Slow Cooker Pumpkin Granola

I'm pushing it. It's still summer, I know. I can't help it --- we picked out all the school supplies and then the pumpkin candle aisle got me. 

And all of a sudden I NEEDED a bit of fall right this very second. 

The kids start school again on the 27th, and even though the weather is still hot out (this is actually the SF Bay Area's best weather of the year; if you ever come for a visit, pick somewhere between the end of August through the first week of October if you can swing it) (and by hot, I mean 75 which I know for a lot of you isn't hot but we're big babies here, so feel free to completely ignore me),

 and I'm still doing laundry from last week's beach trip I wanted something fall-ish.

so I made granola. 

My friend Jennifer  made a batch of granola to take on our beach trip and we ate it every day over greek yogurt in the room so we didn't pay the *exorbitant* hotel breakfast prices.

this isn't her recipe; she says she doesn't really have one.

I've made granola in the slow cooker before, and like that I can wander away from it and not have it burn. 

I wanted to use leftover canned pumpkin, so it did need to cook longer than I thought it should so it wasn't a soggy mess.

And, you should put dried fruit in near the end so they don't shrivel up on you.


The Ingredients.

serves 12 (lasts 5-7 days in our house over yogurt for breakfast for 5 people)
(freezes well, the raisins will get hard, but then soften again)

5 cups of rolled oats (we use certified gluten free)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey (start with the smaller amount)
1 cup whole almonds (or use toasted pumpkin seeds)
1 cup dried cranberries/raisins or mixture (add last hour)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

The Directions.

Use a large slow cooker -- I used a 6.5-quart. It's not a typo that I didn't add any butter or oil; I wanted to see if it would work without any, and it did! 

The pumpkin helped to coat the oats and provided enough moisture to keep it from burning and the honey did a good job of providing sweetness and a bit of a binder.

Stir everything but the dried fruit in. The honey will be gloppy--- just stir the best you can.

 Cover, and cook in a vented slow cooker (prop lid open with chopstick or wooden spoon) on high for 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. 

Add dried fruit the last 30-minutes to an hour.

 There really isn't an exact science here--- when you're happy with the texture and the consistency, it's done!

Let cool completely-- the oats will get a bit harder and crispier after cooling 

(you can spread it all out on layers of foil or paper towels or parchment paper on the counter to speed up the cooling process).

Store in an airtight container in either the fridge or the freezer.

Easy and delicious! Slow Cooker pumpkin granola can be made in large batches and then kept in the fridge or freezer for months.

The Verdict.

Hey Steph, how come you don't just bake it in the oven?

Honestly, it's easier for me to set a timer for 30 minutes and come back and stir the pot throughout the day then it is for me to camp out in the kitchen for 30-45 minutes straight and stir every 5-10 minutes to keep the granola from burning. 

I just don't have that type of time unless the kids are asleep, and this way they can help stir.

It's a lifestyle choice--- someday they won't be attached to my leg and I can open the oven door safely, but for now, it's just not an option! :-)

Happy (almost) fall, and Happy (almost) school season!

bonus fun photo of a Pismo Beach Crab!

Simple, easy recipe using organic canned pumpkin. Get your Pumpkin Spice fix without a bunch of crazy chemicals!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at August 31, 2016

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What they say about this article

  1. This sounds yummy, thanks Stephanie.

  2. I make homemade granola every week, usually changing up different flavor combinations ingredients. Pumpkin granola is one I make every fall for several weeks until I get sick of it but I have never thought to make granola in the crock-pot. I'll have to try making it this way when I make my next batch!

  3. Pumpkin sounds so good! For what it's worth, I make my granola in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring only once in the middle of the baking time. I let it cool completely on the pan, and it's nice and crunchy. The recipe is here:

  4. I made some homemade chai granola a little while back and it is almost gone, so I'll be trying this one soon. And I totally understand how you feel about fall. With all the 100+ degree days we have had this summer I'm so ready for the cool weather.

  5. Oh, Steph, I love this recipe! I'm feeling that need for a little fall, too, and what better way to get it and make granola than in the slow cooker! I can always count on you to remind me use my slow cooker--thank you, dear!


