Triple Ginger Granola

Granola is a big staple in our house. We usually keep one or two half-gallon glass milk bottles filled with the stuff or if it’s not homemade, we have a bag or two that we can dip our hands into during a snack attack. We eat it for breakfast when we’ve hit the snooze button too many times and we eat it for dessert when trying to stay away from ice cream (or we put it on ice cream…). The point is, there needs to be granola in our cupboard. I usually don’t follow a recipe when I make a batch, I just pour some oats and mix-ins and some kind of liquid/fat into a big bowl, stir it around, and hope for the best. And usually it turns out ok, but usually not amazing like the ridiculously crunchy, cookie sized clusters at Portage Bay. Sigh. Maybe someday. This time around, though, I wanted to create a granola recipe that I knew I could come back to if I needed to make sure the end result was delicious. Not sure when or where that might happen (seriously), but you never know. It's always good to have a few solid recipes around, right?. But I have a feeling I won't stop experimenting with ingredients and ratios despite being satisfied with this recipe. I still haven’t figured out how to make it as good as Portage Bay's, but I think I did pretty well. It’s flavorful, crunchy, slightly spicy from the ginger, and delicious on top of yogurt - our favorite. Hope you enjoy it! 

// Triple Ginger Granola // Makes ~ 2 quarts
I used three variations of ginger in this recipe: fresh, dried, and candied. I like to experiment with different forms of the same ingredient because I think they each offer their own unique flavors and nuances. You could skip the grated ginger if you really wanted to, but add more ground in its place. 

3 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3 tablespoons flaxseed, ground
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
2 generous teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dried ginger
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped
*1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp sugar until foamy 

3/4 cup candied ginger, most of sugar rubbed off
1 cup dried cranberries 

1. Preheat oven to 325º
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, flax, and salt. Mix well
3. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and mix in applesauce and honey
4. Add coconut oil mixture to oats and stir until well combined. Add grated ginger, dried ginger, orange zest, vanilla, and pecans
5. In a small bowl beat the egg white and sugar with a whisk or electric beater. Add to granola when foamy and "white"  
6. Spread granola on two baking sheets and bake at 325º for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir to prevent edges from browning and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on it because it burns fast!
7. Remove granola from oven when lightly golden brown. Stir in candied ginger and dried cranberries 
8. Let cool completely before transferring to a storage container

*Note: the egg white is not necessary, but it does add a light crispness to the granola