Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola @ NancyC

It was time for me to make granola again and I love trying out different flavors! I had thought about making Gingerbread Granola during the holidays, but didn’t get around to it. I still wanted to try it this winter season, though, and I thought adding some dried cranberries into the mix, a little touch of red, would make it a wonderful granola not only for the holidays, but for Valentine’s day, too. So this is a perfect granola for all winter long…for breakfast, brunch, or a healthy sweet snack. And people love receiving treat bags filled with granola–it makes a great homemade food gift!

As you might be able to tell from my photo, I mixed in both dried cranberries and golden raisins into my granola.  I really like the sweetness and color they add.  I also like the rich molasses flavor blended with the other spices in this!

GINGERBREAD GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 6 cups

  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if using roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or golden raisins (or 3/4 cup of each)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ, sunflower kernels, chopped pecans, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In small microwaveable bowl, heat molasses for about 15 to 20 seconds to make consistency thinner and easier to stir. Then in a medium size bowl, blend molasses, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, stirring everything well (the oil may separate from the other ingredients, but blend it as well as you can). Add this syrup mixture to the dry oat mixture, mixing until everything is thoroughly coated.

Spread granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes so granola bakes evenly. Remove from oven; stir in dried cranberries and/or raisins, if using, and then let the granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks (or you can store a little longer in the refrigerator).

I have a good-sized jar of organic ground ginger, and I used some of that for this. I still have quite a bit of ground ginger, so I may be making more gingery recipes! Are you a fan of gingerbread-flavored treats?

Linked to Fiesta Friday.

Be Glad

Be truly glad

How encouraging is that? It brightened my day when I saw this over at a blog called French Press Mornings. I thought many of you would find it encouraging, too! You can download this message free there if you want to have a copy for yourself.

One of my designer friends told me about this site–I love the inspirational messages and the wonderful artwork there! This particular verse is from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread

Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread @ NancyC

It’s been awhile since I made banana bread, so when I had some very ripe bananas, I decided it was time to make banana bread again! I also had some dried cranberries I was wanting to use and chopped pecans sounded like a great addition to those cranberries. So I came up with this Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread. The loaf browns a little more while baking than some banana breads, but it’s sweet and moist when you bite into it and the dried cranberries give it a great flavor. My loaf did sink a little in the center–probably because I took it out too soon and then put it back in the oven. So be sure to do the toothpick test when you’re baking this bread!

I baked this loaf over the weekend one cold winter morning and it tasted so good with a hot cup of coffee! It’s great for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack.  Also be sure to use a 9 x 5″ pan; an 8 x 4″ pan won’t be large enough.

CRANBERRY-PECAN BANANA BREAD

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 small or 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In medium bowl, stir eggs, mashed bananas, oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract, blending everything well.

Add egg/banana mixture to flour mixture in large bowl and stir just until combined. Fold in the dried cranberries and chopped pecans.

Pour batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan and bake at 325˚F for 68 to 72 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

(Note: this bread may sink slightly in the center, but if you remove it from the oven too soon it will sink even more noticeably, so be sure to do the toothpick test!)

The weather has been colder lately, and that always puts me in the mood to bake. It’s always fun trying new banana bread recipes–do you have a favorite you stick to, or do you like trying new recipes too?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wow Us WednesdaysCreate It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Casserole @ NancyC

I made this sweet potatoes casserole this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I was kind of craving it again, even though you normally don’t think of having sweet potato casserole in January! But it’s one of those classic comfort food … Continue reading

Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake and Yogurt

Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake @ NancyC

It’s hard to believe we’re almost through November already and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday! I didn’t realize until this year that November is also American Diabetes Month. In 2012, 9.3% of the American population (or 29.1 million Americans) had diabetes, so chances … Continue reading