  6. Sounds delicious! Thanks and will give it a try. I'd assume pumpkin that's been frozen would work as well, as I long as I use the same amount.

  7. I remember reading about the slow cooker granola before, and I confess I was a bit sceptical. I just can't imagine how it could possibly work. I think it must be witchcraft.

    But because I trust you, I will try it.

  8. I am totally ready for Fall-the weather, the boots, the spices and lots of pumpkin recipes! I never thought to make granola with pumpkin before. This recipe sounds scrumptious!

  9. I love homemade granola! You can seriously make everything in a slow cooker.

  10. I really like the idea of coming every 30 minutes instead of doing it in the oven... works better with my schedule too. This looks cool; thank you!

  11. I can't wait to make this! We desperately need something new for breakfast around here. AND - be proud of me - I just ordered my journal. I need that more than I need new breakfast ideas. Big time. :) xo

  12. Can I leave the almonds and pumpkin seeds out? We don't like nuts in anything and I'm not a fan of pumpkin seeds (love pumpkin just not the seeds)

  13. This sounds like a great fall snack. I pinned it to my Pinterest board.

  14. This looks great, I think I'm going to make it! Thanks for the recipe!

    Melissa @ The Alchemist

  15. Barbarella678/20/2012

    Does this really have to be refrigerated?

  16. @Melissa, thank you for sharing the oven method!

    @Catt, witchcraft! LOL. eeps, no. :-)

    @Grandma Becky, I'd imagine after thawing the pumpkin is exactly the same consistency.

    @Grape News, Yes. I made a nut-free, seed-free version yesterday and didn't change anything else. The kids actually liked it better because it was slightly sweeter. ;-)

    @Barbarella, I'm not really sure, which is why I suggested refrigerating it. There's no preservative whatsoever and if for some reason it's not entirely dried out, it could get a bit funky if left out. The fridge just seemed safer for the long-term. If you plan on eating it all in a few days, it's fine in a plastic bag or jar or something else air-tight.

  17. I'm definitely making this for camping trips this fall! Yum!!

  18. I have been experimenting in making my husbands granola, but I love that this has no fat plus that extra boast of Vitamin A and fiber.This is on my 'next' list

  19. I just made my first batch of granola....ever. I decided to use your crockpot method as it seemed easier, less chance of burning and cheaper to run. Not to mention it keeps the house cooler than running the oven too.

    I must turned out wonderfully! I'm so excited to have a cheaper and easy way to make various granolas. I know what I'm giving for Christmas this year.

    Thank you so much for your blog and wonderful recipes. The ones I have tried have all been great. Even my meat and potatoes husband is happy with whatever comes out of the crockpot.

    So thank you again!

  20. This looks fantastic and we are trying it today! I am wondering about using other oil substitutes like bananas or applesauce, I bet it would work just as well. I use those in the oven granola I have made previously. I love my crockpot because it doesn't heat the house up like the oven! This is great for summer months!

  21. I made this today and added coconut and a little bit of maple syrup because i ran out of honey! delicious!!!

  22. Just made a batch of this tonight but I seemed to have burned it. I don't know how. I stirred every 30 minutes. Hope it tastes ok.

  23. Out of curiosity, why does it need to be kept in the fridge/freezer?

  24. Hi Brian, it's a food-safety thing. Since I can't guarantee that the granola is super-dried out, there could be an opportunity for bacteria ickiness and I'd rather wander on the safe side!

  25. Anonymous9/12/2014

    Hi! I love all the ingredients in this recipe, but I don't have a slow cooker! How could I make this using an oven? Would it be as suggested above, bake for 30-45 minutes and stir every 10 minutes? What temperature would I bake it at?

  26. Hi Kate! I'd suggest a 375 degree oven, and stirring every 10 minutes or so for somewhere between 40 minutes and an hour. But it really depends on your oven -- the pumpkin is wet and what you're trying to do is dry/cook it onto the oats.
    good luck!

  27. I would like to add some coconut oil. Fat is NOT the enemy -- sugar is! Fats are very energizing in appropriate amounts -- great in a breakfast food. :) Would I need to cut back on the pumpkin... or add more oats?