At a prenatal check-up, the nurse told me that my iron was a little low. I wasn’t quite anemic, but my numbers didn’t look great. “Throw a handful of raisins in your cereal every morning,” the nurse told me. She explained that raisins were a good source of iron, and that should do the trick.
I was a boring boxed cereal girl back then. I dutifully bought a container of raisins and threw a handful into my cereal bowl every day for the next few weeks. The nurse was right. At my future office visits, my iron looked fine. All it took was a dose of raisins every day.
Sweetening with California Raisins
Raisins are a delicious natural sweetener that can boost the flavor of many types of recipes without adding processed sugar. I’m excited to partner with California Raisins and their “Sweet. Naturally.” campaign to highlight raisins as an alternative to processed sweeteners. The natural sugar in raisins is all wrapped up in good stuff like fiber, potassium, and iron, so recipes sweetened with raisins are healthier than those sweetened with processed sugar.
Raisins also happen to be the most economical of all the dried fruits according to the USDA. This makes them even more endearing to me. I stock up by buying a giant package of organic California Raisins at Costco, and my family enjoys them as an easy, convenient snack.
This Gingerbread Granola is a big improvement over the processed breakfast cereals I used to eat. Full of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and raisins, this granola is a nutritious breakfast or snack recipe. It also makes a wonderful holiday gift.
Many granola recipes have more than double the amount of added sweetener used in this recipe. This granola highlights the natural sweetness of raisins, which go so well with the gingerbread flavor. When I make granola, I don’t bake the raisins with the granola because sometimes the raisins on top can burn a little. Just stir them into the baked, cooled granola for a delicious breakfast or snack.
$.68 per serving
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups brown rice crisp cereal
- 1/2 cup diced almonds
- 1/2 cup diced pecans
- 2 tbs chia seeds
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 nutmeg
- 1/4 salt
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups California Raisins
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown rice cereal, almonds, pecans, and chia seeds.
In a small bowl, stir together the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle this mixture into the large bowl.
In another small bowl, combine the melted coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to cover evenly. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish and gently press it down to make one even layer. Bake for about an hour. The granola should bind together and feel almost solid to the touch. It will continue to harden as it cools.
Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool completely before breaking it apart. Add the raisins to the granola, and store it in an airtight container. (Yields 8 cups.)
Gingerbread Granola Price Breakdown
This recipe costs a total of $6.77 to make, or $.68 per ¾ cup serving (see Price Chart for details). Enjoy this Gingerbread Granola as a healthy breakfast or snack that tastes like a treat.