Autumn…that transitional time of year when tanktops are traded for chunky knits, flip-flops fade into boots and booties, and your grande unsweetened ice tea becomes into a pumpkin spice latte.
I can’t move on—in this post or in life—without first giving summer its due. I LOVE summer. I love the sun and heat, the long days, being barefoot (and nearly naked), camping, driving with the windows down, going to the beach, outdoor concerts…it all suits me just right.
So every year when autumn rolls around, it catches me unprepared. “But…didn’t summer just get underway?” I blink the tears back as all of my wild plans of backcountry hikes, mountain lakes, and cocktails over (vegan) barbeque fade like the green on a leaf.
And then…then I remember the coziness of fireplaces. And football games! Of slippers and sweaters, the weight of blankets on my bed, and heavier dishes like roasted root vegetables, soups, and stews. And I start to feel—not excited, exactly. Nor resigned to it.
What I start to feel is an easing up…that it’s okay to rest. To be cozy. To circle the wagons and draw in to my family and friends. That a glass of red wine and a good book during a wind storm can be on par with an afternoon under the sun or on the water. And that maybe there is a perfect design to the way the seasons change. Over twelve months, they create a perfect balance that keeps us from getting too sluggish or too wild. Too busy or too barren. Too driven or too idle.
Something gives in me, and suddenly I’m all fall: cooking, baking, dehydrating fruit, swapping out my wardrobe, settling in. And then I’m finally ready for a dish like this.
Gingersnap granola is the embodiment of autumn. Candied ginger, dehydrated apples, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds mix and mingle, creating a spicy earthiness that is unparalleled. It’s a perfect breakfast at the start of the day, or a lovely dessert with warmed nut milk. You can use it for fruit crisp or crumble it over coconut milk ice cream. Pretty much no matter how you serve it, this gingersnap granola will comfort and nurture you with it’s good warm lovin’. Eat up!
For a bonus treat, try this granola with Cashew milk of the gods.
Yield 12 servings
- 7 cups gluten free rolled oats
- ¾ cup real maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup cashews or cashew pieces
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup chopped dehydrated apple
- ½ cup candied ginger, diced
- 2-3 tsp. pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¾ tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Prepare the ginger and apples; set aside.
- Mix the oats and all remaining ingredients. Stir very well to combine evenly.
- Spread the oat mixture on a large baking sheet (or two smaller ones).
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Oats will become a deeper golden color and start to smell very warm and fragrant when they’re nearly done.
- Transfer the granola from the baking sheet to a mixing bowl and stir in the ginger and apples.
- Let cool completely and store in airtight containers.
If you can't find dehydrated apples and/or it's too much time and/or hassle to do it yourself, just swap the apples for raisins and you'll be all good.
Keep in mind that baking time may vary depending on how deep the oats are in the pan (smaller pan=more time). Your nose is the best way to tell if the oats are done; they should be very fragrant and toasty smelling when they’re finished baking.
Whenever I make granola it seems I give some away so I like to portion it out accordingly. One container to give away, one to keep in the cupboard, and one to freeze so it keeps longer.
This granola is a great idea for a holiday gift!