Friday, November 23, 2012

Molasses Granola

Oh boy, just a day past Thanksgiving and I'm already all geared up for December flavors.  But can you blame me when gingerbread, pepperment, and egg nog taste so darn delcious?

Lately, I've been throwing either mollasses, pepperment extract, or a whole bunch of cozy spices into just about every dessert/snack/breakfast I make.  There have been a lot of yummy dishes coming out of my kitchen, and I'm so excited to share them all with you.

I've decided to kick off the party with a breakfast recipe, 'cause, you know, breakfast is the first meal of the day.  Also, it feels like it's been foreeeever since my last breakfast post (and that definitely needs to change)

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Molasses (a.k.a. Gingerbread) Granola!

In all honesty, I've never been a huge fan of granola.  This is mostly because pretty much every brand sold in stores has some sort of nut in it.  I don't like nuts in my granola.  In my mind, that meant that granola wasn't something I would ever buy, and therefore I would never eat it.  And that was that.  It was settled.

But then, one day while clicking through recipes online, I stumbled upon a recipe for nut-free granola and decided to give it a try.  This Molasses Granola is just a modified version of that first granola recipe.  I upped the spice level, adding in molasses to sweeten, and BAM, yummy holiday breakfast in under 5 steps.

The great thing about this granola is that it's super customizable.  The recipe below is very basic, and you can add in whatever you like to make it your own.  Nuts, seeds, dried fruit.  The choice is yours.  Just be sure to have it match with the gingerbread theme.  I think dried cranberries could potentially be very tasty.

Another nice thing about this breakfast, especially for those of us watching our weight, is that it's fat free and uses a pretty small amount of sweetener compared to many other granola recipes.  In other words, the granola you see above and below is actually healthy as supposed to many other brands that just pretend to be.

And, if you can believe it, on top of all that other awesome stuff, this granola also manages to taste really, really good.  It's like a spicy hug first thing in the morning :)

Super Easy Molasses Granola
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp mollasses
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • optional: any add-ins you like: dried fruit, nuts, seeds*
Preheat oven to 350F.  Place oats in a large bowl.  Combine applesauce, mollasses, cinnamon, ginger, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat and stir until well combined.  Pour wet ingredients over oats and mix.  It may seem a bit dry at first, but just keep mixing and try to coat everything as best you can.  Scoop combined mixture onto a baking sheet and spread into an even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping pan halfway through.  Then turn oven off, but leave granola inside, with the oven door cracked open slighty.  Let granola cool completely in oven, then transfer to an airtight container.

*If you add a large amount of add-ins you may have to adjust the liquid level slightly.  Just add more water.

So what will you do with your Molasses Granola (providing you make a batch, but c'mon it takes like 5 minutes of hands-on time so how could you not)

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
  • Add a couple handfuls of your favorite nuts to the recipe above and have your granola with milk for breakfast
  • Layer the basic granola recipe with greek yogurt and pomegranite seeds to make a beautiful and delicious fall themed parfait
  • Sprinkle the granola (with any add-ins you like) over your morning bowl of oatmeal because you can never have too many oats
  • Add dried cranberries to the mix and keep it in a bowl on your counter so you can grab a handful whenever you need a quick sweet and tart snack
Now you come up with some of your own ideas.  Believe me, there are so many more!

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