The other day I was at the grocery store and they had quite a few ripe bananas at a really good price! So thought it would be a good time to make some banana muffins! I had some buttermilk that I needed to be using up soon too, so that’s how I landed on baking up some muffins with both bananas and buttermilk!Continue reading
It was time for me to make granola again and I love trying out different flavors! I had thought about making Gingerbread Granola during the holidays, but didn’t get around to it. I still wanted to try it this winter season, though, and I thought adding some dried cranberries into the mix, a little touch of red, would make it a wonderful granola not only for the holidays, but for Valentine’s day, too. So this is a perfect granola for all winter long…for breakfast, brunch, or a healthy sweet snack. And people love receiving treat bags filled with granola–it makes a great homemade food gift!
As you might be able to tell from my photo, I mixed in both dried cranberries and golden raisins into my granola. I really like the sweetness and color they add. I also like the rich molasses flavor blended with the other spices in this!
GINGERBREAD GRANOLA by NancyC
Makes about 6 cups
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
- 2/3 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if using roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or golden raisins (or 3/4 cup of each)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ, sunflower kernels, chopped pecans, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In small microwaveable bowl, heat molasses for about 15 to 20 seconds to make consistency thinner and easier to stir. Then in a medium size bowl, blend molasses, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, stirring everything well (the oil may separate from the other ingredients, but blend it as well as you can). Add this syrup mixture to the dry oat mixture, mixing until everything is thoroughly coated.
Spread granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes so granola bakes evenly. Remove from oven; stir in dried cranberries and/or raisins, if using, and then let the granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks (or you can store a little longer in the refrigerator).
I have a good-sized jar of organic ground ginger, and I used some of that for this. I still have quite a bit of ground ginger, so I may be making more gingery recipes! Are you a fan of gingerbread-flavored treats?
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Homemade granola is so good–I started making it a few years ago and I guess you could say I’m hooked on homemade granola! I’ve made several granola recipes, including Vanilla Almond Granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola, and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. I like experimenting with different variations and flavors, and I decided to try a version with some fall-inspired flavors like maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins. There’s nothing fancy about this granola, but it has that great classic cinnamon-raisin goodness. And the maple syrup makes a wonderful natural sweetener. There’s no sugar in this, just the sweetness of the maple syrup. Which is great if you’re trying to cut back on sugar. And even if you’re not, it’s still a really good granola!
MAPLE CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA by NancyC
Makes about 9 cups
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick oats)
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if you use roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds–if you use roasted and salted pepitas, add them to the mixture after baking)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small bowl, blend the maple syrup, oil, salt, and ground cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the oats, walnuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower kernels, pepitas, and wheat germ (you’ll be adding the raisins after the granola is done baking). Mix in the maple syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon mixture and toss again, combining and coating all ingredients well.
Spread this mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss the mixture for even baking. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden.
Remove from oven and add the raisins to the mixture on the pan; toss to combine. Let mixture cool completely on pan, then store in a tightly-sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
This granola is great with milk or sprinkled over vanilla yogurt for breakfast. And it makes a great snack any time of the day. It’s not super-sweet, but everyone who tasted this for me said it was sweet enough for them.
Do you make you own granola and do you have a favorite recipe?
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