It’s officially fall in Baltimore. There’s a nip in the air, the leaves are a beautiful shade of bright red orange, the sky is cloudy and gray, I’ve busted out my hoodies and North Face jacket, and I’m still in flip-flops. I know that last bit doesn’t make much sense, but, because of my foot injury, I’m unable to wear my very favorite fall accessory…riding boots.
I own an unhealthy amount of riding boots (unhealthy for my hubs wallet, that is). There are 5 pair of riding boots just sitting in my closet staring me down every morning, pleading to be worn. If riding boots could talk, they’d be saying, “Uh, hello, we’re your favorite fall accessory. Why aren’t you sliding us on over a pair of skinny jeans?” They’re tormenting me. Of course I want to wear them, but my toes scream every time I put them in a pair of shoes. I’ve been walking the earth looking homely for the past few weeks- sweat pants, t-shirts, flip flops, ball cap, and bed head. It’s not a pretty site, people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I heart me some sweat pants and t-shirts, but not every day.
Yesterday was my first day back to work, and you know what I wore…bedroom slippers. That’s right. I wore bedroom slippers to work. We have a strict no flip flop policy at work, so I had to resort to bedroom slippers. I should have slipped on a moo moo to complete the ensemble.
By the way, I made you guys pumpkin & apple butter granola. I’ve done far too much donut snacking, ice cream snacking, and pie snacking while I was out of commission, so I felt it was time to make and eat a healthy snack.
This granola is full of pecans, pumpkin seeds, oats, and golden raisins. All the stuff that’s great for your waist line and good for your heart.
This granola requires little effort to make, but takes a considerable amount of effort to keep your hands out of the granola jar. Every time I walk past the jar, I find myself sneaking a taste.
This granola is very different from my maple nut granola. I like both of them for very different reasons. This granola is a chewier granola. It’s chunkier, making it easier to pluck a pinch and pop it into your mouth. It’s great for snacking.
I also sprinkled it over greek yogurt and drizzled it with some honey for breakfast the other day. Delicious and filling.
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and raisins. Stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan, combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, apple butter, and brown sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture over the oat mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until all the oats are evenly coated.
- Divide the granola between the two sheet pans and spread evenly.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 15-20 minutes, until the oats are golden brown.
- Place pans on a baking rack and cool completely.
- Break the mixture up with your hands and store in an airtight container.