Staring Stars & A Christmas Granola

And when the crisp cloak of Winter comes to cover me,

I take a deep breath and let it take over.

And the cold clears all that was cloudy as it cuts with its sharp edge of unapologetic purity.

The chill, unlike anything else we know, but such a friend in its unfriendliness. 

A perfect invitation to change, to release, to receive

The magic of the quiet and calm yet stark and staring stars of the navy blue night sky. 

Follow the kindness of the leading light, shimmering yellow, breathtakingly bright.

A hand outstretched to guide faithfully forth into the mystery of the hope, the peace, the joy

Of a boy, asleep atop a heap of hay. There he lay as a declaration, a proclamation of unashamed, unafraid, unmistakable love.

Let me stay, O winter friend. The cold, no trouble, I can begin to warm by the side of my savior.

And look upon his glorious face. And look upon his glorious face. Staring, like the star, into mine.

 

 

Christmas Granola

Makes 8 cups

This is my ideal holiday/winter/christmas granola and I hope you feel the same. It is generously spiced and flavored with alllll the favorites, perfectly chunky and crispy, sweet but  not too sweet, and surprising with bites of tart cranberry and spicy, chewy ginger. I'm in love! P.S. - all the seeds are interchangeable, if you wish (pumpkin instead of sunflower / brown sesame instead of black).

 

Wet ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon orange extract OR 1 tablespoon orange zest

 

Dry ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups puffed millet or other puffed grain

1 cup raw pecans

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons flax seeds

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Put all wet ingredients in a small saucepan and gently warm over low heat, whisking or swirling just until the coconut oil is melted. Remove from heat.

3. Combine all dry ingredients except the cranberries and ginger in a large bowl. Stir together, making sure everything is well mixed and coated with the spices. Pour the wet mixture over the dry, making sure to scrape all the oil and sweetener out of the pot, and combine thoroughly.

4. Spread the granola out onto the baking sheet in an even, 1/2 inch thick layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are golden.

5. Turn the oven off, crack the door, and allow the granola to sit in the oven for an hour or so. This ensures a perfectly clumpy, crispy granola! Remove from oven, break into pieces, add the dried cranberries and chopped candied ginger, and enjoy!

DryIngredientsCHRISTMASGRANOLA.jpg
CHRISTMASGRANOLAbigchunk.jpg