Pumpkin Granola Circles
There is so much I love about these granola circles! They're an easy nut-free school (or anywhere) snack, they're packed with healthy ingredients like pumpkin, oats and all kinds of seeds, and they taste like a treat! They can also be made gluten-free and vegan. With these on hand, I don't have to buy individually packaged granola bars and on top of that, most of the ingredients can be bought in zero waste bulk format.
I happen to be a perennial pumpkin-everything lover so I bake these year-round but since fall is the official pumpkin spice season, I thought this would be a good time to share the recipe.
Initially, I started making granola bars similar to these ones by Chocolate Covered Katie. They tasted great but after making many batches of them (and even selling them to friends and family for a little while,) I got tired of two things: spreading the mixture into the pan (was it too thick? too thin?) and cutting it into bars. Luckily, I discovered the muffin tin method, which creates more consistent results and is a more enjoyable process. And you know what they say about happier bakers...They bake more! So everybody wins.
I hope you enjoy these cute little bundles of energy and deliciousness!
Pumpkin Granola Circles
Makes 24-30 circles
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour (tip: make your own by blitzing oats in a blender for 15-30 seconds)
2 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch of cloves
1/3 cup dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup melted coconut oil + more for greasing
1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 24-30 muffin tin cups.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
In a medium to large glass bowl, combine wet ingredients. Note: Coconut oil may begin to re-solidify if the other wet ingredients are really cold. If that happens, just heat the whole mixture in the microwave at 30-second intervals until all wet ingredients can be stirred together.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust flavours as desired. (If it seems too dry, add more pumpkin. Too wet? Add more oats.)
Scoop granola mixture into muffin tins by the heaping tablespoonful. Muffin cups should be about 1 cm (or just less than 1/2 an inch) full. Press the granola down firmly into each muffin cup using the back of the spoon.
Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until slightly browning around the edges.
Allow to cool and remove from muffin tins. Store in an airtight container.
Freezing is recommended to maintain freshness and they can be eaten or packed into school lunches straight from the freezer.
Gluten-Free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free but often become contaminated by wheat, rye or barley processed in the same facility.
Vegan: Use maple syrup (not honey) and use dairy-free dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Feeling fancy?: Instead of using chocolate chips, melt chocolate (dark, white, coloured, any kind you like) and drizzle it on top of cooled granola circles. Turn these into a gift or holiday item by adding seasonal sprinkles.
This recipe was inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie's Clean Eating Pumpkin Granola Bars.