Have you considered giving a “food gift” to someone on your list this year? From cookies to pies, candy to homemade vinegars, a make-it-yourself gift is a welcoming change over store bought purchases. It tells the recipient that you care enough to take the time to make them something special. Making homemade gifts are many times less expensive and they can be customized based on the recipients’ food preferences.
One of my favorite food gifts to make over the holiday is Homemade Vanilla, Fruit and Nut Granola. This super easy and flexible recipe allows you to add the flavors of dried fruits, nuts or even coconut to adjust it to your favorite flavors. Granola makes a perfect present for friends, neighbors, college students, teachers, and service providers.
This recipe calls for the granola to be baked slowly in a crockpot over several hours. Alternatively bake it for about one hour, stirring every 15 minutes, in a 350 F. degree oven.
Once you smell the enticing aromas, you’ll want to make sure you bake an extra batch to enjoy with your family!
HOMEMADE VANILLA, FRUIT & NUT GRANOLA
Makes 6 cups
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup nuts (your choice almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia or any nut combination)
1/4 cup Golden Flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground Vietnamese or Saigon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried fruit (cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix oats, nuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, and dried fruit in a large (3 quarter or larger) crockpot.
- Stir until mixed well.
- In a small bowl, mix melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla together. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add maple syrup mixture into oats mixture. Stir well.
- Cook on low heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Stir every 30 minutes.
- Remove from crockpot and pour oats mixture onto two parchment lined baking sheets.
- Spread mixture out in a single layer.
- Allow mixture to cool.
- Place in glass gift jars.
- Add craft paper lids, plus ribbon, bows, ornaments and/or other festive decorations.
- Give as a gifts.
Note: If making this for yourself, store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.