Monday, January 23, 2012

Hippie Home Cooking: Crystal Ginger Granola

Some people might describe me as having a hippie bent. I practice yoga, I love Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I've lived in Berkeley, and I attended a university where the mascot is a meditating banana slug.  Seriously, a meditating banana slug.  However, I could never fully claim granola girl status.  After all, I bring my blow dryer on camping trips.  I guess that's why I call myself Thoreau's daughter.  While Thoreau was most certainly considered bohemian, many say that his experiment at Walden Pond was a joke since he only lived a few miles from town.  In fact, I have heard others quip that his mom was probably doing his laundry!  I guess that's why I love Thoreau.  He lived in a sort of limbo between civilization and the wild, and while I would like to see myself as some sort of nature-going gypsy woman, the truth is that I have both feet firmly planted in the city, and my blow dryer always gets packed.  So today, my friends, I am feeding my inner hippie by baking up some granola for the week.  It's inspired by the delicious breakfast I had on a recent trip to the Cass House Inn in Cayucos, CA.  Their granola is wonderfully crunchy with big, chewy chunks of what is either some dried fruit covered in ground ginger or crystallized ginger on its own––I was never really sure––which adds a surprisingly pleasant spiciness to the mix, so I did my best to replicate it at home.

  • 5 cups oats
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger (or more, according to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup oil
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350ยบ and mix oats, wheat germ, and pepitas in a greased
9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Add remaining dry ingredients to the dish and stir.
Add the wet ingredients and stir.  Sometimes I like to get in there and smoosh it with my hands  to make sure it's thoroughly combined.
Don't forget the crystallized ginger!  Bake 20 minutes, stopping halfway through to stir.  Then, remove to cool and store in an airtight container.
This granola does not clump and has a texture similar to muesli.  I absolutely loved it's spicy flavor.  Just so you know, I added almost half the spice jar of ground ginger just because I love its intense flavor.  You might want to do the same!


  1. Looks very yummy :) thanks for sharing :)!

  2. While I might not be totally granola, I also practice yoga and really watch what I eat. I find that having a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing.

    This looks like a delicious recipe! I make my own granola as well but yours seems much yummier! I'll take note of the sweetner

  3. This actually sounds delicious!

    xo Ashleigh