Pumpkin Spice Walnut Granola

Fall is in the air and pumpkin spice everything is on the menu. Make a batch of Pumpkin Spice Walnut Granola to have on hand for breakfast, adding to cookies, muffins or bars or straight up snacking. You know the California Walnuts add crunch and omega-3 fatty acids! Recipe developed by my fabulous dietetic intern Araceli Carranza, who is in the Individualized Supervised-Practice Pathway (ISPP) Program at California State University San Bernardino.

Pumpkin Spice Walnut Granola


Makes: 7- 1/3 cup servings.


  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats 

  • 3/4 cup California walnuts 

  • 1/4 cup honey 

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree 

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 

  • 1/8  teaspoon ground cloves 


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves, stir until well blended. Add rolled oats and walnuts, mix well and set aside. 

  3. In a medium saucepan under low/med heat combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and honey. Stir until melted and mixed well. Pour over spiced oatmeal and walnuts. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well.  

  4. Place mixture on baking sheet creating a bed of oats about 1 inch thick (tip: I used another sheet of parchment paper and a rolling pin to achieve an even layer). 

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, taking out once to stir ensuring your granola is crunchy throughout. Turn the oven off and allow residual heat to bake mixture for another 10-12 minutes or until you’ve reached desired crunchy-ness. Allow granola to completely cool before breaking apart. Store in an air tight container. 

Calories per serving: 166 calories, 16 g CHO, 13g sugar, 1g Fiber, Fat 12g, Sat fat 3g, Poly 6g, Mono 2g, 0 Trans-fat, Cholesterol 9mg, Sodium 1mg, Potassium 64mg, Vitamin A 11%, Vitamin C .1%, Calcium 5%, Iron 2% 

Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Clusters

Attention:  last minute holiday recipe that will make you look like a star!

Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Clusters



All you need are three ingredients and a good friend with a great family recipe she is willing to share i.e. Cheryl Toner, MS, RD:

  1. California Walnuts haves and pieces
  2. Ocean Spray Cranberries
  3. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate

Place 10 ounce bag of dark chocolate chips in microwavable bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals (probably 3) until you can stir as a smooth liquid. Pour in 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup raw cranberries (YES RAW!) into bowl. Stir until walnuts and cranberries totally coated. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper. Put in refrigerator until hardened. Serve to oohhs and ahhs!  

Interestingly, these treats are very healthy. Dark chocolate provides polyphenols which may assist in lowering blood pressure and have a beneficial role related to cognitive function.  Cranberries are also a source of polyphenols which have been shown to provide protection from some bacterial pathogens, cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. California Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids (plant-based alpha-linolenic acid) which may decrease risk for heart disease. Walnuts taste fabulous coated in dark chocolate and paired with tart raw cranberries.