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Pumpkin Spice Granola is a healthy fall treat
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Pumpkin Spice Granola is an easy, inexpensive way to sneak a little bit of pumpkin and sweetness into your diet without all of the guilt. - photo by Tara Creel

It seems as soon as the fall season comes around, the pumpkin recipes are everywhere. While I love the pumpkin cakes and cookies as much or more as the next person, sometimes I want to have my pumpkin and feel good about eating it, too.

This granola recipe is an easy, inexpensive way to sneak a little bit of pumpkin and sweetness into your diet without all of the guilt. It can be eaten as cereal with milk, added to some yogurt as a parfait or mixed into some nuts and dried fruit as a trail mix.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

8 cups of old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maple extract (or maple syrup)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place 8 cups of old-fashioned oats in a large bowl. Mix together the oil, brown sugar, honey and pumpkin puree, and bring to boil on the stove. Remove from heat and add the cinnamon, maple extract and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over the oats and mix until well coated.

Place the mixture in a greased 9- by 13-inch glass pan and bake for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes have passed, turn off the oven, stir the granola, making sure not to press down into the pan, and return to the oven.

Leave the pan in the oven overnight or for 6-8 hours until granola is set. Remove from pan and store in airtight container.

Tara Creel's email isĀ taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.