Christmas is a time for entertaining, and I always love a brunch. The last few times I’ve made granola, my friends and family have loved it. I usually make a plain oatmeal granola with just some nuts in it, but for Christmas I thought it would be fun to make some with the flavours of the holidays added in.
My youngest daughter loves all things chocolate, and I thought that nothing says Christmas like cranberries. So I made a couple of versions.
For the chocolate one, after the granola was cooled I added some chocolate chips and coconut flakes. It was a hit…big hit.
For the cranberry version, I added dried cranberries, along with some other dried fruit -chopped dried figs, and raisins, and more flaked coconut.
Depending what your family loves, you could add in any dried fruit, or nuts…or chocolate.
- 1 lb. quick oats
- 3 cups chopped raw nuts (I used almonds, walnuts, and pecans)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- dried fruit (I used cranberries, chopped figs, raisins and flaked coconut for half, and chocolate chips and coconut for the other half)
- Put half your quick oats (8 oz.) in a food processor and grind into oat flour.
- Combine in a large bowl the oat flour, quick oats, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir.
- In a small pan combine sugar, butter, and water and heat until it boils, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.
- Pour butter mixture over the oat mixture, and stir to fully combine. Let sit 10 min.
- Pour granola mixture onto a large baking sheet, and cook in a 300 degree oven for 25-30 min. Stir mixture and cook for a total of 1 1/2 hours, until crunchy and dry, making sure to stir every 15 min. so the edges don't burn.
- When it's finished cooking, let cool, and add in dried fruit, and/or chocolate chips. Store in an air tight container.
I served the granola with new Nordic Smooth Cottage Cheese, Vanilla flavoured (also available in Lemon, and Salted Caramel). Everyone loved it. It’s thick and creamy without the usual lumpy cottage cheese texture, similar to yogurt, and delicious with a little granola on top -or on it’s own. Nordic Smooth Cottage Cheese has 10 g of protein per serving (25% more protein than the leading Greek yogurt) and only 110 calories. Yum. (Available now in the dairy section of most grocery stores in Ontario.)
Along with our Christmas granola, I made up a batch of my husbands famous pancakes – find the recipe here.
I love this kind of easy entertaining, perfect for a no-fuss holiday get-together.
Another great idea would be to make up a batch or two of this granola for gift giving. It’s the kind of gift anyone would love.
With homemade Christmas granola for giving or enjoying yourself, life really is a party!
Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.