THE WASHINGTON POST – If I run out of homemade granola, someone needs to call a doctor, because it’s a sign that something is terribly amiss.
I always have a batch in my refrigerator (where it keeps longer than at room temperature,) waiting to be eaten with milk and berries, sprinkled on yogurt or layered on top of simmered fruit for a short-cut crisp.
No packaged granola I’ve tried has come close to appealing to me as much as my own, which, however I may vary it, is always loaded with nuts and seeds, lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and baked at a low temperature until a deep, toasted flavour develops.
Granola is well worth the 45 minutes it takes to make a batch every couple of weeks. During December, though, I typically find myself immersed in granola production, making multiple batches of this special holiday version to give as gifts.
This year in particular, my friends would be disappointed if I didn’t come through with ribbon-tied jars of my granola, warmly fragrant with cinnamon and cloves, and festive with dried cranberries and crystallised ginger.
Of course, it’s also a gift I give to myself, as evidenced by the big jar of it sitting in my fridge right now.
Warmly fragrant with cinnamon and cloves, lightly maple-sweetened, and festive with dried cranberries and crystallised ginger, this granola has a heart-warming, holiday vibe. A ribbon-tied jar of it makes a delightful edible gift.
Three cups old-fashioned rolled oats
One cup walnut pieces
One cup sliced almonds
Half-a-cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
Half-a-cup maple syrup
Two tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
Three-quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon kosher salt
Quarter teaspoon ground ginger
Quarter teaspoon ground cloves
Half-a-cup dried cranberries
Quarter cup chopped crystallised ginger
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the oats, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds to combine.
Add the maple syrup, oil, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves and toss to coat evenly. Spread the mixture onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until deeply browned and toasted, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.
Let the granola cool on the baking sheet at room temperature, about 20 minutes; the granola will crisp as it cools.
Toss in the dried cranberries and crystallised ginger and transfer to an airtight container.
Calories: 145; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 23mg; Carbohydrates: 17g; Dietary Fibre: 2g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 4g.