One surefire way to tell if a recipe is successful is the amount of time that passes between the first and second times that you make it. I find the lower the amount of time, the more likely it is to be a keeper. I made this chocolate gingerbread granola tonight. When else did I make it? Three days ago. Did I get anywhere near depleting the supply I first made in the past three days? No–nowhere near it. But I can already tell this is the kind of food that I will want to have on-hand at all times. Good thing it can be frozen in an freezer bag or other airtight container for months.
And did I mention how much cheaper it is to make this than it is to buy granola, especially if you are into those “artisan” granolas that seem to pepper any and all farmer’s markets these days? I cannot imagine ever going back to paying seven dollars or more for the stuff. This recipe also takes mere minutes to toss together, so you will be saving not only time but money. Winning!
And who has time now that the holidays are quickly approaching? I’m sure this has occurred to you already, but this granola also makes a wonderful gift when packaged in pint jars. I eat almost all of my granola with yogurt, but the thought of my friends and family enjoying some of this granola with warmed milk and a hot cup of coffee on Christmas morning, once all the gifts have been opened and dinner plans are a few hours away brings me joy.
Chocolate Gingerbread Granola
Adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Makes about 4 pints
3 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped (or you can use a mix of almonds and pecans)
1/4 cup high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like using ground Maldon salt)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons maple syrup (I recommend using the real stuff)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
Mix the oats, wheat germ, nuts, cocoa, and spices in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, molasses, and maple syrup. Use a spoon to mix well.
Pour the granola out on the two mats evenly, making sure to spread it as much as possible so it can bake evenly. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with dried cranberries and candied ginger. Allow to cool completely, and then use the back of a spoon to break up granola into smaller clusters. Store in airtight containers, and plan on losing a few handfuls to “taste testing” as you pack it up.