Gingerbread Granola

The holidays are quickly approaching, so it is time to start getting family meals organized. I know that when my house is full over the holidays, I want to spend my time enjoying my family and not spend my entire time in the kitchen preparing meals. For breakfast, I like to keep things simple and assemble an egg strata or French toast casserole that can I assemble the night before and then simply popped into the oven the next morning. I also like to have a couple of flavored granolas on hand that we can enjoy on top of Greek yogurt, spooned over hot cereal, or eaten simply moistened with nut milk.

This particular granola tastes like the holidays to me, as it is flavored with the typical spices of gingerbread including cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. The aroma that wafts through the kitchen as the granola bakes will put anyone into the holiday spirit. I’ve added a few ingredients such as chia, flax and hemp seeds for extra nutrition, and used maple syrup and molasses to subtly sweeten the mixture. You could use gluten free oats if you wanted to create a gluten free granola. I chose a combination of almonds and walnuts, but pecans or hazelnuts would be great in this granola as well, and added dried cranberries for color and sweetness. In place of cranberries, any dried fruit would work such as raisins, figs, or cherries, and dried orange peel or candied ginger would also be tasty additions. I prefer flaked coconut in my granola, but shredded coconut works well also. This granola keeps very well stored in an airtight container for two weeks or frozen for up to three months. This holiday granola would be perfect to package in holiday bags and given as a hostess gift or holiday gift to the teacher.

  • Oats contain a good amount of protein, are high in fiber, and rich in thiamine, folate, B5, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • Almonds are also a good source of heart-healthy, or monounsaturated, fats. They are rich in magnesium, high in vitamin E and loaded with B vitamins.
  • Flaxseed is the most widely available botanical source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Extra virgin coconut oil contains healthy medium chain fatty acids with immune boosting and cholesterol lowering properties.
  • Walnuts are a good source of protein and are rich in phytosterols which help to lower cholesterol. Also rich in fiber and vitamin E.

 

Gingerbread Granola

Yield: Makes 5 Cups

Ingredients:

3 1/2 Cups Regular Rolled Oats (Can Use Gluten Free)
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Chopped Blanched Almonds
1/4 Cup Flax & Chia Seed Blend
4 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Molasses
1/3 Cup Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
3/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss together the oats, nuts, seeds, and spices.
Stir in the vanilla, molasses, maple syrup, and coconut oil, and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Spread the granola in a layer over the prepared baking sheet, then bake 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir the mixture then return to the oven.
Bake another 10 minutes, then stir again adding the coconut flakes.
Bake another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries.
Allow the granola to completely cool before storing.