I've gone back and forth this year as to what to give several people in our lives that mean so much to us. Consumerism can get the best of me and make me want to buy all the pretty things for all the pretty people in my life and I. just. can't. You know?
This year I decided I would give the gift of health and make jars of homemade granola for neighbors, family, friends, and coworkers. I'm hoping that they see the thoughtfulness and labor of love I put into this small gift and can appreciate the fact that I thought deeply about this before doing it.
First, I make the granola.
1 c Regular oats
3/4 c Whole-wheat flour
1/2 c Wheat germ
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 c Vegetable oil
1/4 c Honey
2 Tbsp Orange juice
1/4 c Flaked coconut
2 Tbsp Sliced almonds
1. Mix the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
2. Combine oil, honey, and juice and pour over mixture. Mix until completely blended.
3. Spread evenly over foil lined baking sheet and bake in 250 degree oven for 45 minutes.
4. Stir in coconut and almonds and bake for 30 more minutes.
*You can just enjoy this granola like this or you can turn it into a trail mix like I did for my jars*
To create the trail mix, use the homemade granola and follow this recipe:
Granola from previous recipe (or 2 cups if you purchase from store)
3/4 c chopped pecans
3/4 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c banana chips
1/2 c dried apricots
1 bag Great Value berry trail mix
(You could use raisins, golden raisins, and dried cherries separately. I opted to purchase the bag of trail mix from Walmart because it has those ingredients in it for less than $5)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients except banana chips, raisins, cherries, and apricots.
3. Mix well.
4. Spread even on 2 foiled baking sheets. Bake 55-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven; stir in banana chips, raisins, cherries, and apricots.
6. Cool thoroughly and store tightly covered at room temperature.
Since I'm using this as a gift, I filled mason jars with the mixture once it was completely cooled and decorated the container with some fabric and baker's twine I had on hand. I made the Christmas tags using old business card paper and they are ready for gifting!
*A coworker shared her recipe with me and I've tweaked it; I'm currently working on a clean(er) version and will share that recipe as I perfect it.*