In honor of National Gingerbread Day — yes, it exists — let’s take a look at a more unique way to incorporate this delicious snack into your day. First of all, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gingerbread? Christmas? Decorating cookies and hanging decorations with your little ones? Same here. In fact, we think it’s a bit odd that a day devoted to gingerbread falls in the summertime. It seems more natural to throw it in somewhere between December and February, that time of year that makes you want to curl up next to the fire and eat — well, gingerbread. [photo via lindacskitchentable]
But then we did some research on recipes and discovered that gingerbread isn’t solely used to make tiny cookie men or a spicy dessert cake. In fact, it can be used in a variety of ways. Ever heard of gingerbread granola? Neither had we. But then we found this recipe and quickly fell in love. Gingerbread granola is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional gingerbread recipes. It’s packed with nutritious ingredients, such as walnuts, pecans, and dried cranberries.
Of course, you can throw in anything you want to add flavor. Are you a big fan of raisins, but not dried cranberries? Don’t sweat it. Swap in ingredients that you love to make this standard recipe all your own. And, what’s more, it’s long-lasting. Use it as a mid-day snack for your kids, or throw it in a plastic bag and take it to work with you. Gingerbread Granola is a unique twist on a family favorite that will satisfy your child’s — and, let’s face it, your own — sweet tooth and keep both of you on that healthy-diet path.
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans and/or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the nuts, cinnamon, oats, nuts, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Stir in the oil, vanilla, molasses and maple syrup. Turn the granola out onto prepped pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from heat, and top with coconut flakes. Mix in the coconut and stir up the mixture to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes.
- Rough chop the dried cranberries and candied ginger. After 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and add the chopped cranberries and ginger; stir well until combined.
- Allow the granola to cool before eating. It might be a little “wet” while it’s cooling, but this is normal.
- Store the granola in an airtight container. Granola does not have to be stored in the refrigerator; however, it will keep longer.