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A few months ago, I essentially gave up eating conventional breakfast cereal. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved cereal of all varieties since my childhood. It is not any easy thing for me to quit. But my willpower is improving and I know I can do better for my body. Cold cereal is overly processed and generally lacking in nutritional punch. And it never keeps me full more than an hour or two. What a lame start to the day.

One of the breakfast foods I’ve gravitated toward is homemade granola with plain yogurt. Granola can be very nutritionally dense — and often calorie dense, which is why people shy away from it. Not to mention it carries that tree hugger hippie connotation. Ultimately, what draws me to granola is that I can eat a third cup of it over a half cup of yogurt and it will sustain me for many hours. I’m getting the proteins and fats my body needs that are lacking in your standard puffed corn or wheat cereal. It’s a few more calories, but you get so much bang for your caloric buck (and you don’t need to eat nearly as much).

This recipe is my own concoction, inspired by one of my favorite blogs, 100 Days of Real Food. Give it a try — sprinkle it on yogurt or pour milk over it or eat it by the handful — you’ll love it too.

Gingerbread-Granola

Gingerbread Granola

  • 3 ½ – 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups chopped raw nuts (any combination you like: cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.)
  • ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup raw, local honey
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated or ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves and/or allspice
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees fahrenheit . Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix next four ingredients (the wet ingredients) in a small saucepan. Heat on low until melted and combined.
  4. Add spices and salt to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture onto the dry mixture and stir to evenly coat.
  6. Pour onto baking sheet and bake for 80 minutes, stirring in 20-minute intervals.
  7. Allow granola to dry and cool on the pan for 30 minutes (granola will become crisp as it cools). Break into chunks of desired size, loosely stir in chia seeds, and store in an airtight container. (It will keep for weeks and can also be frozen.)
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