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Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cereal (raw, vegan, nut-free, GF)

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Pumpkin-Spiced-Caramel-Cereal1If you are anything like me,  you opened this posting, and immediately scanned the ingredient list. Then you scrolled back up to see what words of wisdom I had to impart. (haha)  One might be wondering why I have the word caramel in the recipe title when you clearly don’t see the ingredients that make up caramel, no caramel flavoring, no caramel coloring,  so how does caramel come into play in this recipe?  Dates are the answer… dates are a great dried fruit that provide a caramel flavor in recipes.

If you want to make this recipe completely nut free you can replace the almond meal with fresh ground buckwheat or even ground rolled oats.  You can read here on how to make your own flours.  Once I made the batter and tasted it,  I had one of those OMG  moments… hmm, I seem to have those quite often don’t I?

But seriously,  I am always amazed as how great raw foods taste in their raw form.  In the cooking world, you can’t always taste test the food in its raw form, the magic happens after it is cooked.  But with raw, the magic happens right away.   So instantly,  I knew this recipe could be enjoyed in several forms; as a cereal, as a cracker, broken into crumbles and tossed into your granola or in trail mixes.   It would even be a wonderful topping for raw cobblers and ice cream.  Having recipes like this are real-time savers and allow you to get very creative.

I served this cereal with raw coconut milk instead of the typical nut milk.  All the wonderful flavors were quite complimentary with one another.   I also sprinkled some dried cranberries on top which added another layer of texture and flavor.  I did do a test on the cereal to see how long it takes to takes to get soggy and after 20 minutes, while sampling it every 5 minutes (I set a timer), it was all gone.

BUT I will tell you that it stood up to sitting in the coconut milk for 20 minutes and it still had a crunch in the center.  Another thing that I loved about this cereal was is that I didn’t add any sweeteners!  Outside of the natural sweetness of the banana and dates, it remains pure and refined sugar-free!  I so love that.

One batch of the Pumpkin Caramel Cereal makes approximately 10 ~ 1/2 cup servings or 20 ~ 1/4 cup servings.  Keep in mind, as with most raw foods, it is a lot more filling than standard processed cereal, so it takes much less to fill you up.  I always snickered at the serving sizes on commercial cereal boxes.  On the side of the box it usually indicates a serving size of 3/4 cup.  On average an ordinary person typically eats one bowl of cereal at a sitting.

Doesn’t sound so bad does it?  But… and there is always a but, over time our bowls and plates are more often than not, super-sized.  So, in the end, we end up eating 2-4 servings per sitting.  Sure boxed cereals may appear to be less expensive at first glance, but when you think about what I just said, and that they are processed, garbage filled, high-sugared, low-nutritional value… they are not such a good deal after-all.  Just saying…


yields 4 1/2 cups

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup raw tiger nut flour or almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw buckwheat, soaked, sprouted 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • 1 cup Mejol dates, pitted
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring


  1. In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, pulse together the tiger nut flour or almond meal, coconut,  chia seeds, pumpkin spice, and salt. Pulse together so the spices get evenly distributed.
    • If you use tiger nut flour, add 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil since it is low in fat and can be “drying” to this recipe.
  2. Add  buckwheat, pumpkin, dates, banana, and maple flavoring.  Process until it is a smooth paste.
    • If the dates are hard and dry, re-hydrate them by soaking them for 15 minutes in enough warm water to cover them.
    • Drain and hand squeeze the excess water from the dates before adding.
    • If the batter is too thick and sticky add 2 Tbsp of water, adding more as needed.  Do not make this batter soupy.  Just moist enough for the blade to easily move through the batter.
    • If you want the appearance and feel of texture, you can hand stir in the buckwheat. I have made it both ways and both are good, just a personal performance.
  3. Spread the batter edge to edge on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
    • I use the Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator which comes with nice large square trays.
    • I used a rolling-pin to make sure the batter is evenly spread out.  First cover with plastic wrap, then lightly roll flat and even. This will make for nice looking cereal pieces and help them all dry at the same time.
  4.  Score the batter into the desired bite-size pieces.  I used an 8” metal ruler to make my score marks.
  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees for around 16 hours or until dry.  It won’t dry completely crispy.
  6. Half way through, flip cereal over to remove the teflex sheet. This will allow air to move freely over both sides, speeding up the drying process.
    • To do this, place a mesh sheet on top of the cereal, then follow with another dehydrator tray.  Flip over, remove the dehydrator tray, mesh sheet and peel off the teflex sheet.
  7. Store in airtight containers on the counter for 1-2 weeks or freeze for 1-2 months.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes,  click (here) to read why.
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil?  Click (here) to find out.
  • New to Tiger Nut Flour?  Read a bit more about it (here).
  • To make your own Pumpkin Spice, combine: 4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp Allspice, 1 tsp nutmeg.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).


