Sometimes you just need some nuts and seeds to offset all the fruits and veggies you've been eating. Granola is a great breakfast cereal or “yogurt -topper” to do just that. It's a great homemade food gift as well.
Here's a recipe to make 4 quart glass jarfuls for sharing and leftovers for your personal use! As always, you can create your own flavor combinations by changing the spices, swapping out vanilla extract for another (almond?), using different nuts and seeds, and using different dried fruits in the last step. I like to think that the recipes I write in this blog are suggestions or starting points—in a process of creative evolution. Certainly you know that what's in the blog has been built upon a foundation of recipes and knowledge shared with me by others before me—no one works in a vacuum—especially in the kitchen! We have a history of mothers and sisters, aunts and grandmothers, teachers and friends who all contribute to what you place on the table or grow in your garden.
Prep 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the following in a large mixing bowl:
42 oz. carton of Old-fashioned oats (the large cylinder size)
¾ cup sunflower seed kernels
¾ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. flax seeds, freshly ground
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Melt in a small saucepan:
1 stick of butter
6 oz. of peanut butter
6 oz. of honey
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Combine melted ingredients with dry in the large bowl.
Distribute the granola between the 2 baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn the granola to toast the other side of the dry ingredients, using a spatula or large flat spoon. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the whole tray is dry and toasty.
Remove pans, cool, return to the large mixing bowl and stir in the contents of a 5 oz. bag of dried cranberries or equivalent raisins or other dried fruit mixture. Pack in zip lock bags or in Mason glass jars and store in a cool dry pantry.