Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Ultimate Christmas Granola


I don't know how it started, but I've been making homemade granola for Christmas every year for the last several years.  In the past, I would usually use someone else's recipe.  Over the years, I've come across a few that I really love.

This cookbook from Cafe Pasqual's (an amazing restaurant in Santa Fe) contains a wonderful granola recipe with apple juice, peanut butter, coconut, and several kinds of nuts.  It also contains many other delicious recipes - no joke!  :)

There is also a hemp seed granola recipe in this vegan cookbook that I have grown to love!

Most recently, I tried this granola recipe from Floating Kitchen.  I found it most interesting - it contains quinoa (raw!) and chia seeds.

Well, this year I decided to concoct my own granola recipe.  I used elements of the hemp seed and quinoa granolas.  I also decided to add some dried cherries and a dark chocolate drizzle.  Why?  I don't know . . . it's Christmas!

. . .

Well, it was.  I didn't actually get around to completing this post until the madness of Christmas was over.

It's OK, though.  Chocolate and cherries belong in granola ALL YEAR LONG.  I just never realized it until now.

Here's the recipe:

The Ultimate Christmas Granola

Makes about 18 cups (I filled three 6-cup containers.)


6 cups rolled oats, divided
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup whole hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup liquid coconut oil (you may have to melt it)
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
4 tsp. vanilla extract

Non-stick cooking spray

1 cup dried sour cherries (sweetened)
One 3.5 oz bar dark chocolate


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Place one cup of the oats in a high-powered blender and blend until they are almost the consistency of flour.

Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Add the remaining oats, spelt flour, nuts, hemp seeds, quinoa, coconut, chia seeds, spices, and salt to the bowl.  Stir until well blended.

4. In another small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla extract.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

5. Divide the mixture between the two baking sheets and spread out so that you have an even layer on each sheet.

6.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, stirring/flipping the mixture with a spatula and then switching the position of the baking sheets about every 15-20 minutes.  

7. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and sprinkle the granola with the dried cherries.  Place the chocolate bar in a one quart Ziploc bag.  Gently microwave until just melted (about 60 seconds).  Snip one edge off of the Ziploc bag and drizzle the melted chocolate evenly over the granola.  Allow to cool for several hours (or preferably overnight) until the chocolate is set.  Break into large clusters and store in airtight containers.  It will keep at room temperature for a few weeks (if it lasts that long).  Enjoy!

I made a couple of batches of this!  We gave most of it away, but I was able to save a little bit for us.  We had it this morning with milk (as a late breakfast).  It's the ultimate breakfast cereal.  Delicious! 

I love the texture created by the nuts, quinoa, seeds, and coconut.  This is serious granola!  At first I was afraid I overdid it by combining too many elements, but now I see that it was the right choice.  It's AWESOME!  :)

I hope I didn't make a mistake by calling this "The Ultimate Christmas Granola".  I thought about calling it something else, but then decided to stick with it!  It IS very festive - perfect for the holidays!  It would also be just as good in July!

Please feel free to comment!  Do you have any ingredients that you would include in an "ultimate granola" recipe?

Thanks for reading!

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