cookie sheet). Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes if using one large pan, 20-25 minutes if using two. Remove from the oven, mix/flip the granola for even baking. Place back in the oven to continue baking for 25 minutes (if using one pan, 20 minutes for two) or until golden brown. Granola should be crunchy immediately coming out of the oven, if not, bake for a few minutes at a time until it is nice and crunchy. No one wants soggy granola.

Break apart into little pieces and store in an airtight container. Layer with your favorite Greek yogurt and honey for a pretty tasty parfait.