One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage.  Daily I get questions regarding substitutions.  Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe.    I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family.  I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.

So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item.  Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient.   Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself.   So have fun, don’t be afraid,  and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.







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22 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spiced Caramel Cereal (raw, vegan, nut-free, GF)

  1. This cereal sounds amazing! I love everything about it from all the yummy ingredients to the crunchy texture and spices used! Delicious!

  2. Ruth says:

    Hi :) I’m wondering how much pumpkin is used in this recipe. I don’t know how big a sugar pie pumpkin is so not sure. In your pictures the pumpkins look really tiny! Is it really one of these only?
    Thanks :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Ruth,

      The pumpkins in the picture are not the ones I used. Those are decoration pumpkins. I used sugar pumpkins and they vary in size. I would say to pick up a 2-5 lb pumpkin. I can’t say for sure the exact weight of a pumpkin to use because the amount of flesh in them vary to much. Or you can used organic canned pumpkin… up to you. :)

  3. Michelle Munger says:

    Hello, I am allergic to buckwheat. This makes it difficult considering buckwheat seems to be used quite often in raw living recipes. Is there something that I could use instead? Help…
    Thanks. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Michelle,
      You can try ground almonds that have been soaked and dehydrated. I haven’t tried using nuts in this recipe but I would think it would work just fine. It won’t be the same texture and flavor though. amie sue

  4. Karalee says:

    I discovered your website a few days ago….Fabulous! Just curious, what brand of maple extract do you use? Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Karalee. I am so happy to have you here! Glad to hear you are enjoying the site. Let me go take a peak at the brand that I have…the last bottle that I bought was from Whole Foods. It is the Frontier brand. I don’t use it a lot, just every once in a while for certain desserts. Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  5. Karalee says:

    I made these yesterday and they came straight out of the dehydrator into my husband’s breakfast bowl this morning. Talk about fresh! Delicious! We both are excited to have a new flavor.

  6. Talia says:

    You should’ve seen me making this cereal! (delicious by the way) I made a double batch and I underestimated how much batter it would make….. Long story short I tried to mix it in a bowl that was much to small for the amount of batter and there was pumpkin everywhere!! lol

    • amie-sue says:

      lol Talia… I have been in your shoes before. You can always freeze some of it if things really got out of hand. hehe Thanks for sharing. Blessings! amie sue

  7. Lauren says:

    Hi Amie-Sue, is that 2 cups of raw buckwheat after it has been soaked and sprouted? For example would I soak and sprout 1 cup to give me the 2 cups, or is it 2 cups first up? Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Lauren, I used 2 cups dry, then proceeded with the soaking process. It makes a lot. :) But I rolled the batter out pretty tight making the cereal really crunchy. Have a blessed evening. amie sue

      • Lauren says:

        Thank you! We don’t have maple flavouring here so I added vanilla bean and a bit of maple syrup. It’s in my dehydrator now and smells lovely!

  8. Karen says:

    Dear Amie
    I have unhulled buckwheat how can I use it?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good question Karen,

      Unhulled Buckwheat is buckwheat that still has a hull covering a dark, triangular-shaped shell, which in turn covers the actual seed at the center.
      The hull is very tough and hard to digest. Even after soaking and boiling, they tend to be too chewy for most people’s tastes. It can be ground into a dark buckwheat flour. Unfortunately, it cannot be used for sprouts as Unhulled Buckwheat sprouts would still have the tough hull on them making them inedible for most people’s preferences.

      Personally, I wouldn’t eat them. I use to use them to make neck / foot warmers. I would sew a rectangle piece of fabric together, leaving about a 2″ opening, pour buckwheat in it, stick the opening up and then pop it in the microwave for 1 minute or so… then wrap it around my neck or feet when cold. :)

      Have a blessed weekend, amie sue

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