Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Granola

When I was much younger, "granola" was an adjective. It was how we described some of my classmates at the all-girls school run by the Sisters of Saint Anne. "Granola" was part of the angry schtick of one Ottawa radio commentator. In his daily rants, he fumed about the "granola set", those "tree-hugging, cappuccino-sucking lefties."

When I think of granola today, I think of the crispy wholesome stuff that cleans out your insides. I've seen all sorts of designer granola. Ginger and honey-flavoured, cranberry-almond and pecan-maple granola.

This afternoon, I made a big batch of granola and spiced it up for the holidays. I scooped it into decorative gift bags for the teachers.  I also set aside a couple of bowls for Santa and Christmas brunch.

This recipe makes a big batch and takes no longer than 25 minutes to whip up. The longest part is  measuring out your ingredients. Play with the seasonings to create your own signature granola.

Holiday Granola

AK's Holiday Granola
6 cups large flake oats (spelt or kamut work well too)
2 cups sunflower seeds
2 cups cranberries/ currants
1 cup pecans/ almonds
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soya flour
1 cup water
1 cup oil (grapeseed, sunflower or canola) 
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons cinnamon  
1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground dried star anise (optional)  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Spread onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 20 minutes. Flip mixture and bake for another 10 minutes.
Enjoy sprinkled on yogurt or on its own as a snack.   

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