C is learning to love dried fruit. So far he’s into pears, apples, apricots, and prunes. I find him asking me to pull them out of my granola for him! So that just means I’ve been adding extra dried figs to my pumpkin seed granola!
Pumpkin Seed Granola
I feel as though pumpkin seeds are one of the most used and, simultaneously, the most forgotten ingredients – in trail mixes and in granola. I often forget they’re even in there, but every recipe I love has them! So, obviously, I try to include them in mine.
While this pumpkin seed granola is an homage those tasty seeds, it is actually full of nuts and seeds to make it oh so tasty!
So, if you’re making a trail mix, you can choose between salted or unsalted pumpkin seeds (I like to have a balance between the two). In a granola, however, I really like to use raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds.
This granola isn’t super sweet, so having a salted seed in there wouldn’t be a good situation.
How to Make Granola with Dried Fruit
I’ve long loved granola, but when I first started trying to make it, I burned it EVERY time. I didn’t realize how easily the fruit can burn. In my coconut granola, I leave the dried cranberries out until the end.
Deciding to bake the fruit or not is purely up to you. If you do bake the fruit, as this dried fig granola recipe calls for, then you REALLY need to keep an eye on it the second half of baking to prevent burning.
The downside (for some) to leaving out the fruit until the end is that it’s extra moist and chewy. Baking it takes some of that away.
And if you’re really torn, you could always add in the fruit part way through baking!
Homemade Granola Variations
I’m always looking for ways to slightly change a recipe and make it seem new but not too new. My favorite way to adapt a granola recipe is to change the nuts, seeds, or fruit – leaving everything else the same.
Another fun idea is to chop the nuts and seeds bigger or smaller. I like bigger chunks of the nuts, but sometimes the finer chop is a pleasant change of pace!
PUMPKIN SEED GRANOLA
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1½ cups diced dried golden figs
- ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
- ¼ cup chopped raw almonds
- ¼ cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a large rimmed sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter.
- Add the syrup, brown sugar, and butter to a small saucepan. Simmer, swirling the pan occasionally, over medium heat, about 5 minutes, until all ingredients are melted.
- Stir together the oats, figs, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the sweetened, melted butter into the bowl and stir well to blend all ingredients.
- Pour the granola out onto the sheet pan and spread into a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the granola is golden brown. Be sure to watch it closely the final 10 minutes because it can over-brown and burn quickly.
- Let cool before serving or storing in an airtight container.