Along with chocolate, pumpkin spice may be one of the most adored flavors in our house. Because it only comes around once a year, I’m happy to go pumpkin spice crazy! This homemade pumpkin spice granola recipe isn’t an everyday recipe, but it’s a healthy treat for those mornings where eggs just won’t do it. It’s also a perfect way to celebrate the changing seasons and use up any leftover homemade pumpkin puree. This recipe uses soaked oats for a healthy, gluten-free breakfast treat.
Why Soak Granola?
All living things have defense mechanisms and other properties that help them survive long enough to reproduce. In animals, these protective properties include sharp teeth or claws and the ability to run away. Plants can’t run away and may not have anything sharp to defend themselves.
One way that grains ensure survival for the next generation is that they can pass through the body of an animal (mostly) undigested. On the other side, it is a pre-fertilized seed ready to grow. Gluten, other lectins, enzyme inhibitors, and phytic acid are what allow the grains to pass through the digestive system without harming the seed (the “grain” itself).
These compounds are beneficial to the plant but they can be harmful to humans, especially in large amounts. Phytic acid is especially damaging to bone and tooth health. It has even been linked to tooth decay. Luckily, there are methods of preparing grains that help break down these compounds, making the grains more digestible. One of these methods is soaking.
How Does Soaking Work?
Soaking grains helps make them more digestible (and more nutritious) by activating phytase, a compound that helps break down phytic acid. Certain grains with high levels of natural phytase (like wheat) can be soaked with an acid medium to reduce phytic acid.
Oats are a low phytase grain. Grains with low levels of phytase need to be soaked with another grain that contains enough phytase. This recipe uses buckwheat groats because they are gluten-free and high in phytase.
Want More? Similar Recipes to Try
If you love pumpkin spice as I do, you’ll want to try these other recipes:
- Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread – A nutritious alternative to traditional pumpkin bread.
- Gluten-free, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie – I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but this pumpkin, coconut combo is amazing. It’s also completely grain free.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte – A healthy (and inexpensive) version of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. No added junk!
- Pumpkin Pancakes – This tasty recipe is grain free and so easy to make.
- Pumpkin Smoothie – A pumpkin spiced drink that uses a pumpkin replacement squash (cushaw squash). Still healthy and amazing!
- Grain-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake – One of my favorite desserts ever, this recipe is a perfect combination of pumpkin and cream cheese.
- Pumpkin Spice Meltaways – A fun, no-bake treat for the kids. Can be made sugar free too!
- Pumpkin Chili – Not exactly pumpkin spice, but a new way of using pumpkin when it’s in season.
These pumpkin recipes can keep you enjoying pumpkin all season long.
Pumpkin Spice Soaked Granola Recipe
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup yogurt or kefir
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups nuts of choice such as cashews almonds, hazelnuts, pecans
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter or coconut oil melted
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- ½ cup dried fruit of choice such as raisins cherries, cranberries, apricots
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- In a large bowl, mix together oats and water.
- Mix in the yogurt or kefir.
- Cover with towel and let soak for 12-24 hours.
- After soaking, roughly chop the pumpkin seeds and nuts and add them to the soaked oats.
- In medium size bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt, melted butter/coconut oil, and maple syrup/honey.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture over oat mixture and stir well.
- Dry in a dehydrator at 105°F or an oven at 200°F for 12-24 hours or until dry and crunchy, stirring occasionally.
- Once cool, add the dried fruit and coconut flakes if desired.
- Store in sealed glass jars.
Are you a pumpkin spice lover? What do you use it for?