Friday, December 12, 2014

Peace, Love, Granola, the Perfect Christmas Gift.

If we all ate more granola would there be more peace and love in the world? Ok, it might be a bit of a stretch but I'd like to think so. To help the theory along I've made plenty of this lovely, crunchy, full of flavor Cherry, Almond Granola for Christmas Gifts. It's the perfect gift for so many occasions, your children's teachers, the bus driver, the dog sitter, the baby sitter, a hostess gift, grandma - along with a killer pair of earrings.The recipient will truly thank you, not only because it's super delicious but it will start them off on their New Year's healthy eating resolutions on the right foot. Bag it up and tie with a pretty bow or pour it into a mason jar, you can't go wrong with this.
This recipe a blueprint rather than anything too specific. There are lots substitutions if you prefer. As far as nuts go try:
walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews (yum), pecans, pistachios (yum yum).
Any of the following seeds would be fantastic:
sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, chia,
Alternative flavorings:
vanilla extract, almond extract, rosewater, orangeflower water, cinnamon, nutmeg,
Added crunchy treats:
dried flaked coconut, dried banana slices,
As far as dried fruit is concerned the list is endless, (just make sure it's unsulfured) here are a few:
raisins, cranberries, cherries, goji berries, acai berries, golden berries, blueberries, apricots,
Cherry, Almond Granola.

Ingredients:

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups of raw, organic almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup of organic canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon of best quality vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups of dried cherries

Method:

1. Heat the oven to  300 F.
2. Mix the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on a large baking sheet.
3. In a bowl mix the oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt together.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and mix together thoroughly.
5. Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, with the timer set every 10 minutes at which point remove the granola from the oven, stir the ingredients around to make sure everything is cooking and browning consistently, then return to the oven.
6. When you return it to the oven for the last 10 minutes, mix in the dried cherries. The granola is done when it's lightly browned.

7. Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly. Store in an airtight container. 

6 comments:

  1. I would LOVE to receive this healthy and beautiful granola as a gift. Beautifully presented too Mary. Hope you're having a nice weekend.
    Sam

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  2. I am a huge granola fan! I agree that is a perfect gift!
    Kisses from Greece, dear Mary!

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  3. Homemade granola is the BEST!
    Have a wonderful week, Mary!
    Angie

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  4. Gourmet granola with healthy, speciality ingredients is so expensive at stores, and the cheap granolas are just oats and sugar basically, so this is a perfect gift! You've given a comprehensive list of possibilities for variations, too.

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  5. I love homemade granola! Your presentation is lovely!

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  6. Lovely photos of your delicious looking granola! Great gift idea; I'm making jam this year. Yours looks healthier. :)

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