amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Pumpkin turmeric granola

POSTED ON December 5, 2016


Just like the rest of my friends, family and wider community, I’ve had a rough month trying to come to terms with the current political situation in America and the general future of our planet. I’ve struggled with how to write about food in this new (and not so new) landscape without feeling like there are much more important things that need to be addressed. I thought by now the overwhelm would have passed and I’d be clear about what action to take to protect at least one of the many important issues that are now seriously under threat. Instead I’ve frozen and not been able to continue on with sharing food and recipes as usual. I could say it’s because I’ve been busy and it’s true but not knowing where and how to start is the real reason this granola recipe didn’t make it into your inboxes last month.

There are a lot of post-election to-do lists out there that have contributed to my lack of focus and also resulted in a lack of action. Although they are supposed to help I have been left stunned and unproductive. On the upside it doesn’t really matter where you start or what you do as long as it’s a solid daily step toward the world you want to live in. The positive outlook for this disastrous turn of events is that we are all now required to refocus on what’s important and get active.  The Dakota Access Pipeline is a great example of what can be achieved when people come together—although it is not over it is inspiring to see progress. Protecting nature is an ongoing battle that will be harder in the coming years and the DAPL is a great reminder to research the companies and banks we support with our dollars.

On to the recipe!





In the bubble that is my own kitchen I seem to be going through a granola faze. Besides good wholegrain bread—which is not always easy to get—granola is a great thing to have on hand for impromptu breakfast get-togethers. Everyone seems to be delighted when presented with a jar of homemade, new flavored granola. Plus, it keeps fresh for weeks and works well as a sprinkle over warm breakfast porridges and fruit compotes.

Although this granola has some brown rice syrup in it, to most people it tastes unsweetened. If you keep your sugar intake to a minimum, you’ll appreciate the very subtle sweetness it emanates.

If not, or you’re serving it to friends then I suggest offering maple syrup or honey for drizzling—it’s also delicious served with apple sauce. The fact that it contains no dried fruit also adds to the subtleness of its flavor; I can easily imagine some chopped dried dates, golden raisins or figs stirred through.

Steaming squash is something I do almost daily at this time of year. It provides the perfect base or side to a meal and it always makes sense to prep extra. I like to have at least a cup or two in a jar in the fridge to use in breads, nut milks, waffles, sconeshumus (scroll down for post with recipe) or for adding to porridge. If I’m craving something savory, it can be mashed on toast with a splash of apple cider vinegar like they do at ABC Kitchen or combined with kimchi and steamed greens for a salad. There is no end to the delicious combinations you can come up with when you start with a sweet and dense fleshed squash.

Also, I wanted to let you know about the Nut Milk 101 post I wrote for If you’re not making your own but want to try it this might just be the inspiration you need. You’ll also find a step by step guide to making your own Perfect Healthy Granola , as I said I’m going through a granola faze! Photos and links below.

Stay positive!





Pumpkin turmeric granola

Makes about 10 cups

5 cups rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw unhulled sesame seeds

1 cup raw walnut pieces

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup steamed red kuri or kabocha squash

½ cup extra virgin coconut oil

½ cup brown rice syrup

2-inch piece fresh turmeric or ¾ -1 teaspoon dry turmeric

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon sea salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl combine; oats, seeds, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and all spice; set aside.

In an upright blender combine the steamed squash, oil, rice syrup, turmeric, vanilla and salt and blend until completely smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Divided between the two baking sheets and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate trays and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before storing in jars. Granola will store well for 3 to 4 weeks.






POSTED IN Breakfast, Gluten free

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  • Gretchen Irwin says:

    Your cookbook got me thru the election. You are an incredible chef, with a positive global outlook! Keep pushing the great food on the masses.

  • I love so much pumpkin granola, especially when boosted with some super healthy spices!

  • Karen says:

    Amy, what do you think about using a sweeter squash and omitting the sweetener?

