This holiday season I plan to give granola as gifts. A portion of today's batch is headed to the home of a dear friend who just had her second child earlier this week. Normally, we give frozen meals but I thought a hearty snack might come in just as handy.
Another plus is that you can share granola with just about everyone, especially vegan friends. I like to refer to my recipe as vegan friendly which is a little silly. It isn't as if there are people out there making granola with ground beef or spare ribs. Though with the current bacon craze you never know.
My point is that this is why I love my homemade granola, it can feed just about anyone. It is loaded with healthy ingredients that qualify it as pure nutritional gold but so also damn yummy it'll have you lickin' your fingers and asking for more. I've shared batches with friends and neighbors and all have asked for the recipe. I have yet to share it until today.
Boo's Granola (Need a Better Name)
|Dried pineapple & peanut butter||.|
8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups sugar (optional - without sugar it has a cleaner taste)
1/2 cup of any or all the following - shredded coconut, slivered almonds, flax seeds, raisins, dried pineapple, apricots, dried cranberries, wheat germ or anything else that tickles your fancy
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses (decrease or optional - this is gives a deeper flavor)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 200 degrees and oil baking baking sheets. I use a canola spray to use as little oil as possible. Please note this is not the canola oil listed in the wet ingredients.
|The wet mixture before heating|
|Combine the two mixtures|
|Bake all the granola at the same time|
Spread evenly in the baking sheets. Ensure you have single layers so that pieces cook evenly.
Bake for 3 hours or until lightly browned and crunchy. I rotate the baking sheets every 45-60 minutes. To test that the granola remove a small piece and allow to cool. Then taste it is crunchy then it is ready.
Allow to cool and store in airtight containers.
I am gifting some of this batch in a glass juice jar. Not only this a yummy and healthy gift but now environmentally friendly too. Trifecta!
|The perfect gift.|
On a side note, I've been struggling for months to come up with a good name for my granola. Any suggestions would be appreciated.