I love making homemade granola. It’s one of those things that’s so simple, but which just feels really satisfying for some reason especially around the holidays. The combination of fresh baked cinnamon and oats with Christmas music playing from the speakers together with the scent of fresh pine sets in motion all sorts of nostalgia!
It feels like there is something super wholesome and substantive and old time-y about it. In fact, it goes hand in hand with one of the many things I cherish in life and hope to pass down to my three girls. It’s the notion of doing things from scratch. Pure. Simple. Authentic. Sort of like the way I hope to go about my life with my family. Keeping things pure, simple and authentic in the midst of all the crazy, business and chaos that we can’t always control. Whether it’s creating homemade birthday cards, using our Saturday mornings wrapped in glue, yard and card stock, (thank you, Pinterest!) or baking with my girls, it just feels good. I’m not sure why that is; maybe it’s the fact that the vast majority of people just buy their granola and other cereals, so to make it yourself feels extra special.
The other cool thing about it is that it’s absurdly easy to personalize or adjust. This recipe is really forgiving about swaps. Prefer honey or molasses over pure maple syrup? Go for it! They all work. Or skip the spices. Or swap in a different extract (orange or almond would both be lovely over vanilla). Add crunchy banana chips or dried pineapple or coconut. Use all cherries or add huge spoonfuls of chocolate chips. As long as you keep the proportions the same, you’re pretty much golden.
Most store bought granola is scary. Delicious, but loaded with ingredients that are not ideal for fostering health. I don’t recognize half of the ingredients! What are “polyglycerol fatty acids” and why are they in my bowl of granola? No thank you. Keeping things simple allows you to be certain that what you are adding to the top of your yogurt or blending in with chopped apples or simply eating a bowl with some almond milk is nutrient rich, fresh and delicious!
You only need 8 ingredients to make this granola. And they’re all foods you likely have in the pantry right now. Start with some cinnamon, oats, and almonds. I used pecans as well but feel free to use whatever nuts or seeds you like. Bob’s Red Mill sells organic Gluten Free Oats for those of you who might be sensitive to the regular type. Above all else, don’t be afraid to experiment. Look at the whole foods listed in the last bag or box of granola you bought and try to recreate it in your own home! Another idea is to buy a few mini mason jars, wrap with a holiday bow, fill with some Christmas Granola and give to loved ones as a gift! Happy and healthy holidays, North Caldwell!
- 4 cup gluten free organic oats
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- ¼ cup shaved almonds
- 3 Tbs. cinnamon
- ½ Tbs. nutmeg
- ¼ cup. organic brown sugar
- 1/3 C. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 C. coconut oil, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lay a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- In a large bowl combine the first 6 dry ingredients.
- Combine the maple syrup, vanilla extract and oil in another bowl and add it to the dry ingredients. Fold together until well combined.
- Pour mixture onto your cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pecans are toasted to your liking and toss the granola every 5-10 minutes to make sure it evenly cooks.
- It might still be wet when you take it out of the oven, but will harden as it cools.
- Let it completely cool before you break it into pieces and store in an airtight container.
North Caldwell Resident & Holistic Health Coach