Clumpy Gingerbread Granola

One of the gifts we received for Christmas was a 6 month subscription to the Raw Spice Bar company. We get 3 spice mixes sent to us every month, with recipe ideas for each. It’s been a fantastic gift! One of the packets that came in the post last month was a German Gingerbread spice mix (a mixture of ginger, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, black peppercorns, cloves, mace and star anise). There were a few different recipes that were suggested, but the one that really caught my eye was for a Gingerbread Granola.

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Jonty is taking a 5-week welding course, which has him tied up on Saturdays. So I’ve been spending that time keeping the apartment warm by making sure the oven in constant use, trying out new recipes. Some recipes have been pretty great, others have been meh. This was a really good one.

I tweaked the Raw Spice Bar’s version slightly, by adding more variety of nuts and seeds, and decreasing the amount of sugar originally called for. I don’t like granola super-sweet, and I think this ended up being the perfect balance between salty-and-sweet and slightly-spicy (I think due to the freshly ground dried ginger).

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Do you like your granola super chunky and crunchy and clumpy? I’m definitely in that camp. There’s something extremely satisfying about munching on a big nugget of granola. And when you get one of those pieces that is flecked with sea salt and gingerbread spices? Gah, so darned good!

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The key to making super clumpy granola is simply to resist the urge to stir it. That’s it, just leave it be, especially once it comes out of the oven. When the granola has cooled completely, you can gently break it up into large pieces.

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I tell you, this stuff is addictively good. When I was taking pictures, I couldn’t stop sneaking little edge pieces – you know, the ones that weren’t photo-worthy 😉

Jonty told me mid-week that we needed to get rid of the granola ASAP because he couldn’t stop eating it! Seriously good.

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This gingerbread granola kept my breakfast routine interesting for the week. My favourite was with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some fruit (the oranges are fantastic at this time of year!).

So if you like gingerbread spices and clumpy granola and food that will keep your body fueled, give this recipe a try. It should keep in an airtight container for a few weeks, if you can make it last that long. 😉

Easy Gingerbread Granola
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This easy clumpy Gingerbread Granola is a healthy way to start your day, or munch on as a quick snack.
Ingredients
  • 315 g (3 cups) large flake oats
  • 100 g (1 cup) walnut pieces
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) cashew pieces
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 pkg German Gingerbread Spice (see notes)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil
  • 100 g (1/3 cup) maple syrup
  • 40 g (2 tbsp) molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds, Gingerbread spices and sea salt).
  3. In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, heat together the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Spread the granola mixture on the parchment-lined tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the pan before breaking up into large pieces.
Notes
If you don't want to use the German Gingerbread Spice mix, make your own by combining the following dried spices: 1 tbsp ground ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground coriander, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and ¼ tsp ground cloves.

Enjoy this Clumpy Gingerbread Granola!

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Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats

I know I’m late to this party, but until a month ago, I had never tried overnight oats. Oh, I heard people raving about them – how quick they are to prep the night before, how easy it is to switch up the flavours. But I was firmly planted in my green-smoothie-breakfast. That was, until the motor died on our Blendtec, and we were without its pulverizing force while waiting for a replacement to come in the mail. FYI, when this company says it offers an unlimited 7-year warranty, they really mean it!

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I need something in my tummy in the mornings, and we had a bag of Rogers Steel-cut Porridge Oats in our pantry that have been staring me down for quite some time. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and try this overnight-oat thing – and you know what? I’m officially on board!

This recipe is nourishing, full of fibre, and loaded with heart-healthy and antioxidant-promoting ingredients. It’s really a powerhouse of a breakfast and can easily be modified, depending on what’s in your cupboards. I’ve been eating this often during the week and it totally hits the spot. It should go without saying, but if you’re gluten-free, make sure you choose a certified gluten-free oat blend. If you’re vegan, use a non-dairy milk. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit 🙂

In case you haven’t heard me lamenting over the very wet, very grey autumn we’ve had on the west coast, I’ll say it again: this autumn feels gloomier than most. It’s a good thing that one day of blue sky (which we had the on Monday this week), can generally elevate my spirit for a few days 🙂

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Another way I get through these dreary months is by filling our fridge with tonnes of citrus fruit. How can a person feel glum, after biting into a ripe orange, or tasting the juicy crunch of a little pomegranate aril! I think that’s why this version of Pomegranate and Coconut overnight oats is hitting the spot for me at the moment. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll throw in some chopped walnuts, for a bit of extra crunch, too. And, with a good cup of coffee, it’s perfect.

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So if your breakfast is needing a change-up, or you’ve never tried this type of oatmeal before, give this Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats recipe a try. Hopefully it boosts your morning, like it does mine 🙂

Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
No cooking required, and five minutes of preparation the night before, will make sure you have a very tasty and filling breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup large-flake oats (I used the Roger's Steel Cut Oat Porridge blend)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened large-flake coconut
  • 1 tbsp walnut pieces, broken up into small pieces (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
Instructions
  1. In a 250 mL glass mason jar (with a lid), combine the oats, chia seeds, ground cinnamon, pomegranate arils, large-flake coconut and walnuts (if using). Put the lid on, and shake the jar to combine the ingredients.
  2. Pour in ½ cup of milk of your choice, and 1 tsp of maple syrup. Stir the contents to combine completely.
  3. Place the lid onto the jar and keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. In the morning, enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Notes
This recipe is enough for 1 person. Modify the quantities to feed more hungry tummies.
If you like your oatmeal dense, use 1 to 2 tbsp less milk., If you like your oats with a lot of extra liquid, either add more the night before, or top with additional milk when serving.

