October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Granola with Dried Cherries for Breakfast {Powernap}

Pumpkin Granola

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Today’s Powernap: Pantry stocking! With pumpkin in the air I want to make a great breakfast treat that captures all of the flavors of fall, but that my daughter will still eat. We’ve been adding lots of pumpkin puree to our pancake mix lately but it is time for a departure from pumpkin pancakes and waffles. How about a pumpkin granola? It is easy to whip up while my daughter is at school, keeps well and can even be used for snacktime!

Naptime Chef Pumpkin Week!: Don’t forget this week’s challenge to cook or bake at least one awesome dish with pumpkin this week. See official Pumpkin Challenge rules below and enter to win the awesome King Arthur Flour Halloween baking kit giveaway!

With my daughter at school and pumpkin in the air it seemed only too appropriate to experiment with a recipe for homemade pumpkin granola. I love making homemade granola, but I couldn’t just throw pumpkin puree in my regular recipe because the puree adds so much moisture. Instead, I based this recipe on my regular one but added in some more sweetener and spices and increased the baking time. This quick powernap recipe took just minutes to mix up and get in the oven. I know I could even getting baking early in the morning if we ever needed it for breakfast right that second!

My favorite part about this granola recipe is that it is simply mixed together in one bowl, spread onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and baked until dry and fragrant. It is so incredibly simple, the perfect powernap recipe. In this case I pulled everything together while my daughter was at school and enjoyed the aroma while I typed away at my desk. But, truth be told, I’ve also involved her in making this with me or thrown it together in the wee hours of the morning so we could enjoy it for breakfast. We often eat it simply with milk, but it also tastes wonderful scattered over yogurt or ice cream or even straight out of a snack trap for a mid-afternoon fix.

Rules for Pumpkin Challenge Week Giveaway:

1. Leave a comment sharing what you plan to cook or bake with pumpkin this week.

2. Subscribe to The Naptime Chef newsletter (upper right hand corner) – I’ll check!

3. Become a fan of The Naptime Chef on Facebook

4. Extra Entry: Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook and link to @TheNaptimeChef Facebook fanpage

5. Extra Entry: Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and link to hashtag @TheNaptimeChef

6. Extra Entry: Follow me on Stumbleupon and stumble this entry by clicking the green thumbs up.

7. 6 Extra Entries: Write a blog post between now and next Saturday October 22nd at 7:00am about what delicious pumpkin dish you’ve cooked up and tell your readers about this post with a link back to it. You will be listed in The Naptime Chef newsletter as an official sponsor.

8. Contest will run from October 17th at 7:00am through Sunday, October 23rd at 7:00pm ET. Winner will be announced on Monday October 24th at 7:00am. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn. Winner be selected by random.org.

9. Giveaway items can only be mailed within the continental US.

*Giveaway items generously donated by King Arthur Flour


 Pumpkin Granola with Dried Cherries


1/3 cup vegetable oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup roasted pepitas
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple juice
1 cup dried cherries


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of oil. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl mix add the oats, pepitas, salt, spice, puree and brown sugar. Then add the maple syrup, apple juice and remaining oil. Mix well with a large spoon until everything is well mixed and the oats are completely coated.

3. Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet in one even layer and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once at the 15 minute mark.

4. After baking stir in the dried cherries and allow the granola to cool on the baking sheet. It will crisp up as it cools!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This is a great, healthy breakfast serving with milk or over yogurt. You can also try to sprinkle some over ice cream for a fun dessert, or over chopped fruit for a crunch fruit salad.


Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 30 minutes bake time

Naptime Reviews

My daughter loves this, especially the cherries!


5 Responses to “Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Granola with Dried Cherries for Breakfast {Powernap}”

  1. Nancy says:

    What are pepitas, and where can I find them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Nancy, Pepitas are little squash or pumpkin seeds that are usually found in the nut aisle! I get mine at Trader Joe’s.

  2. Georgia Pellegrini says:

    I’ve been looking for new breakfast options this week and this looks lovely… I’m adding it to my list.

  3. I think this sounds GREAT. I love everything with Pumpkin  in it