Today, we welcome the energetic voice of Katie Babcock Price: artist, college football fanatic, ultra trail runner and general manager of Big Peach Running Company in Decatur. Born in Colorado, raised in Marietta and now exploring all Atlanta has to offer, Katie embraces her love of food and running and happily shares it with us today.
With health and nutrition such a huge part of an ultra runner’s life, she began dabbling in creating her own recipes. Now, feeding her family, including fellow-runner husband, Nate, and newborn daughter, Harper Gray, Katie enjoys testing new and reimagined recipes. Here she explains why this pumpkin granola recipe is one of her seasonal favorites.
I have what some would call a “parfait problem.” Meaning, I eat them for breakfast almost every day … and maybe a snack later in the day, too. Some days I buy them at the coffee shop around the corner from work, and some days I build my own with ingredients from home. Either way, I am addicted. And what is it that makes the parfait a magical pint-size glass of deliciousness, you may ask? The granola.
Now I am not the most consistent person when it comes to making my own breakfast because I generally hit the snooze button one too many times. I was not blessed with the “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” gene, and I most certainly “did not wake up like this.” I have no problem justifying an extra 10 minutes of sleep over a balanced breakfast … until, that is, I get hangry by mid-morning. I only tell you this because if I am feeling ambitious and want to make breakfast and I happen to have breakfast items on hand, I have them on hand in bulk. Granola can definitely be made in bulk. The idea came to me one day, as I handed over my card to pay for my overpriced (and scrumptious) parfait. I thought, I can just make my own tasty granola. I mean, truly a lightbulb moment, people. And so it was.
Fall was upon us as I went in search of the perfect, yet simple, granola recipe using the ever-so-popular autumnal ingredient, pumpkin. The leaves were turning, the air crisp and my taste buds were screaming for pumpkin-flavored everything. After browsing a few of my favorite online cooking/baking blogs, I came across some recipes with which I could experiment and play around in a pumpkin frenzy. But WAIT! Guess what, gluten-free dieters of the world? You guessed it! This recipe is made with gluten-free rolled oats, so eat to your little heart’s content!
I have made this recipe multiple times now since that fateful day at the coffee shop, and it always warms my soul when I eat my first bite from the batch. Instant fall nostalgia. (Overpriced latte, eat your heart out!) After playing around with the ingredient measurements a bit, I finally found a harmonious balance of spices to satisfy my pumpkin-loving taste buds! I present to you “autumn-in-a-jar!”
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 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-size mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, light brown sugar, applesauce, 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. Sometimes the spices are sneaky and hide on the sides, so make sure your mixture is truly coated evenly.
- Once coated, scoop mixture onto the parchment paper and spread out evenly to the edges (why I prefer a cookie pan vs. cookie sheet). *TIP* The granola will bake a little quicker if you spread it out to a thinner layer.
- Place in the 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. Return to 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, such as large mason jars. I suspect it would be just as easy to cut the mixture into bar shapes for crunchy granola bars. As for my household, we’ll stick with the good, old-fashioned, broken-up granola. Layer with your favorite Greek yogurt and honey for a truly tasty autumn experience. Enjoy!
Thank you for spicing up our breakfast, Katie. This one’s a keeper for sure! A taste of pumpkin patch fun anytime.