Bowl of granola and cranberries

A Healthy Pumpkin Recipe to Satisfy Your Halloween Sweet Tooth

photo credit:Rebecca Siegel

As soon as the month of September rolls around, we’re inundated with pumpkin flavor; from lattes to muffins to Oreos…it’s everywhere! I love pumpkin, but my opinion is that if something is called “pumpkin ______” it should contain the real thing—not artificial flavoring. Enter: granola. Granola is a great way to incorporate pumpkin into your daily diet. It features all those warm spices that make you think of fall—cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice—plus this recipe actually has real pumpkin in it!

granola edited

It’s important to note that, just as most pumpkin products contain no actual pumpkin, granola can be deceivingly unhealthy for a supposed health food. Most recipes are high in calories due to large quantities of vegetable oil. However, in this case, you needn’t fear empty calories, as it’s the inclusion of pumpkin purée—along with maple syrup and applesauce—rather than oil that helps add moisture to this recipe. Served by itself, on top of your favorite yogurt or even in your morning oatmeal for a lovely crunch, it’s the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth…once that Halloween candy stash runs out.


Pumpkin Spice Granola


Yield: 4 cups 

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats and pumpkin seeds. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together spices, egg whites, pumpkin purée, applesauce, maple syrup, dark brown sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry, stirring to coat.
  5. Spread mixture evenly on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry to the touch.
  7. Let cool, and mix in dried cranberries.
  8. Store in an airtight container (up to 4-6 weeks).

Want to learn more about cooking with fall flavors? Click here