Spiced Pear Granola
This pear granola makes the most of autumn’s tasty seasonal fruit. Juicy and sweet pears pair with warm spices, wholesome oats, and crunchy nuts and seeds for a healthy vegan granola, delicious enjoyed with yoghurt and warmed pears.
Is granola healthy?
Unfortunately store bought granola often contains a lot of added sugars. This sugar gives you a short peak of energy, but can make you drop in energy quickly afterwards. This can leave you feeling not only sluggish, but hungry again as well- making it more likely you will reach for unhealthy snacks.
If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you might think that vegan granola is a no-go. There are some natural and organic granolas available at the store, but these can be a little on the pricey side. Eating plant based shouldn’t have to put you out of pocket!
This pear granola contains only good-for-you ingredients. With no refined sugars or saturated fats, it gives you good, sustainable energy to keep you going all morning long.
Why I love homemade pear granola
There are so many reasons to love homemade granola! Granola is one of my favourite breakfast foods, as I just love its crunchy sweetness. It’s gluten free and perfect as part of a yoghurt granola bowl.
Aside from being the healthier choice, this pear and pecan granola recipe is really versatile. You can swap and change ingredients to suit your dietary requirements, or use up ingredients you have in the cupboards.
It’s quick and easy to make too. You just need to make the simple spiced pear sauce, then toss everything together. After that, it takes 30 minutes to crisp up in the oven.
Pear granola is also totally delicious. The spiced pear flavour comes from the homemade pear sauce. It’s perfect for chilly autumn mornings, and you can use the blend of spices in this recipe, or your favourite pumpkin spice mix. The warm scent of spices will fill your kitchen as it cooks away.
What are the ingredients for this vegan granola?
This is a really easy 30 minute recipe which uses only a few simple ingredients:
- Homemade pear sauce- The pear sauce is made from juicy pears, water, maple or agave syrup, and a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and cloves. Make sure that your pears are very ripe, as this means that they will break down into a sauce much quicker.
- Coconut oil- Coconut oil works to help bind the pear granola together. When hot, it’s a liquid, but as the granola cools it returns to a solid, holding the clumps of vegan granola together as it does so.
- Oats- It wouldn’t be granola without oats! Larger oats work better in granola so look for jumbo or larger old fashioned oats. If you are gluten intolerant, be sure to double check that your oats are gluten free.
- Pecans- I love pecans, and I think they’re the perfect nut for autumn. If you are measuring the nuts in cups, chop them before measuring them out. I find the easiest way to chop nuts is to seal them in a bag, and bash them with something hard like a rolling pin.
- Pumpkin seeds- I used pumpkin seeds in my pear granola. They develop a lovely toasted flavour as they cook.
- Dried pears- These go wonderfully sweet and chewy in the oven. Those which go slightly darker are a little crispy and full of flavour.
How to make pear granola
Making this homemade pear and pecan granola is simple. Preheat the oven to 180c/250f so that it is ready to go.
Firstly, you need to make the pear sauce. To do this, add the chopped pears, water, maple or agave syrup, and spices to a small saucepan.
Stir it all together, then bring it to a simmer over a low-medium heat. Leave that to simmer for 7 minutes, until the pears are soft and it’s slightly thick and caramelly.
Once they are soft, use a potato masher to break down the pears and make a thick sauce. You could also use an immersion blender for this. Keeping the heat on low, stir through the coconut oil until it is completely melted.
Next, mix together the oats, pecans, and seeds in a large bowl. Pour in the pear sauce and coconut oil mixture, and stir well until everything is combined.
Press the nutty granola mixture into a half size sheet pan (13×18 inches). Spread it out evenly, and press down lightly so that the granola is in a packed layer.
How to cook granola
Cook the granola in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly (just a couple of minutes will do). Then, stir and break up the layer into granola-sized chunks.
Spread them out evenly, then return it to the oven for a further 15 minutes. When there is 5 minutes left on the clock, add the chopped dried pears to the pan and cook for the final 5 minutes.
Allow the vegan granola to cool completely before eating.
My favourite way to eat this pear granola is in a yoghurt granola bowl. You can pair it with dairy free yoghurt and your favourite fruit, or even add extra pears on top. As a weekend treat, I like to brown some sliced or cubed pears in a pan with some dairy free butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy them warm over the granola (it tastes just like a pear crisp!). Other ways you can enjoy this vegan granola are:
- Traditionally, in a bowl with dairy free milk poured over.
