Recipe: Pumpkin-Quinoa Granola

There’s plenty of mornings where breakfast goes something like this: IMG_4214

No time to make oatmeal, no bread to make toast, no willpower to make pancakes.

Then suddenly, a light shines down from the heavens and spells C-E-R-E-A-L.

5.12749 second later, almond milk is whipped out of the fridge and applied to cereal like a category 5 hurricane.

Talk about inclement weather.


But just like pizza, I don’t like any ‘ole cereal. Nope, my bowl of cereal (which is usually a melange of multiple varieties) has to meet some pretty strict requirements.

It has to be:

    1. Delicious, duh!
    2. Both of good quantity and quality
    3. Capable of keeping me as full and energized for multiple hours


I generally gravitate towards “healthy” cereals, but such cereals often a) taste like cardboard and/or b) are full of wacky ingredients that hardly qualify as healthy.

Of course, their sugary counterparts like Lucky Charms and Trix don’t fare much better. Though addictively munchable, these cereals neither offer much in the way of nutrients nor keep me satiated for more than a few minutes.

Then there’s granola. In a wonderful category of its own.


Sweet and oh-so-addicting. Unfortunately, it’s not so impressive in terms of bang-for your-buck, as it can be quite high in sugar and oil. Maybe a good dessert but as for breakfast?

Not so much.


Lucky for you and me, granola is easy to make and unfussy enough that you can tailor it exactly to your own desires. Oh yes, your desires.

I do believe I just made my version of granola sound sexier than a Victoria’s secret fashion show.

Don’t tell me you’ve never dreamt about a good bowl of granola. Seeing as you’re still reading this, I’m guessing you have.


Because how is this NOT seducive:

High protein and low sugar? Check.

Full of REAL ingredients? Check.

Filling, delicious, and charmingly seasonal? Check-check-check.


Sexy? Oh you know it.

Pumpkin-Quinoa Granola

I’m not a big fan of additional “stuff” like nuts and berries in my granola, so I left out the pepitas and cranberries from the original recipe. However, feel free to toss a handful in if you so desire; granola is hardly tempermental. To make this a little bit healthier for a power breakfast, I also reduced the sugar a tad and added quinoa for a whole-grain protein boost. The result is even more addictive and crunchy than store-bought granola, minus all of the ill compromises.

Slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod, originally from Baking Bites


  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup (heaping) pumpkin
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325° F, and grease a large baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, spices, and salt. Mix until all dry ingredients are evenly distributed.

3. Whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture, stirring until oats and quinoa are well-coated.Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes, and then, remove the pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the granola is golden and crisp (but not hard!). Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Tip: Take the granola out of the oven 1 or 2 minutes before you think its ready—it will continue to cook even after removed, and you don’t want granola rocks.


This granola came together in under five minutes and was delicious both dry and with milk.

It also managed to get me out of bed every morning for a week…which is nothing short of a miracle.

In other words, please go make this.

Before pumpkin falls out of favor (so punny Smile).

Before you pour that second bowl of Lucky Charms.

Before you’re inclined to go asked Justin Timberlake who’s bringing sexy back.