Forget the stovetop simmering spices and air fresheners. I’m turning my house into a magical, holiday-scented wonderland by baking continual batches of Gingerbread Granola.
The aromas of ginger, molasses, maple syrup, and toasting nuts that fill the kitchen as the granola bakes are positively intoxicating. I now see why the witch tempted Hansel and Gretel with a house made of gingerbread, versus any other cookie. I nearly burned my second batch, purely because I didn’t want the smell to end.
With the help of a prolific supply of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, I secured a bargain-priced, powerful gingerbread-scented candle, which fulfills my apparent need to smell gingerbread baking at all hours and should prevent a granola-induced oven fire. It also has the side effect of causing me to crave Gingerbread Granola whenever it is lit (all the time).
I’m viewing this side effect as a positive, because the sooner we run out of granola, the sooner I have an excuse to bake another batch and transform our kitchen into an enchanted gingerbread bakery once more.
As much as I love homemade granola, I’m sometimes tempted to purchase it from the grocery store. Store-bought granola is alluring. It’s in sleek packaging, usually has a hipster brand name, and makes me feel athletic in the checkout line. It’s also expensive and often loaded with sugars and unhealthy oils. Making it at home is ridiculously easy, less expensive, and because you can control the ingredients, much better for you too.
In addition to being addictive in the best possible way, Gingerbread Granola is truly healthy. It’s whole grain, naturally sweetened, gluten free and vegan too. The base of the granola is a power mix of oats, flaxseeds, and millet, an inexpensive, fiber-rich whole grain that adds killer crunch (if you don’t have access to millet, you can swap uncooked quinoa or additional oats). For gingerbread flavor, I used a trio of warm spices (ginger, cinnamon, and cloves), deep dark molasses, and candied ginger. To bind and sweeten the granola, I used a touch of pure maple syrup and coconut oil.
Because I’m of the opinion that granola should be super-chunked with nuts, this granola recipe is packed with three that are especially festive with the gingerbread theme—pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts—but feel free to use any kind of raw nuts you enjoy or have on hand.
Holiday spiced, irresistibly crunchy, and healthy, Gingerbread Granola is perfect for lazy weekends, rushed Monday mornings, or “Hey, I’m within 10-feet of the kitchen, so clearly I need a snack” situations. Make a batch for you, one for a friend, and one for Santa.
For the Granola:
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup uncooked millet — or uncooked quinoa, or substitute additional rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed — or substitute rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw nuts — (I used a mix of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil — or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
- 1/4 cup golden raisins — dried cranberries, or diced dried apricots
- Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, millet, flaxseed, nuts, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Drizzle the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla over the oat mixture, then stir until well combined and evenly moistened.
- Spread the granola in an even later on the prepared baking sheet, then use the back of a spatula or your fingers to press it into a flat, even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, stir in the candied ginger and golden raisins, then press back into a flat layer. Bake 10 additional minutes, until golden and fragrant (the granola will still be a little moist). Remove from oven and let cool completely. The granola will continue to crisp and dry as it cools.
Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!
More healthy homemade granola and gingerbread recipes:
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