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Karen,

      yes you could try but I haven;t found a squash sweeter than a good kuri squash…perhpas delicata, but there isn’t much flesh. I wasn’t intending to use any sweetener but it didn’t have much flavor so I added the brown rice syrup. It also helps get it crispy. Please let me know how it goes with none at all.
      Amy x

  • Nik says:

    Amy – I made and froze several batches of Red Kuri purée this fall and I am wondering how much purée I should substitute for the 1 cup steamed squash in this recipe. Thank you!

  • Sylvia Baker says:

    Hello Amy
    I have intolerance to rolled oats so I was wondering what I could use as a substitute? There are lots of cookie and cake recepies too that require rolled oats and I’m not sure if I could use barely flakes or spelt flakes as a substitute? Or any other suggestion ..
    Thanks in advance

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Sylvia,

      Yes they are everywhere. I think spelt or barley would be the best substitute but they are heartier. You can also replace some with buckwheat which I did for the Vogue granola–there is a link and photo in post.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Amy x

  • jacquie says:

    great news about the pipeline isn’t it? please keep sharing both your positive food and social views as there is an audience for both even if times it feels that is not the case.

    I usually do my squash in the oven rather than steamed. Do you think that would work? also do you think it would work to substitute maple syrup or honey for the brown rice syrup? I don’t have that but have the others.


    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Jacquie,

      Yes it is great news but I do worry its only temporary….good to have some good news though!
      Yes you can use roasted squash for sure and absolutely swap out the sweeteners. I was wanting to make it as healthy as possible and entice my sugar-free friends! 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words and for following along here.

      Amy x

  • Lauren says:

    It may seem like you are frozen, but your work promotes a diet and a lifestyle that is great for the planet. That being said, I share your frustration and pain and worry. We all have to move forward together and focus on making the greatest individual impacts possible. Little things add up to something big! Also – this granola recipe looks incredible! 🙂

  • Hopeful Still says:

    Dear Amy – your passion and culinary skill and the most amazing cook book got myself and family eating healthy and loving food! We’re on a journey that has taken us into the wonderful world of whole food and plant food, that has lead us to omitting all animal products – and in turn we are feeling great, focused, and more compassionate and conscientious about our actions and their effects on the planet. So I wanted to remind you that whilst the immediate picture may look bleak you are contributing to and leading a positive movement across the globe. Always shades of grey. The work you do is extremely important, whether it’s providing people a solace for their thoughts cooking in the kitchen or moments to be shared with friends and family in a heavenly aromatic dining room…to enabling them to be better people via appreciation of food as health, medicine and happiness. This might seem small, but imagine all the people you have helped to feel this way and the greater good all of their actions will culminate in. That is pretty ace. Almost as ace as this new recipe. Thank you, S.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Serena,

      Thank you for your lovely message. I am so happy to know that my book has been helpful on your food journey.
      I really appreciate your encouragement and thoughts–they mean a lot!

      Happy cooking and eating well!

      Amy x

  • Thoughtfully said, Amy. Sometimes the best we can do is take pause and give ourselves some time. Thank you for always providing gentle and positive nudges to eat and live well for not only ourselves but for the greater good. And what a special take on granola. Love how the turmeric and pumpkin additions can turn everyday granola into a special holiday breakfast treat or an edible gift.

  • Mona says:

    Hi Amy. Your message really resonates with me. Living in Germany I have been feeling like this for the past 1 and a half years or so when a populist right wing (thats an understatement) party started to form, the ‘refugee debate’ constantly going, the EU seemingly falling apart and when theres no end to the war in Syria. Trump just tops it all off now. There are great challenges to be overcome and changes to be made, for sure, but seeing all the people around me gives me hope. There are just too many people with their hearts at the right place. You are one of them! Thanks for the message and the delicious looking recipe! Ill make it this weekend.
    By the way, I made your kimchi the very first time last week. I love it. And its approved by my Korean friend 😉

  • I can’t wait to meal prep this for work next week! Yum!

