Molasses Longan Granola

I love to use molasses because it is one of the healthier sweeteners.  A byproduct of making refined sugar, it contains concentrated nutrients from sugarcane such as Iron, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium and Potassium.  The molasses pairs wonderfully with the longan, which is an asian fruit and a Chinese herb that is very good at calming the spirit by augmenting blood.

In Chinese Medicine, the heart is said to be both the commander of blood and the resting place of the spirit.  It must be nourished properly with healthy blood in order to create a comfortable place for the spirit to rest.  If blood is deficient it can often cause a restless or wandering spirit which may manifest with symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, palpitations or forgetfulness – all of which longan is used for.

Fresh Longan looks very similar to lychee but with green skin.  The dried form has a wonderful honey flavor.  With a little cinnamon and freshly ground ginger, this comes together to make my new favorite granola recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups of oat/barley/wheatberry/rye mix
  • 2 tbsp turbinado or raw sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup of unsulfured molasses
  • 1 cup dried longan

Coarsely grind one cup of the oat mixture to help everything clump together better.  Mix with the whole oat mixture, sugar, cinnamon, fresh ginger and sea salt.  Pour the olive oil over the dry ingredients and try to mix in evenly before incorporating the molasses (use the same measuring cup for the oil and molasses and don’t clean it out in between, the oil coating the cup will keep the molasses from sticking.)

Toast the mixture in the oven at 300F for 35 minutes and stir once or twice during that time.  Meanwhile, roughly chop the longan and mix in with the warm granola when it comes out of the oven.  Let cool thoroughly and then store in a airtight container at room temp for a week or two.  If you can’t find longan at a local Asian market then substitute for whatever dried fruit you have on hand.  I like dried strawberries, blueberries, raisins or persimmon.

This granola is great with a little greek yogurt or any kind of milk poured over it, the molasses turns the milk a beautiful golden brown color.

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