Pumpkin Nut Granola

This granola has a warm spiced flavor that blends with pumpkin and is sprinkled with almonds and walnuts. It’s crunchy, delicious, and filling while still low in fat.

Pumpkin Nut Granola

Makes 4 cups

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed rice cereal (like Rice Chex)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp sugar/sweetener
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, separated
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.

Combine rolled oats, rice cereal, walnuts, and almonds in a large bowl. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract, sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until dry mix is evenly coated.

Spread granola onto baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, removing from oven every 10 minutes or so to lightly toss for even baking. Remove and allow to cool completely; granola will crisp up more as it cools.

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Apple Cinnamon Granola

This granola is sweet with a warm cinnamon flavor and is low in fat because it uses applesauce to create clumps instead of the usual butter or oil. It’s great as a snack on its own or as a crunchy yogurt topping.

Apple Cinnamon Granola

Makes about 4 3/4 cups (164 calories per half cup serving)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups rice cereal squares, crushed
  • 1/4 cup almonds roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp sugar/sweetener

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine oats, rice cereal, almonds, and dried cranberries in a bowl. Add 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, almond extract, sugar/sweetener, and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon. Add maple syrup.

Drizzle wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until evenly coated. Spread granola onto baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or so, until lightly toasted. Granola will crisp up more as it cools.

Homemade Almond Joys

Today I learned that I am not meant to be a candy maker. While I was happy to make my dad a homemade version of his favorite candy, these Almond Joys were kind of a pain. The coconut insides were fragile and covering them with melted chocolate was a bit too tedious for my liking. That being said, for those inclined toward candy-making, this recipe is great and definitely worth a try (and the pictures on the original site are absolutely adorable). Everyone loved these Almond Joys… even if I did give up after only making a dozen. These candies are also gluten-free (and vegan if made with coconut oil as called for in the original recipe and vegan chocolate chips).

Homemade Almond Joys (taken from Oh Lady Cakes and altered slightly)

Makes 20 candies (I halved the original recipe, which is supposed to make 60 candies, but I only ended up with enough coconut mixture to make 20)

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 6 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp Country Crock butter spread (the original recipe calls for coconut oil, but I didn’t have any on hand)
  • 20 almonds

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, mix shredded coconut with brown rice syrup until combined. Using a 1/2 tablespoon measuring scoop, drop mounds of the coconut mixture onto the cookie sheet. Press almonds into the tops and chill in freezer for at least 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring about an inch of water to a boil. Set a large glass bowl over the pan (it should not touch the water) and melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, stirring occasionally. When chips are mostly melted, remove from heat and stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Mix vigorously until completely melted. Add the coconut oil/butter and whisk for 1-2 minutes.

Using a fork, dip each coconut mound into the chocolate and use a spoon to cover the top with chocolate. Tap fork to remove excess chocolate as much as possible and transfer to plate covered in wax or parchment paper (or back onto the original cookie sheet). Repeat for the remaining coconut mounds. Chill candy in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes until completely hardened.