Ya might think that I’d have gotten my share of Gingerbread over the Holidays, but it just didn’t work out. I wanted to find the time to make Gingerbread Men. I really did. I was so psyched about them. I even got the cookie cutters out and everything…
But the good news? I made this easy, peasy Gingerbread Granola. It’s addictively good! It’s good sprinkled on yogurt, good with milk as a cereal and it makes a delicious snack.
Ok, I fibbed – I didn’t try it with milk yet because I’ve been too busy just eating it. Yes, walking by the kitchen and grabbing a little bit at a time. I DID try it with yogurt. (Says proudly.)
This is a pretty healthy version of granola, so it’s not sticky sweet and it’s a little bit crumblier than some granolas. Be gentle with it if you like the little nuggets of goodness better than the oats. Or add in a little more honey and oil.
As far as cost, oats are really dirt cheap (and healthy, too!) I used the Quaker Old-Fashioned. They’re generally on sale in the fall and that’s when you’ll find coupons. Supply & demand, right? The harvest’s over and the warehouses full.
I also used pricier dried cherries over cranberries because I have a huge bag to use up, and chose pecans because – well pecans and cherries? I mean c’mon! Stock up on nuts & dried fruits during the Winter Holidays. Now I tell you, you’re thinking? Well check this post out and pin it for next year. Follow me on Facebook (upper left) and I’ll give you a head’s up before every big holiday sale. And there’s always Aldi if you have one nearby.
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped or dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup neutral oil, your choice, but consider coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil.
In a small bowl add oil, honey, and molasses. Heat for about 15 seconds in the microwave. If using coconut oil, heat until melted. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
To the baking sheet, add oats, pecans, and cherries or cranberries. Drizzle with the oil/honey/molasses mixture. Turn with a large spatula until all is coated.
Gently press with a flat-bottomed cup (spray the bottom with cooking spray if desired) until mixture is evenly flattened and compressed. Bake 18 to 25 minutes until granola is golden brown. When cool, break into chunks. Stores well for two to three weeks in an airtight container; for longer storage, freeze.
Note: take a nibble or two of the mixture after mixing and before pressing so you can decide if you’d like to alter any of the ingredients. Perhaps you’d like it sweeter or more of some of the spices.
Note: this granola keeps improving as it sits.
Put Your Own Spin On It:
Granola is always easy to customize:
- Choose your version of healthy oils and use sweeteners you like and add more if you wish; just keep in mind that there is a minimum amount required to make everything stick together.
- Add-ins: in this particular granola, choose items you feel will go well with gingerbread. A number of different nuts will work, and raisins or dates would be fantastic.
- Grains other than oats, in all or part, work well in granolas. Consider some trendier add-ins, chia or flax.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings!
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop-down menu of every page.
- Don’t get discouraged. Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.