- As a topper to a thick smoothie bowl, chia pudding or oatmeal.
- With ice cream (or as a healthier option, with banana ice cream).
- Sprinkled over fresh fruit.
- As a snack, enjoy it straight from the jar!
My top tips for chunky pear granola
As I shared in my quinoa granola recipe, the key to getting healthier granolas to remain chunky is all in the cooking method. As they do not have a lot of added sugars and fats, healthier granolas can be a bit crumbly. There is a little bit of coconut oil and natural sweetener in this vegan granola recipe, but this alone is not enough for a chunky granola.
It’s important that you press the granola mixture down into a firm layer on the baking sheet, as this helps it to stick together. By half way through the cooking time, the granola will have cooked into a solid layer, almost like a very thin and chewy granola bar.
As this recipe has fresh pear sauce in it, it has a slightly higher water content than some other homemade granolas. It’s especially important that you break the pear and pecan granola up at the halfway cooking mark, as this allows the water to escape and for the nutty granola to become crunchy during the final cooking time.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
I try to make my recipes as versatile as possible, so that anyone can make them using ingredients they have. Here are some suggestions for how you could adapt this recipe:
- Use apples- If you want to make this vegan granola but pears aren’t in season, you could make an apple granola instead. Make sure you weigh your fresh apples to be equivalent to the amount of pear needed in this recipe, otherwise your granola could be too wet or too dry. You can also substitute the dried pears for dried apples if you can’t get hold of them (which I did when I photographed this recipe!).
- You can use a pumpkin spice mix instead of the individual spices which I’ve listed here. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves are all common spices found in this mix. Just use 2 tsp of the spice mix instead.
- Use your favourite nuts and seeds- I’ve used pecans and pumpkin seeds in this pear granola recipe as I think they go really well with autumnal flavours and produce. However, you can use any nuts and seeds that you want- almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds or cashews would all go really well in this recipe. If you are nut free, you can use seeds instead.
- I wouldn’t recommend swapping out the coconut oil, as this is needed to help bind the granola together as it cools.
- If you find that this vegan granola could do with being a little sweeter for you, you can add an extra tablespoon of maple or agave syrup.
Pear granola is perfect for making in advance for a quick and easy breakfast on weekday mornings. Store it in an airtight container and it will keep for a couple of weeks. In the fridge, it will last for up to a month.
If you would like to keep it for longer, you can put it in the fridge in an airtight container or bag. This way, it will keep for up to 6 months. Leave it out on the counter overnight to thaw for the next morning.
Looking for more vegan breakfast ideas?
You might like these recipes:
- Homemade almond and chia seed butter (perfect spread on toast!)
- Tahini toast two ways
- Hummus bread with grilled portobellos
- Apple parfait– perfect for autumn!
- Healthy muesli slices with almonds (great for on-the-go)
Spiced Pear Granola
- 2 medium pears (approx 300g) peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp maple or agave syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves optional
- 60 g melted coconut oil ¼ cup
- 160 g oats 2 cups
- 120 g roughly chopped pecans 1 cup
- 40 g pumpkin seeds ¼ cup
- 50 g chopped dried pears packed ½ cup
- Preheat the oven to 180c/250f.
- Firstly, make the pear sauce. Add the chopped pears, water, maple or agave syrup, and spices to a small saucepan.
- Stir it all together, then bring it to a simmer over a low-medium heat. Leave that to simmer for 7 minutes, until the pears are soft and it’s slightly thick and caramelly.
- Once soft, use a potato masher to break down the pears and make a thick sauce. You could also use an immersion blender for this. Keeping the heat on low, stir through the coconut oil until it is completely melted.
- Next, mix together the oats, pecans, and seeds in a large bowl. Pour in the pear sauce and coconut oil mixture, and stir well until everything is combined.
- Press the granola mixture into a half size sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet (13×18 inches). Spread it out evenly, and press down lightly so that the granola is in a packed layer.
- Cook the granola in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly for a couple of minutes, then stir and break up the layer into granola-sized chunks.
- Spread them out evenly, then return it to the oven for a further 15 minutes. When there is 5 minutes left on the clock, add the chopped dried pears to the pan and return to the oven.
- Allow the granola to cool completely before eating.
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