I love making presents for other people at Christmas. It means that I get to tailor the present to their interests, I get to be a little creative and it’s saves me money!
I tend to make very practical things, such as granola, nut mixes, body care items and other things that I know will get used and not tossed. There is already so much waste in this world and I try to do my best to minimise my carbon foot print when possible.
I don’t get presents for many people, so when I do I put a lot of thought into it. A few months ago, Dan’s parents visited us in Canberra. At the end of their trip, they said their goodbyes and Dan’s mum yelled through the car window ‘Make me granola for Christmas. Nothing else. That’s all I want.’ I politely said ‘Haha, ok, no woooorriiiess!’
The car drove off and I was stranded in the dark, on my apartment’s footstep, with a bemused look on my face. Ithought… JUST GRANOLA?! Ok, I’ll see what I can do.
I ended up making 3 types of granola for them, totalling to about 1-2 kilos (haha). This gingerbread granola was developed in anticipation of Christmas. It’s like an adulterated sweet and spicy gingerbread. It even looks like Christmas with the green pistachios and pepitas and the red goji and cranberries.
And of course, I saved some for myself!
- Gingerbread granola
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- ½ tbsp allspice
- ½ tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- ½ – 1 cup dates, soaked in water for at least 2 hours (adjust amount of dates depending on how sweet you like things)
- 2 cups choice of grain (I used 1 cup steel cut oats and 1 cup rolled oats)
- ½ cup cashews, whole or pieces
- ½ cup pepitas
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup pistachios
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup goji berries
- Preheat an oven to 180C. Line 1-2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Drain the dates. Add all spices and drained dates to a food processor. Blend until dates forms a paste and combined well with the spices. Place date mixture into in a large bowl.
- Add remaining granola ingredients, except the dried fruit, to the large bowl. Mix until date paste and spices are thoroughly distributed.
- Spread the raw granola over 1-2 baking trays. Bake for around 20 minutes or until the granola turns golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on baking trays. When cooled, mix in the dried fruit.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. For longer storage, keep in the fridge.