Granola? Yup, Granola!

Of all the things you’d expect me to make and give as a food gift this year, I’ll bet this one never even entered your mind…Granola.

Sure I could have gone the fudge route. I certainly have nothing against fudge. In fact, I probably like it a little too much.

I briefly considered – and rejected-  chocolate bark, almond toffee, coffee cakes, peppermint brownies, caramel sauce, chocolate truffles, even homemade marshmallows.
I’m pretty sure any of them would be warmly welcomed by my friends and my kids teachers.

But I went with granola.
You’re shaking your head in wonder, aren’t you? You thought you knew me.
Well guess what? I really like granola.
(But nowhere nearly as much as I like chocolate. Let’s not get ridiculous).
I went to college in Vermont where granola is the state food.

Granola is homey and healthy.
It keeps a long time.
You can package it in all kinds of cute jars and bags.
People are secretly glad for a break from all that sugar.
And the number one reason I made granola…
is because it’s wicked easy.
As we say in Maine.

This recipe is inspired by one that 2 Stews (a beautiful, very delicious blog) posted last spring. After a bit of trial and error (and burnt oats), I find this works well. I’ll give you measured amounts, but feel free to ignore them. Use any kinds of nuts you like, and any kind of dried fruit. I added some crystallized ginger because I am a little obsessed with it and I like the zing it adds.

Holiday Granola

4 cups of whole oats

1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

1 cup slivered or chopped almonds

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup maple syrup

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a heavy roasting pan with non-stick foil. Pour all of the ingredients listed above into the pan and mix well.
Roast in oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir well and roast another 10 minutes.
Remove and stir it again. Place back in oven and roast until lightly golden, about another 5-8 minutes, checking often.
The edges tend to burn very quickly so keep an eye on it!

Remove from oven and allow granola to cool.
Mix in 1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit) and 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced small.

That’s it.
Wicked easy, huh?