Enjoy!

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Easy, 1-Bowl Banana Bread

To me, there are certain smells that go hand-in-hand with the start of autumn – wet leaves (yes, we live in Vancouver), anything related to apples and cinnamon, and banana bread. Sometimes I feel like I hoard blackened bananas in the freezer all summer, just to make sure I have enough to bake up a loaf when the weather starts to turn.

Everyone needs an easy, go-to banana bread recipe, preferably one that uses one bowl and one utensil, in order to minimize the washing require. This is that recipe 🙂

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This banana bread will happily take any substitution you throw at it. A mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour? No problem. Chocolate or nuts or flakes of coconut or a dollop of peanut butter? You’re the boss. A little less oil and a little more banana? Why not!

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I feel like banana bread is one of those quick breads that’s difficult to mess up. As long as you use a decent amount of those glorious black bananas, the bread always stays nice and moist and is really the perfect anytime food. There’s a few things that this banana bread does not have: one is a whack-load of added sugar (over-ripe bananas are sweet enough on their own, so there’s no need to go overboard on the added sugar); the second is an excess amount of oil. Have you ever had a piece of banana bread (probably at a chain coffee-house) that requires a wet napkin to get all the oil off your fingers after eating it? Again, that’s the benefit of those wonderful black bananas – they will provide all the moisture the bread needs!

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I suggest baking this in the evening, then slicing up a nice thick piece to tuck into your lunch bag the next day, for a mid-morning coffee break. Your colleagues will be jealous 😉

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Banana Bread
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
You need only 1 bowl, 1 whisk and 1 loaf pan to make this easy banana bread!
Ingredients
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 180 g (1½ cups) flour (all-purpose, spelt, whole wheat, a combo)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted walnut pieces (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the very ripe banana, brown sugar, egg, coconut oil and vanilla.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gently mix until almost all of the flour is incorporated.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using, and gently mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, rotating half-way through the baking time, until the loaf is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Let the loaf pan cool on a rack for a few minutes before removing the banana bread from the pan, to cool on the rack completely.
Notes
This banana bread freezes really well. Slice up the loaf before placing it into a freezer bag, in order to make it easier to eat one slice at a time!

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Climb Eat Cycle Repeat | Seeded Pecan (Raincoast Crisp!) Crackers

Homemade Seeded Pecan Crackers

First question: Have you ever made homemade crackers? I must admit, it does take a bit of work – not hard work, but waiting work, planning work. I must admit also that, as most homemade food goes, they do taste better than store bought, and I think we appreciate them more, knowing the time it takes to make them.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackersSecond question: Have you ever had Raincoast Crisp Crackers? They are crunchy, biscotti-like crackers that are quite addictive and quite expensive – $8 for a box… a small box!

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These homemade crackers are basically very similar in style to Raincoast Crisp Crackers. If you google a recipe for these crackers, most websites all seem to point back to this one, and for good reason – this Canadian makes some pretty great, fool-proof food!

You start by making a quick bread in loaf tins. Add whatever goodies you might fancy – nuts, seeds, raisins or dried fruit… anything is fair game! If you have a favourite cracker flavour, now would be the time to recreate it! I went  the Pecan-Raisin route 🙂

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Once the loaves have cooled, slice them up as thin as possible and then bake the slices until crisp. I usually stick the loaves in the fridge or freezer for awhile, which makes it much easier to slice the bread without it crumbling too much.

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Even thought the crackers do crisp up once they have cooled, they should still be fairly firm when taken out of the oven.

They do taste especially good with a glass of nice red wine and an assortment of quality cheeses 🙂

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Happy nibbling!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Homemade seeded pecan crackers

Homemade Raincoast Crisp Crackers
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: ~8 dozen crackers
  • Serving size: 1 cracker
  • Calories: 29
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3 g
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 41.5 mg
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Recipe adapted from Dinner with Julie
Ingredients
Dry ingredients
  • 1½ (180 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) spelt flour
  • 2 tsp (10 g) baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup (70 g) raisins
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup (30 g) pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup (30 g) ground flax seed
  • ¼ cup (45 g) packed brown sugar
Wet ingredients
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup (85 g) pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F and spray two 8"x5" loaf pans with oil or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and maple syrup. (If you don't have buttermilk on hand, place 2 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice into the bowl and make up the remaining 2 cups with milk of any kind. Stir and let it sit for ~ 5 minutes before using.)
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter equally between the two oiled loaf pans.
  6. Bake for ~35 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown and slightly springy to the touch.
  7. Remove from the pans and let cool completely.
  8. When ready to make the crackers, pre-heat the oven to 325F. Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves as thinly as possibly.
  9. Lay the crackers flat on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes, until they are firm and crisp.
Notes
If you don't have spelt flour, feel free to use all all-purpose flour.
These loaves freeze very well, so I will often make one loaf into crackers and freeze the other loaf for another time.

Enjoy!