Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh, Granola. You Brighten My Day!

I never attempted homemade granola until last fall and I loved making it. But then, I just got out of the habit, the main reason probably being that I stopped eating any dairy for quite a while, and I only ate granola with yogurt. Saturday I changed all that and made a batch of granola. Then on Sunday, I made another! They both turned out really well, so of course I wanted to share it with you!

Cheery Cranberry Granola
ingredients

2.5cups whole rolled oats
.5cups crisp rice cereal
1tbs ground flax seeds
1tbs wheat bran
1/3cup slivered almonds
1/3cup sunflower seeds
.5tsp cinnamon
1/3cup honey
3/4 to 1cup dried cranberries (your preference)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350', cover cookie sheet with tin foil
2. Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl
3. Add honey and stir thoroughly to cover all of the mixture
4. Spread mixture evenly on cookie sheet
5. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven and carefully stir, repeat, bake 3 more minutes then remove from oven. (You want the mixture to brown but not burn, so exact baking times will vary depending on the oven)
6. Add the dried cranberries while mixture is still warm and stir to combine. Store in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.

I love the bright color the dried cranberries add to this granola; very festive and... cheery!


Cherries Gone Nutty Granola
ingredients

2.5cups whole rolled oats
.5cups crisp rice cereal
1tbs ground flax seeds
1/3cup slivered almonds
1/3cup lightly salted peanuts
1tsp cinnamon
1/4cup honey
1/4cup plain unsweetened applesauce
3/4 to 1cup dried cherries (your preference)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350', cover cookie sheet with tin foil
2. Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl
3. Add honey and applesauce then stir thoroughly to cover all of the mixture
4. Spread mixture evenly on cookie sheet
5. Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven and carefully stir, repeat, bake 3 more minutes then remove from oven. (You want the mixture to brown but not burn, so exact baking times will vary depending on the oven)
6. Add the cherries while mixture is still warm and stir to combine. Store in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.

Because I used unsweeted applesauce and less honey in this version, it isn't quite a sweet as the first one. The cherries give it a good sweetness though!


The thing I love most about granola is the wide variety of options. I imagine it would be a good project to do with kids - letting them choose the ingredients and help put it all together. I also love making it at home, because I can make much healthier (and customized) versions than what I can get in stores. Plus, it's so inexpensive!

And I can't forget to mention that granola is also a great gift to give family and friends at the holidays! I'm participating in a gift exchange at work today and my gift to my co-worker includes some of this homemade granola.

What do you think? Would you be happy to get this in a 'Secret Santa' gift exchange?

Do you like granola? Super sweet or not so much?
************
today's workout -
50min/5.75mile elliptical
3x10 weighted side bends
2x40sec planks
stretching

11 comments:

Emz said...

what an awesome idea.

healthy + Christmas = awesome.

Copychic said...

That granola looks amazing! It's on my list to try this weekend. Thanks for sharing :) I love granola, lightly sweetened.

yearsoflife said...

Weird you just posted this because I've been wanted to make granola since Thanksgiving! I was thinking how it'd be the cutest gift idea every for someone on a tight budget! (aka me)Thanks for this recipe and hopefully I can make it before the holidays!!!

Heather said...

Who doesn't like granola? I'd be happy to get this, it looks and sounds yummy! thanks for sharing the recipe.

Jenn said...

Thanks for this post and the idea!

I'm going to do this with my kids for gifts! They will love it. Hopefully we can manage to package it up and not eat it all! Looks fantastic!

B.o.B. said...

Great gift idea for co-workers. Especially since all we ever exchange is fatty snacks. LOL!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

I think that's a great gift to give! Looks wonderful!

Karen said...

Oooh that sounds really good! I love homemade gifts so I think that would be a great surprise in a secret santa gift! :0)

lindsay said...

i would love a homemade SS gift like this! but i am allergic to nuts.

Detroit Runner said...

It looks yummy!

Detroit Runner said...

Thanks for following also!