Yep, I’m one of those people. One of those who still, even at 22 years of age, puts milk, cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeers on Christmas Eve. One of those people who blasts Michael Buble’s 2011 Christmas album in my car from November 21st, and refuses to take it off rotation until mid-January.
Shopping centres go from being in my top-3-most-disliked-and-avoided-at-all-costs environments from January through November, to childlike joy-inducing havens that I find every excuse to immerse myself in during December. I take dramatic detours and scour the streets of suburban Melbourne late at night, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at even the tackiest of fairy light displays. You’ll be relieved to know that I stopped dressing my car as Rudolf a few years ago. The antlers on the side door windows and red nose on the front grill were a bit much.
As I write this, the most wonderful day of 2016 is just one week away. The early summer sun is shining outside, I’ve spent the afternoon wrapping presents and arranging them under the tree, and the oven is exhaling the most Christmassy notes of ginger, cinnamon and maple. It will be my fourth batch of Lemon, Ginger and Cranberry Granola this week.
This granola recipe is a festive and comforting marriage of the best stuff -sugar and spice. There’s a wonderful crunch and chewiness to it, then it melts in your mouth like any granola should. It’s sweetened with just enough maple syrup, and the pops of lemon and dried cranberries add some tarty zing. I’ve heavily marketed this granola as Christmassy, but it’s great all year round.
Like any granola, the ways to eat this are endless: serve a generous handful with your favourite nut milk and banana for a wholesome brekky, sprinkle it over smoothie bowls, or whiz a handful through smoothies to make it extra thicccc and amp up the flavour/nutrients. It’s also great to snack on as a trail mix, and to be honest I’ll go through a whole batch over a few days just eating it by the handful.
For something a bit spesh, try layering the granola with cardamom-stewed oranges and your favourite full fat yoghurt in individual glasses – the perfect Christmas Parfait for brunch entertaining! You can also make cute homemade edible gifts by filling glass jars with the granola. Add mini gingerbread men to the jars, and finish with some festive ribbon and hand-written gift tags. So 1950’s wholesome of you.Print
- 2 cups (178g) quinoa flakes
- 1 cup (200g) activated buckwheat grouts
- 1 cup (15g) puffed buckwheat (puffed brown rice also works great if you’re not fazed by grains)
- ¾ cup (45g) shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¾ cup (97g) of your favourite natural nuts, roughly chopped. I use mostly macadamias, pecans, almonds and walnuts
- ½ cup (60g) preservative-free dried cranberries
- ¼ cup (40g) pepitas
- ¼ cup (40g) sunflower seeds
½ cup (100g) melted coconut oil
⅓ cup (95g) pure maple syrup
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- ¾ tsp finely ground sea salt
- 1 tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbs coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 160*C and lightly grease a large baking tray with some macadamia or melted coconut oil.
In a small bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the dried coconut and cranberries.
- Add the coconut oil mixture to the bowl and gently fold with a large wooden spoon until fully combined.
- Spread the mixture onto the prepared tray in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Sprinkle over the dried coconut, then use a spatula to gently turn the granola over. Lightly press the mixture down – this will encourage those glorious little clusters to form. Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. At this point it should be fragrant and golden. Remove from the oven.
- Allow to cool completely before adding the dried cranberries and transferring to an airtight container. As it cools, the clusters will continue to form and harden, so don’t worry if it’s still a little soft! The granola will keep for at least a week if stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
- Considering the nuts, coconut, and dried cranberries, a FODMAP friendly serving size of this granola is ¾ cup (approx. 80g).