Christmas Granola

I make granola regularly, but not this granola. This one's special, because it tastes like Christmas. What does Christmas taste like, you might be wondering? To me it tastes like cranberries, pistachios, molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and so on. All those lovely flavors blended to create a tasty and high quality granola, make a wonderful gift from the kitchen.

Can we just talk about the price of granola in the store? Good grief! Make your own and pocket that extra money for something else, like really good chocolate! If you double the recipe you'll have some for yourself and bags to share.

Granola is the easiest thing in the world to make at home. All you need is a big bowl and something to stir all those delicious ingredients with. Gather your oatmeal (use old fashioned) and all the goodies you plan to include. I always like shredded coconut and slivered almonds. The recipe calls for oil and I like to use coconut oil, but you could use vegetable oil if you prefer. You can also use the sweeteners that you like best, but for Christmas I like to include molasses and maple syrup. Honey, brown sugar and agave would all be fine. If you want to include seeds, such as sunflower or pumpkin, add them now.

Once you've mixed the granola ingredients, spread them onto a rimmed baking sheet, lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees and stir every 10 minutes until the granola begins to brown. The edges will brown more quickly, so watch it closely so it doesn't burn. It will probably take 20 to 30 minutes. As the granola cools, it will become nice and crunchy.

Let the granola cool and then put it back into a big bowl and add any dried fruit and the roasted shelled pistachios. (I buy these in a large bag at Sams). Craisins are a good choice, because of their festive color and they taste great too! I like to chop dried apricots and add some dried cherries. The original recipe calls for white chocolate chips, which would be great if you're eating this trail mix style. I omit them because I like my granola with milk or yogurt.


Christmas Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup slivered almonds

2 t. ginger

1 1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. cloves

2/3 cups coconut oil, melted and cooled

6 T. maple syrup

3 T. molasses

1 t. vanilla

1 cup lightly salted, roasted pistachios

1 cup dried cranberries

Mix together dry ingredients. Pour coconut oil over and stir.

Combine maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Pour over oats.

Stir to evenly coat. Spread on rimmed baking sheet, lined with

parchment paper or silpat. Stir and flip granola every 10

minutes until lightly browned. Cool on sheets and then

add pistachios and cranberries.

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