Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Groovy Granola - Fun to Make, Fun to Share!

Give the Gift of Granola!
This time of year, there are always people that I want to give a little something to for the holidays. Most of these folks really appreciate the gift of something homemade, too. There is something special, I think, about something you create – take the time to do with your own hands – for the purpose of giving to another person. For many of us, the thing we have that is worth the most is time, so when you use that precious commodity to make a gift for someone, it tells the recipient that they are important.
Of course, whether it’s cookies, fruitcake or some other sweet treat, the holiday season is full of traditions of sharing and giving. Some time ago I got in the habit of periodically making granola. It’s something I’ve always loved, and until I realized I could easily make my own I was constantly buying it in the store. The problem with what I was buying was that – in addition to it being expensive – I often couldn’t find a mix that I really liked. Some quick research in my cookbooks and soon I found lots of recipes.
Granola is great because you can truly make it your own. You can add lots of what you love and leave out the stuff you can’t stand. If only everything in life had options like granola! I add a lot of dried fruits, depending on what I have on-hand. I don’t make it overly sweet, either. I only use brown sugar and honey for sweeteners. But, if you like it really sweet, that’s easy enough to do.
So if you are looking for something different to give to co-workers, neighbors and friends, try giving them a bag of homemade granola – they will love it! I mean, how many bell and star shaped cookies can one eat? 

7 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup currants
1 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup chopped dried apricots
¾ cup chopped dried dates
¾ cup vegetable/canola oil
¾ cup honey
(you can also add or substitute any of the dried fruits with almond or other nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a very large bowl blend all the dry ingredients and your fruits, nuts and seeds. Make sure it is all well combined. Measure your oil first and put in a blender. Then measure your honey (by measuring the oil first, it will coat your measuring cup so the honey will pour out easily) and add to oil in blender. Blend well for a minute – if you don’t have a blender, whisk oil and honey well in a large bowl. Pour oil/honey mix over dry ingredients and mix well. Your hands may be the best tool to use here – you want all the dry ingredients to be coated. The mix should feel damp to the touch. Transfer granola mix to two ungreased baking sheets – jelly roll pans work best because they have a rim. Put pans in oven for 40 minutes or until it browns up a little. Remove from oven and let pans cool on a rack. Lift granola out of pans with spatula and put in an airtight container. This is great over yogurt, ice cream, with milk as cereal or just as a quick snack. Put it in festive bags and it’s a great gift! Enjoy!


  1. You make this treat sound SO easy.

  2. Your hands may be the best tool to use here -- true!