I am honestly not sure whether this is a memory I have of my childhood, a memory I have of my brother’s childhood that I’ve transposed onto my own, or if I’ve completely made it up. But it’s a wonderful memory in any case. Back in kindergarten, every kid’s parents would come in one day and help make a special snack. The snacks ranged from Oreos crumbled over chocolate pudding (worms in dirt), to microwave popcorn with your own special toppings (more salt and butter, please). I remember (or I misremember or I remember for my brother) being so excited when it was my dad up there making ginger molasses cookies. The Hart snack was special because it involved the oven, and everyone left with one to four warm and crackly (and perfect) molasses cookies.
As such, I have a strong mental and emotional association with molasses and my dad. While I’ve been known to have a cookie in a pinch (or not) for snacking on occasion, I determined I needed to make this ginger molasses heaven into a healthier form. Enter homemade granola. Aside from my inability to eat the nuts (including coconut) that are omnipresent in every brand of granola, a lot of store bought granolas, in the end, just aren’t that good. They sit in a bag for weeks to months, always have a little taste of mass production, and often rely on unhealthy oils (canola) and “healthier but really not” sugars (brown rice syrup, oodles of organic sugar) for cohesiveness and sweetness. I did some web and cookbook searching, and combined a few ideas (most heavily from Shalene Flanagen’s Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook) to come up with my perfect afternoon snack.
Sweetened with molasses (a surprising source of iron) and honey, combined with avocado oil (for a more neutral and less sweet fat source), and flavored with cinnamon and ginger, this granola has come into heavy rotation. Taking literally 4 minutes to combine in a bowl and 45 minutes of largely unattended oven time, there’s no reason you can’t make this in an hour (unless you need to go to the grocery store, then I understand). I eat this many ways: A little handful with your morning coffee (a habit I picked up from my mom), mixed with some full fat greek yogurt and a few dark chocolate chips for a pre afternoon workout pick me up, and even as the endurance athlete nightcap before bed.
And, the main blog picture may, or may not be, my current phone background.
Ginger Molasses Granola
Makes 6-7 cups (serving size varies from one tablespoon to half a cup depending on the time of day!)
3 cups thick rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill makes my favorite!)
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
2 heaping teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Combine dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients. Stir until completely mixed, and spread out onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 45 minutes, patting down ever 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven at 45 minutes (even if you don’t think it is done, I promise it is). Let cool completely (it is this cooling process that gives it crunch), and then put into storage (ziplock bags, tupperware, mason jars…extra protein shake bottles…).
I keep my granola in the fridge to keep it crunchy, and it will last there indefinitely. But mine has never lasted longer than two weeks, so beyond that I guess I’m not actually sure 🙂