Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Easy Homemade Granola

Granola is great for gifting.

It’s naturally gluten-free, and it can be made without nuts or refined sugar, so it is perfect for everyone on your gift-giving list. And each batch (or portion of a batch) can be completely customized, tailored to your recipient's favourite flavours; thus, making it a bespoke and special granola.

Whether eaten by hand, served up with milk, yogurt or ice cream, granola will find a loving home wherever it goes.

Go ahead, give the gift of granola. For your friends or, more importantly, for yourself. Because this might be too good to share...

Easy Homemade Granola
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

5 cups old-fashioned oats (buy a certified gluten-free brand for those with a gluten allergy)
½ cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
½ cup maple syrup or honey
3 teaspoons vanilla & 1 teaspoon almond extract (or 4 teaspoons vanilla)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup seeds or chopped nuts (pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)

1. Whisk together all wet ingredients in a large bowl, stir in oats. Press onto parchment-lined baking sheet and Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
2. Let cool for about 30 minutes, before breaking it up and adding customizable add-ins.
3. Package in jars with lids or in clear plastic bags. Label and give.

Customizable add-ins:

Chocolate-coconut: Omit seeds or nuts. Use coconut oil. Add toasted coconut flakes and chocolate chips or chunks to cooled granola.

Cranberry-almond: Use almond extract and almonds in baked portion. Add dried cranberries to cooled granola.

Tropical: Omit seeds. Use coconut oil. Add toasted coconut flakes, diced dried pineapple and a bit of chopped crystallized ginger to cooled granola. Optional: white chocolate chunks.

Nutella-ish: Use coconut oil, use 2 tsp almond extract and 2 tsp vanilla, and chopped hazelnuts in baked portion. Add chocolate chips or chunks to cooled granola.