Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe


It’s pumpkin pie season! Raise your hand if you’re ready for Thanksgiving. I know I am. One of our Thanksgiving table staples growing up was pumpkin pie. I’ve learned recently that many people don’t actually eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. And of those who eat it, many seem to do so grudgingly. Pumpkin pie isn’t just a staple for me, I think it’s absolutely delicious! I look forward to it every year and think a Thanksgiving table without it isn’t complete. But that’s just me. For my fellow pumpkin pie fans out there, here’s something to tide you over – a Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

As long time readers know, I love to make oil-free granola thanks to fruit based mixtures with applesauce or canned pumpkin. This Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe is made with the latter. Toss in a little pumpkin pie spice, and you get a delicious breakfast granola.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

I thought about just adding pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which seemed like the obvious crunchy ingredient, but the pecans add a nice, buttery taste to the mix. I know pecans aren’t traditionally in pumpkin pie, but just go with it. It’s worth adding the pecans in for the texture and flavor.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

And about that texture, the optional brown rice syrup will help give this granola a stickiness and chewiness that I really enjoy. I love when the granola clusters up a bit, so I do recommend adding that extra ingredient to this Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe. Brown rice syrup is great for many recipes (including this healthy coconut macaroon one).

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe - This tasty recipe is made without any oil!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I love using canned pumpkin to make oil-free granola, so I decided to pull together some classic dessert flavors to make this Healthy Pumpkin Pie Granola Recipe. Whip up a batch for your family or to give out as gifts to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Serve with milk or my favorite way – over yogurt.
*Vegetarian, Vegan*
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups rolled old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed, optional
  • 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients oats, pepitas, flaxseed (if using), and pumpkin pie spice, and stir to mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients canned pumpkin, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, additional sweetener (if using), vanilla, and salt and stir with a whisk to mix well.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until wet mixture is evenly distributed.
  5. Pour granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread to an even layer.
  6. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for 45-60 minutes, or until granola is browned to preference.
  7. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or milk.
Note: If you really love pumpkin pie spice, you may want to add a little extra (maybe ½ teaspoon?). Mix up the ingredients, taste test, and add more till you’re happy with the flavor.



Here are some other recipes you may enjoy:

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients) #recipe #granola #healthy

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date

Autumn Granola Recipe {Oil-Free with Canned Pumpkin}

Autumn Granola Recipe {Oil-Free with Canned Pumpkin}

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins Recipe

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins Recipe

Check out these healthy pumpkin recipes featured over at Women’s Health Mag – one of them is from The Chic Life!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the recipes!

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal {Get-Out-of-Bed Inspiration}


Lately, I’ve been uninspired to get out of bed in the morning. Why? I’m going to be honest with you. Work is kicking my a$$ and stressing me out big time. And if you’re in the same boat, I have a breakfast idea that may help make you ready to take on the day.

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal

I normally don’t like talking about work on my blog, but you know what? If any of my co-workers were actually reading this, I think they’d be nodding their head and saying, “I hear ya, girl! Me too!” Our current work environment is very stressful and picking up stream. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel when our current project gets released in just a few short weeks. And then, we can all be normal again.

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal

So, what do you do when you aren’t quite ready to face the day? Find something to help get you going. May I present…

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal!

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal

This is really so simple to make.

Here’s my Non-Recipe for Nutella Swirl Oatmeal:

Start by making your choice of oatmeal. I prefer making stove top oats (click here to learn how to cook oatmeal this way). The bowl pictured is made with a spoonful of canned pumpkin. Take however much Nutella you feel like eating (I used about 1 tablespoon), and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the Nutella until it becomes soft and easy to pour (15-30 seconds should do it). Use two spoons to scoop and pour the Nutella into a swirl design (or carefully pour the Nutella straight from the bowl). Top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy.

Nutella Swirl Oatmeal

I’m really loving this idea of finding a reason to get out of bed when you’re otherwise uninspired. I think I’ll have to brainstorm some more ideas like this one!

