Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Chip Granola

I’ve been in total baking mode lately. I’m pretending it’s Fall, even though it’s still 90 degrees during the day. The only problem with baking is that I end up with all of these empty calorie laden treats calling my name case in point, the chocolate chip cookies sitting on my kitchen counter that I’m hoping the hubs will eat before I do! I was all ready to make a pumpkin spice cake filled with WHITE flour and ZERO nutritional value. Then I thought, let me see if I can create a semi-healthy recipe that will satisfy my empty calorie-pumpkin-spice craving! Well, let me tell you, I DID IT! When I bit into this granola, I felt like I was in pumpkin pie heaven! I opted to put in just enough chocolate chips for a sweet bite, but not too many where I’d feel guilty after eating it. You can definitely leave the chocolate chips out and replace them with nuts or dried cranberries, which would be delicious too! I wish you could have been here while this was baking. It literally smelled like Thanksgiving in my house (minus all the calories)! I hope you enjoy this little Fall treat! 
Pumpkin Spice & Chocolate Chip Granola
3 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
 1/4 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in your standing mixer and, using the paddle attachment, stir on low until well combined. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. GENTLY toss the outer granola into the center so the edges don’t burn. Keep in mind, the chocolate chips are melted and will spread throughout the granola a bit. That’s ok! Continue to bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool COMPLETELY on the baking sheet. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

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