Can you believe that I haven’t made granola in forever? It is one of the easiest things to make, even more so than cookies!, yet I haven’t even thought about granola since last year. This granola will make you think of warm nights by the fire, and rain and gloom and stormy weather … which is exactly what it was here last weekend and why I wanted to make it! Granola is super-addicting, and not that healthy for you, but with spicing it up and using a little bit healthier ingredients this treat or breakfast topper can absolutely be good for you! Moderation is key. I hope you get to make and enjoy these vegan and gluten-free Spicy Gingersnap Granola Chunks.
Granola is one of those things that is more addicting and worse for you than any other sweet. 1. because you don’t think of it as a treat, which it is. And 2. because it is so packed full of calories that you forget that it is an addition not that actual food your consuming. I don’t know about you, but granola is one of those things that I just scoop out by the handful on top of my yogurt … and then scoop some into my mouth before putting the bag away. I haven’t been able to stop that awful habit, but I am making better granola choices to stop the actual binge eating of it. Starting with continuing to not purchase granola from the store because even if it’s from the Whole Foods baked goods section, it is still packed full of unhealthy ingredients, sugar, and maybe some things you don’t even know what they are. Making your own is the key. You control everything – and spicing that granola up (just like using spicy peppers in savory dishes) means you don’t eat a ton at one time. And can we stop for a minute and notice I used quinoa in this granola? What? Quinoa not cooked? Yes! I have wanted to add this grain to a baked for so long but just never knew how, so thanks to Pinterest I did!
Start by turning the oven on … that’s the longest part of granola making – getting the oven warm enough. Then just mix together the dry ingredients in a medium-size bowl. In a smaller microwave safe bowl dump in the wet ingredients then microwave until the coconut oil is all melted. Chop the dates into small pieces and mix into the wet ingredients to let them plump up a little. Then just mix everything together. Spray a small baking sheet with non-stick spray then dump the mixture onto the pan and flatten out. Bake for 20 minutes then take out and break up with a spoon, turning the granola over so all sides get baked on the sheet. Then flatten out and squish back together and bake 30 more minutes. Take out and let cool about 20 minutes then use the spoon the break everything into your favorite size chunks. Let cool completely so it can harden. Enjoy!
Spicy Gingersnap Granola Chunks,
2 C Oats
1/3 C Flax Meal
1/2 C Quinoa, not cooked
1 C Hazelnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp Ginger
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Cloves
15 Dates, chopped
1/4 C Molasses
1/3 C Unsweetened Applesauce
1/2 C Maple Syrup
1/4 C Coconut Oil, melted
1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2. Add oats, flax, quinoa, chopped hazelnuts, and all spices to a medium-size bowl and mix. Set aside.
3. In a microwave safe dish add the molasses, applesauce, syrup, and oil and microwave until the oil is melted. Mix well.
4. Chop the dates into small pieces and add the wet mixture. Mix well.
5. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix.
6. Dump everything onto the baking sheet and press flat.
7. Bake 20 minutes then take out.
8. Mix everything with a spoon then flatten back down.
9. Bake 30 minutes then take out.
10. Let sit 20 minutes then break up with a spoon into large chunks.
11. Cool completely then store. Enjoy!