The baking bug hit me this weekend, so I decided to prepare some treats to give to friends this holiday season. I was a bit torn on what to make… Then the weekly email from Meatout Mondays suggested holiday granola. Brilliance! This Gingerbread Granola makes for such a wonderful holiday gift. It’s wholesome, easy to whip up, and full of fall flavor.
It’s also easily customizable! You can switch up the nuts, the grains, and add in dried fruit or chocolate. A bonus is the delicious ginger aroma that will fill the house as this bakes.
If you’re gifting it, pop it in a jar, tie it with a ribbon, and gift on!
Special Diet Notes: Gingerbread Granola
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally gluten-free.
- 4 Cups Rolled Oats
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Coconut (shredded or “chips”)
- 1 Cup (5 ounces) Raw Cashews, Coarsely Chopped
- ½ to ⅔ Cup Light or Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Allspice or Nutmeg
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ¼ Cup Molasses
- ⅓ Cup Grapeseed, Extra-Light Olive, or Vegetable Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ Cup Finely Minced Crystalized Ginger (optional) – I actually used the “uncrstalized” ginger from Trader Joe’s, which is still sweetened and gummy-like, but doesn’t have sugar crystals coating it; I liked the uncrystalized version best
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF (120ºC).
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cashews, brown sugar, and the spices, stirring everything together until well distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except for the crystalized/uncrystalized ginger.
- Stir this wet mixture into the oats and nuts, until everything is very well coated.
- Spread the mixture into one or two large, ungreased glass baking dishes (I use a 9 x 13-inch).
- Bake the granola for 60-75 minutes, checking in to give it a stir every 15 minutes.
- When done, transfer the granola to a large bowl and stir in the minced ginger, if using. Since the ginger will be a bit sticky, make sure you mix it up well to separate.
- Once cool, store it in an airtight container.
My notes on baking time: I have tried turning up the heat to shorten the time, but without fail, it burns. This slow bake process produces a better granola in my opinion, and you have much more control over the doneness. If you use metal pans, I find that the granola browns much more quickly, so keep a sharp eye!
My notes on sugar: I use a very firmly packed ½ cup, but if you want a sweeter, more dessert-like granola, you can up it a bit.