Here are some more great oats-inspired recipes:

And here are some recipes to extra-inspire you to get out of bed:

Reader question: What tricks do you use to start the day when you’re not feeling so ready for it? What’s your get-out-of-bed inspiration?

Cocoa Oats + Recipe Votes


Things have been surprisingly busy even though I’m not currently teach or attending Zumba classes.


I made oatmeal the other day for the first time in possibly a couple weeks and I think I had forgotten how good it was. Yuuuuuum!

This bowl was cooked stove-top with the following:

  • rolled oats
  • 1/2 water
  • 1/2 vanilla soy milk
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • chia seeds

And then these went on top:

  • sliced almonds
  • coconut flakes
  • cacao nibs

Side note – I’m kind of looking forward to fall already – especially pumpkin oatmeal! I know I can eat pumpkin oatmeal any time of year, but I really think it tastes best when the weather is on the chilly side and the trees outside are golden and red.


Earlier this week, I met up with friends Brittney (and Clyde), Katie, and Jennifer at Yoforia.




I was sad to see my latest favorite, banana, wasn’t available, but I happily filled my cup up with 2 other faves – tart plain and tart pomegranate. I added lots of fruit on top – kiwi, strawberries, mango, plus coconut flakes and of course mochi.



It was so fun catching up with everyone. I felt like I hadn’t seen them in forever!

I even got to start chatting with Katie about our epic road trip to HLS. That’s right…we’re driving there! HLS or bust!


Clyde was totally the center of attention…


…with us and with lots of strangers. Can you blame everyone for wanting to see him – just look at that adorable face! :)



And I wanted to share preview photos of the 2 recipes I’ll be posting next, thanks to your Facebook votes.

First up, we have a warm farro salad (with tomatoes, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms)


And then an easy turkey skillet dinner. Nommmmmm!

I’m hoping to post at least one, but hopefully both of these later today.


Speaking of voting on recipes. Which recipe would you like to see next? I’ve created a poll so you can vote. All of these recipes have been photographed, tested, and are ready for sharing!

Which recipe should I post next?

  • Cookies 'N Cream Rice Krispies (44%, 21 Votes)
  • Easy Summer Squash Soup (25%, 12 Votes)
  • Crispy Almond Oven-Fried Chicken (25%, 12 Votes)
  • Goji Berry Green Monster Smoothie (6%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

Loading ... Loading ...

Voting ends Tuesday night!

Thanks for voting guys! :)

Mind Your Time


I got to enjoy more of that amazing Roasted Honey Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter on Tuesday.


I drizzled it over a simple bowl of oats with chia seeds, bananas, and almond slices.


Omg…heaven in a bowl! This combo is so fantastic!


I also got my hair did.

I’ve been visiting Jason at Salon 42 since before he started Salon 42…maybe for 6 or 7 years now? Jason used to work for a local salon, but ventured off a few years ago to start his very own salon. He is a master of not only color, but the cut, too. I think he can pretty much do anything with hair. I’ve even gotten a lot of the local bloggers to see him now.

When I first saw Jason, I was having some serious layer issues. As in the person before him cut all these crazy layers into my hair, and it was looking really weird. My hair is thick and needs layers, but I was afraid of them after having the bizarre hair-do from before. So, he ended up cutting layers under my top layer of hair so my hair was thinned just right, but it all looked like one length. Fantastic! Now, I let him cut layers into my hair anyways, because I know he won’t do weird things with them. lol

I really should have gotten a hair cut a few months ago, but I’ve been procrastinating. Oops. I knew my hair was getting way too long when my pony tail started hitting me in the face at Zumba because it was so darn long! The ponytail-smack hasn’t really happened to me since I was a figure skater in high school doing mad tricks on the ice.

Jason took off a couple inches, but in the photo it probably looks the same. That’s the crazy thing about long hair. No one really notices when you get your hair cut because it’s so long, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Anywho, if YOU live in the Charlotte area and want a cut/style/color/whatever from THE most amazing and best stylist in Charlotte, then go see Jason. If it’s your first visit, you can tell him I sent you for a special first-visit discount. It’s a good one, too! Just tell them Diana from The Chic Life sent you. Kay? ;) You can call Salon 42 at 704-375-6234.


