When you’re planning your holiday baking extravaganza, don’t forget about the everyday indulgences … like granola. Wait, what — granola? There’s granola, and then there’s indulgent granola. Granola enhanced with out-of-the-ordinary flavour and sumptuous add-ins. Like crystallized ginger, dried sour cherries, cacao nibs, almond chunks and coconut. Indulge yourself with Chocolate Ginger Granola. Not only will enjoying this throughout December get you in the holiday spirit, but this recipe does double duty because it’s excellent for gifting.
Chocolate Ginger Granola: A Story of Flavour
My go-to breakfast lately has been a bowl of blueberries topped with plain Greek yogourt, in turn adorned with a tablespoon or two of granola for crunch and extra flavour. But not just any granola … it’s my new favourite, Chocolate Ginger Granola.
You might think that granola sweetened with maple syrup, flavoured with rich cocoa powder and ground ginger, and festooned with chunks of almonds might be enough. Well, that would be a good, basic granola. This recipe ventures into premium granola territory with the addition of cacao nibs, the warming bite of chewy crystallized ginger, the sour tang of dried cherries and an added bonus of shredded coconut. Not only does it taste great, but wouldn’t you agree it looks just as spectacular?
Like all my granolas, this recipe isn’t very sweet. Only two scant tablespoons of maple syrup sweeten three cups of oats. But that’s enough for the oatmeal to toast up nicely in the oven. Keeping the background sweetness subtle also allows the flavours of the various additions to shine.
I first created the recipe for Chocolate Ginger Granola last summer, and gave a jar of it to a friend as a hostess gift. (And, I confess, I was also looking for some feedback — let’s call that field research.) She loved it, so after a bit of tinkering with the recipe I gifted her with over a pound of it. From what I hear, it didn’t last too long. I really knew I was on to something when she came up with her own version!
If you’d like to develop your own granola recipes, I’ve provided a basic formula here. Feel free to use it as the basis for your own creations. Or, just tinker with this recipe. Hmmm … dried cranberries instead of cherries? Finely chopped dark chocolate instead of cacao nibs? I’m just getting started.
No doubt I’ll make some tweaks to this Chocolate Ginger Granola now and again, according to whim and the caprices of my pantry. But I can tell you that I like this recipe enough that more than once I’ve made a special trip to Karpos Nuts and Fruits in Wortley Village to stock up on dried sour cherries and crystallized ginger just so I could make it. (This isn’t a sponsored post; I’m just sharing a favourite local source for my baking supplies.)
I hope you’ll also think this recipe’s worth a special trip for provisions.
Let’s Make Chocolate Ginger Granola!
This recipe takes granola up a level. It’s indulgent enough to be special occasion worthy, but don’t wait until company’s coming to make it!
- 3 cups large flake oats
- 1 cup almonds, skins on
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Pre-heat the oven to 325 °F and line a large baking tray (or two smaller ones) with parchment paper.
Place the oatmeal, almonds, cocoa powder, ground ginger and salt in an extra-large mixing bowl, and distribute the ingredients well with a large spatula. Pour the maple syrup over the base ingredients, and stir in well. Take your time — at first it may seem there isn’t enough syrup to coat everything, but there is.
Spread the mixture on the baking tray and spread out evenly. Keep the bowl handy as you’ll be using it again — no need to wash it. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven to stir up the mixture and spread it out again. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
When the granola is done toasting, carefully transfer it back to the mixing bowl. Stir in the cacao nibs, crystallized ginger, sour cherries and coconut until well blended.
Transfer the granola back to the baking tray and set it on a rack to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container in a cupboard or on the countertop away from heat.
Looking for More Granola Ideas?
First Published 2019 02 10
Republished 2021 12 03