About month (or 2) ago, I was reading Celine’s blog and she mentioned something about gingerbread granola. My initial instinct was, yup! This is happening, but being the impatient person that I am, instead of waiting for her to post her recipe, I ran off and came up with my own version. I’ll be damned if I don’t admit I’ve been eating the stuff every single day since, and not once have I gotten sick of it. I love me some tasty granola, put it in my yogurt, sprinkle it on my oatmeal, shove my hand into the jar and stuff it in my mouth, anyway to get that stuff in my belly. Now I don’t want you to think that I just greedily hoarded all my granola, a portion did get given away as xmas gifts.
Speaking of gifts, for a few of my favorite people I decided to go the homemade route this year and made up a bunch of goodies to put in some gift baskets. For me, Xmas is usually a crazy storm of rushing around and the squeezing in of too many things into a sliver of time but this year I made the time to mix up some things in the kitchen. I love receiving homemade gifts and I also find that making them is so much fun, it gives you the chance to get creative. In case you’re in need of some ideas for next year (or anytime really), here are some of the things I made: homemade vanilla, rosemary spiced nuts, chocolate peppermint cupcake in a jar, Irish crème (from Vegan Food Gifts), gingerbread granola, twigs and berries (from Vegan Food Gifts), soup mix (from Vegan Food Gifts), an assortment of cookies and I also threw in some fancy chocolate. I found some green and red mixing bowls to put the packaged treats in and then wrapped it all up in cellophane. I made an extra bottle of the Irish creme for myself (duh, how could I pass that up), it’s soooo good, and made for an awesome addition to my xmas morning coffee. Sometime this year I’m really hoping to attempt canning, so that’ll make for some interesting new gift prospects. Did any of you make homemade gifts this year?
I freakin’ adore all things spiced and just because the “holidays” are technically over does not mean that I’m giving up this granola anytime soon, you’d have to pry it from my kung fu grip. I find the granola to be just spiced enough, nice and sweet with hints of molasses, if you want to tone down the spice, then you may want to leave out the candied ginger. Even if you hate spiced stuff, you should make it anyway because it makes your house smell like the best thing in the world, it’s like a tasty version of one of those scented plug-ins, but without all that toxic shit AND you can eat it! What more could you ask for?
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup agave
- 2 tablespoons almond or cashew nut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup candied ginger
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the candied ginger and dried cranberries.
- In a double boiler over medium-high heat whisk together the molasses, agave, nut butter and coconut oil. Simmer for about 5 minutes or so, or until everything is well combined. Stir in vanilla.
- While still warm, pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and mix until all the dry ingredients have been completely coated. Pour mixture onto 1 large sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silicon mat and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
- Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add ginger and cranberries then mix until evenly distributed.
- Let cool 20 to 25 minutes before transferring to a container.