Time Management Talk

Ok, time for some time management talk. :)

Anti-Snooze Tips

I know you guys are probably over the snooze button, but I did want to add one last set of tips.

Here are some tricks to help get over the snooze button:

  • Move the alarm clock to somewhere you’ll have to get up to turn it off. If you’re standing up, it’s easier to stay out of bed.
  • Get one of those crazy-moving alarm clocks. I like this one because it’s TCL blue. ;)
  • Force yourself, no matter how groggy or sleepy you are, to at least sit up in bed when the alarm goes off. If you’re sitting up, you’re one step closer to getting out of the bed. Once you’re sitting, force yourself to stand and start getting ready.
  • Bribe yourself with fresh, hot coffee. Maybe get a special coffee so it’s like a treat when you finally get out of bed?

Ok, ready for more?

Mind Your Time

If you have Time Management issues, then I suggest working on being aware of time. Do you own a watch? If you don’t get one. If you do, make sure you actually use it. I find my time management goes most off course when I’m not paying attention to what time it is or how long I’m spending doing something. Instead of getting ready in the morning at your leisure, try getting ready in an hour (or however long you need). Try to set a deadline and meet it. Same thing for lunch or any other activity where your time seems to slip away from you.

Things to focus on:

  • Pay attention to what time it is. Is it 3pm? 11:30pm?
  • Try to set time limits on activities. Blog until you’re done? Try blogging for 30 minutes…or an hour. Make up your own time limit based on what you’re doing and how long you want to spend on that activity.

Do you mind your time? How? What parts of watching your time do you struggle with, if any?

Hooking Hubby on Oatmeal


I loved reading everyone’s guesses on yesterday’s tease-post! You guys are so creative. If you’re my Facebook friend, then you already knew what flavor of nut butter I made. But if you aren’t yet (though I think you should be), then read on for more dets…


After my morning coffee, I still wanted a pick-me-up, so I whipped up a quick matcha green tea latte using rice milk for my “creamer.”


I did another TCL noodle stir fry for lunch.


Though noodles are typically my staple, I was almost out of udon. So, I did a mix of udon and green tea noodles. Nom! Also in the mix – edamame and broccoli. I just used soy sauce, pasta water, and drop of sesame oil for my sauce.

You can check out this recipe for basic cooking directions for a noodle stir fry.


Now…on to more yummy goodness. Did you guess my new nut butter creation correctly?

I was inspired by the whipped cinnamon honey that I’ve been enjoying so much lately that I decided to make cinnamon-honey nut butter. But not just any cinnamon-honey nut butter. I made…

Honey Roasted Cinnamon Wink Almond Butter!

I’ll be posting a recipe tomorrow in case any one wants to try it.

Ooh and one cool thing about it – it’s a Not So Sweet recipe! Yeaaaaaa!


After making my new almond butter, I did what any “normal” girl would do.


I whipped up a batch of simple rolled oats cooked in rice milk to be my canvas for my nut butter “paint.”


This new nut butter was a definite winner.

Hubby was going crazy for it! He wanted to eat ALL of it! I ended up only eating about 3/4 of my oats because I was having it for a pre-work-out snack, and didn’t want to eat too much before Zumba. I offered him the rest of my oats (which he almost always turns down), but he excitedly accepted them and quickly found the almond butter jar to add more on top. He happily slurped up my leftovers and in a jiffy!

Perhaps this is how I can hook hubby on oatmeal? Hmm…


I taught a small but mighty Zumba class on Thursday. ;)

My favorite songs were:

  • Chillin
  • Rompe
  • Battlefield

And two of my participants showed me a dance they choreographed all on their own. It was pretty awesome. I only wish I had taped it to share with you all! Those girls have skillz!