  • Claire says:

    Dear Amy

    I made your granola for New Year presents to my friends. They all love it. I want to thank you. I just love your cookbook and your website. I learned a lot. With other cookbooks I almost always have to adjust the recipes to my own taste. However, your recipes are just right, delicious and I almost never have to change anything. Thank you so much!
    I’ve just seen your cookbook in German that’s great even I like mine in English.
    Lovely greetings from the snowing Switzerland

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Claire,

      Thank you for your support with my book! I love that you find the recipes to be almost always perfect!
      So nice that you made this for friends–granola is the best gift!
      We are hoping it snows here tonight but I’m sure not as much as where you are.

      best wishes,
      Amy x

  • Marisa Rechenberg says:

    I chopped chopped chopped and finally stamed more pumpkin than needed…2 cups ++ 🙂 ALSO, my blender has taken a walk to the tchnician shop, so I hand mashed everything, leaving some pieces here and there. Pr-heating the oven. Lunchtime. I can’t stop eating it as it is! I’m afraid the teachers (to whom I was baking the granola…) won’t get much of this scrumptious delicacy! Thanks for the recipe….wishing you a fearless and positive 2017!

  • Arianna says:

    Amy, I really want to say thank you for your amazing cookbook and for all the culinary suggestions you give here and there on the web.
    Cooking is a serious thing and you show a highly concious, professional but always joyful approach to food.
    Furthermore I think that cooking vegan or without gluten, dairy and so on definitely requires much more techniques than the “regular” cooking. Despite that there is a plenty of blogs and books from wannabe chef that have no idea of that.
    I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian nor celiac, but I usually cook many of your always-winning recipes with great satisfaction.

    So thank you again, I look forward to your next book!

    PS what about preparing this granola without sugars at all?

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Dear Arianna,

      Comments like yours inspire me so much. I love what you wrote. Thank you for understanding and appreciating my approach to food….and taking the time to write!

      yes, you could just leave out the brown rice syrup but I would probably also reduce the squash because it could make it too damp…although if its a really good dense, dry fleshed kabocha it might be fine. I often make granola just with vanilla, spices and the oil…if you have dried coconut in it its usually sweet enough. If you didn’t see my Healthy Granola post on check it out.

      Thank you again and wishing you all the best with your food adventures!

      Amy x

  • Sabine says:

    This is a wonderful Granola, my Kids do not like pumpkin so much so I used a sweet potatoe instead and we all love it.
    Our new favourite!
    Thank you so much for your delicious receipes

  • Cenk says:

    Hi Amy, thank you for the life changing book and being an inspiration. I’m wondering about how you prepare the kabocha for streaming in this recipe. Do you peel the skin with knife first or steam the whole squash with skin on and then take care of the skin? I have no problem peeling the butternut but find kabocha quite challenging.

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Cenk,

      Thank you for the kind words. I peel it before steaming when I’m mashing it but for eating I leave the skin on as it does cook up quite creamy.
      To peel you can cut it in wedges and lay them on your board then cut the skin off with a knife or peel with a peeler. The smaller pieces make it easier to handle. Hope this helps and thanks so much for reading!
      Amy x

      • Cenk says:

        Thanks, Amy, cutting in half first (instead of the ends like I do with butternut), then laying on board really helped. The granola turned out really well even though I had to do substitutes such as almonds instead of walnuts, fresh ginger into the wet ingredients instead of ground into the dry, olive oil instead of coconut oil, and no rice syrup but a drizzle of maple syrup on top. One quick question about storage: some recipes suggest that it is ok to keep granola on shelf but this one has the cooked squash so I was wondering if it should be stored in fridge instead.

  • Jake Whyles says:

    Hi there, I recently bought your book and am loving working my way through it. Is there a way to replace the oats in this? With something like rice or quinoa flakes? Thanks so much!

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Jake,
      Yes I think you could try with any other grain. I really like using puffed grains like millet or rice.
      I have a variation using millet–it may be my favorite!

      All the best,
      Amy x

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