Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Chai Spice Granola

This time of year, it's always a good idea to have a few make-ahead and giftable recipes on hand.  I'm happy to say, this chai spice granola is both.  Whether you're hosting or in need a hostess gift, this is sure to cover you.

I'm a big fan of chai, but I really do think it's best when there's a chill in the air.  The classic blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom is warming and comforting, just like a thick blanket, your favorite slippers, and a cozy fire crackling away in the fireplace.  Added to granola, it gives your household of holiday guests a multitude of breakfast options, no matter what time they wake up and keeps you from being a stressed out short order cook.  On top of yogurt, sprinkled over fruit, as an oatmeal mix in, or topped with your favorite milk for a stellar cereal--everybody wins.  It's vegan and dairy free, too, so family and friends dealing with dietary restrictions won't be left out.

If you're needing a hostess gift, looking for something out of the ordinary to include in goodie bags, or just trying to combat the onslaught of sugary treats this time of year with some solidly healthy breakfasts, you can count on this simple recipe.  Just package it into cute, environmentally friendly containers--be it for yourself or others--and you're all set!


With the warmest, most comforting blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom, this chai spice granola is sure to make for the coziest holiday mornings for all your family and friends.

Chai Spice Granola
adapted from Inquiring Chef

Ingredients:

Chai Spice Mix:
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Granola:
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. whole unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 c. maple syrup
2 TBSP coconut or vegetable oil
1 TBSP dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped
up to 1/2 c. dried golden raisins, cranberries, and/or chopped figs

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a small bowl, make the chai spice blend by stirring all spices together.  Set aside.  

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, coconut flake, and almonds.  In a separate small bowl, mix the maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, almond extract, and salt until fully combined.  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

3.  Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake 18 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Stir in pecans and bake 3 minutes more, watching carefully and removing if the granola gets darker than golden brown.    

4.  Remove granola from the oven and immediately stir in dried fruit.  Cool completely, allowing granola to dry and crisp up.  Store in a sealed container/s up to one week.

Yield: approximately 4 cups