I took Friday off from work to take care of stuff at home. The day FLEW right by, but I got a lot done. I guess I not only took the day off from work, but I sort of took it off from blogging, too. Whoops, ya’ll. Good thing I took so many photos on Thursday!


I’m off to pack. I’m visiting my fam first thing tomorrow morning. And rumor has it I will be picking up more of those amazing rye bagels while I’m in town! ;)


Have you gotten your SO to enjoy something they previously didn’t? What was it and how did you do it?

Eat In Month 2011 Recap


Happy Monday friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and an even better start to your week!


I stayed up a bit too late blogging after our super fun Super-Dance-Bowl party, so this morning was rough.


Nothing a little coffee and some oatmeal can’t fix, though.

And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes bananas on top of my oats.

Today was a loooong day at work. I got in around 8:45pm but didn’t leave until just before 7pm! Luckily, I at least took a real lunch break today (as in I didn’t eat at my desk…hooray!). I’m going to work on getting away from my desk during the day more. I think it’s healthy to try to balance your work day.

Two fortunate things happened on my way home:

  • I made it through almost every stoplight! That never happens. I feel like I usually catch them. lol
  • Hubby was ready to make dinner at home as soon as I got back.


Hubby started us with a side salad with organic romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and sprouts. I used sundried tomato vinaigrette on top.


And for the main event – breaded chicken parmesan and tomato basil soup. Plus some buttered whole wheat toast that I was simply too exhausted to photograph. After staring blankly like a zombie for awhile eating a balanced meal, I was feeling much better.

I caught a couple episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Have you seen it? I think it’s my new favorite TV show! If there are any No Reservations marathons coming up, you let me know, kay? ;) I think a day spent eating yummy snacks and watching No Reservations sounds like a pretty awesome day to me.


Eat In Month Recap

So, Eat In Month 2011 officially ended a week ago, and I’m feeling pretty relieved. Just like last time, I think it was a great experience, and I learned some lessons, but I prefer to live my life sans rules. I prefer guidelines.

So what did I learn? Well, there were some things I remembered from the 2010 challenge and some new ideas from 2011.

I learned that inside and outside of a challenge month:

  • A well-stocked pantry will encourage eating in, on a regular night or when you’re in need of a quick fix meal.
  • You can get a lot of satisfaction by pushing past your fatigue/laziness/whatever when you feel like taking the easy way out by preparing something tasty at home.
  • Meals IN don’t have to be perfect or gourmet – sometimes the simplest ones are best.
  • Sometimes it’s about making a better choice, not the perfect choice. While I think you should always eat whole foods as much as possible, if your choice is fast food versus some healthi-ER but not from scratch food at home, go with the latter.
  • You shouldn’t “not eat out” for the sake of it, if you’re in a situation where you need food and wouldn’t be able to eat in. For example, say you’re on a road trip. Now, if you can…definitely plan ahead and pack food ahead of time to enjoy later. But if you meant to pack food in the morning but spilled your entire container of oatmeal in the kitchen thereby making you late because you had to use your food-packing time to clean up rolled oats, by all means, eat something out! Don’t starve yourself!
  • Don’t skip social events just because you “can’t eat out.” You can always go after dinner and just have a drink. Or, if you’re not doing the challenge, go out to eat! Live a little.
  • Of course, you can very easily enjoy social events in the comforts of your home. Have a pot luck. Host a game night. Put on a movie marathon. Enjoy the company of your friends and eat in, too.
  • You don’t have to go out to eat to celebrate a birthday or other special event. Try cooking a special meal at home. Hubby and I celebrate in all the time, like how we celebrated his January birthday dinner IN during the month of the challenge.
  • Keep healthy snacks at work so you aren’t tempted to buy snacks out. It’s usually healthier and more cost-effective.

Check out this awesome recap by Brie Fit (click). Did you write a review? Let me know and I’ll link it up. ;)


And because I haven’t shared a good quote in awhile, this one seems somewhat fitting at the moment:

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~Helen Keller


Did you participate in Eat In Month? What did you learn?

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