Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Granola – Only 8 Edible Gift Making Days Until Christmas!

When I was asked to take part in a special holiday YouTube playlist called, Christmas Morning Breakfast,” I started thinking about seasonal variation on things like eggs benedict, quiche, and French toast. But then I realized…you can’t wrap those things up and give them as an edible gift, so I decided to do this granola instead.

We’ve covered the edible gift topic before, and discussed the fine line between, “Wow, what a creative and thoughtful gift!” and “Wow, what a cheapskate!” Happily, when it comes to this delicious, crunchy treat, one taste and the lucky recipient will forget about any ulterior economic motivations.

Since this was a Christmas-themed recipe, I went with lots of festively colored dried fruit, but the beauty of the granola technique is that it pretty much works with anything. I love the looks of the green pumpkin seeds, but things like hazelnuts and pecans would also work wonderfully.

As I mentioned in the video, it’s really up to you to determine the cooking time. I tend to like mine just golden-brown, but many enjoy the deeper, nuttier flavor of a longer roasting. Since you are pulling and tossing every 10 minutes, this is pretty easy to monitor, but just be careful towards the end, as it can get bitter if you go too far.

Anyway, whether this is for a quick and easy holiday breakfast, with milk or over Greek yogurt; or you are going to package some up as a stocking stuffer for the foodies in your life, I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 6 cups of Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (pure coconut, not candied)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped candy covered chocolate pieces (like M&M’s)
1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped
1 cup mixed dried fruit (any combo of cranberries, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
*Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes or until browned.