Irresistible spiced granola with the flavors of gingerbread, including molasses, ginger and cinnamon. Sweetened with maple syrup and dried cranberries, this granola is gluten free as long as you use gluten-free oats.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Stir in the oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Turn the granola out onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with coconut flakes. Mix in the coconut and stir up the mixture to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes.
In the meantime, roughly chop the dried cranberries and candied ginger. After 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and add the chopped cranberries and ginger. Stir to combine.
Let the granola cool before enjoying. The granola will continue cooking just a bit in the cooling process, so if it seems a little wet at first, don't worry.
Store the granola in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks. Store in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
I like to serve this granola with yogurt or milk and sweet winter fruit, such as broiled grapefruit, orange slices or pomegranate arils.
Look for candied ginger at the bulk section at health food stores.
Raw nuts are preferable, but if you want to use pre-roasted nuts in this granola, mix them in after baking the granola. (They are liable to burn if you bake them along with the other ingredients.)
*Where to buy coconut flakes: Look for them in the baking section at Whole Foods, health food stores or well-stocked grocery stores. The brands I see most often are "Let's Do Organic" (green package) and Bob's Red Mill.