Hallelujah Christmas season is officially here!
I feel like I can listen to Christmas music
unashamed now with Thanksgiving in the books. Don’t get my wrong, I loveee Thanksgiving. What foodie doesn’t? It is the super bowl of all things food. But truly, I feel like it is the kick off to the merriest season of them all…Christmas!
I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving, while the rest of America is running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to gobble up the ‘best’ deals, I am singing right along with Mariah Carey to my favorite Christmas carols and hanging ornaments to my tree. Well this year I couldn’t wait. Just couldn’t. Who can blame me with Thanksgiving so late this year? I mean, come on, we only have about three weeks until Christmas. I couldn’t possibly shove all things jolly into such a short time span. So up went my tree last week.
As you start writing up a list of Holiday gifts, have you ever thought of homemade gifts? Family, friends, neighbors and coworkers will be ever so gratefully giddy as you hand them a homemade treat. Instead of the typical cookies, toffee and delicious candies, I decided to whip up a batch of granola. It’s the perfect snack with its slightly sweet, salty and crunchiness or an ideal breakfast with creamy vanilla yogurt and fresh berries. But this is no sugar dosed granola you can find in the cereal aisles, this granola is sweetened with maple syrup and coconut butter. Have you ever tried coconut butter? Oh my…take the jar away. It might…just might be better than my beloved peanut butter. That’s saying a lot.
Along with oats and sliced almonds, I tossed in quinoa and chia seeds for a nutritional punch and crunch. As the granola cooks, I toss it around to ensure even cooking. Then as it cools, I clump together the granola in my hands to create the beloved clumps. You know, the best bites that everyone seeks out in the box of cereal? Now, that is a gift that truly keeps on giving!
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
- ¼ cup golden ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- ⅔ cup coconut butter
- 1 T vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, flaxseed, chia seeds, almonds, coconut and salt. Stir well to combine.
- In a small sauce pan, melt coconut butter. Add maple and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
- Pour maple mixture evenly over oats mixture. Toss well to ensure all is coated well.
- Spread baking sheet in one layer. Spread around to ensure it is all evenly spread out. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for 10 more minutes. Toss again, and repeat until it is golden brown. When tossing granola, try not to break apart the clumps that have formed. Will take about 30-40 minutes to reach golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Once it is cool enough to handle, clump together the granola. Let cool completely before eating. Store in airtight container in pantry.