Homemade For The Holidays
The holidays are all about giving, I think we can all agree with that known fact. But we can also agree that along with the joys of spreading holiday cheer comes the daunting reality of spending money. It can get pretty stressful just thinking about that list growing all throughout the first week of December, and don't even get me started on those last minute gifts we all end up scrambling for just hours before that holiday christmas party. Been there done that....in the mist of it as we speak (sigh).
I have, however, taken a more simplified approach this year to gift giving and this brings me to my Holiday DIY Gift idea...
Simple, and not to mention easy on the eyes, My Holiday Granola Jars are truly a Christmas miracle. Best part? It costs very little to make and friends and family or holiday party guests will enjoy it days or weeks (more likely days) to come.
Here's what you'll need for Packaging:
Mason Jars (you can go large or even small here as party favors, you choose)
Ribbon or Rope depending on your taste
Tags or Printed Stickers
2 Cups Rolled Oats (the healthier option compared to quick cooking)
1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil or Butter (melted)
1/3 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp of Cinnamon
1 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup of Raw Nuts of Your Liking
1/2 Cup of Dried Fruit of Your Liking
Any other delicious add-ins (chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.)
***Recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on the amount and size of jars you'll be using***
In a large bowl mix the oats and coconut oil (that has been melted) until well incorporated. Next mix the vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt with the maple syrup in a small bowl to incorporate well and then add to the oats and coconut oil. Mix well and lay evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. You'll want it in a thin layer so that all the oats get nice and crisp.
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes (give or take) adding the nuts during the last 10 minutes to get nice and toasted.
The granola will be ready once it's achieved a nice golden color. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20-30 minutes. This part is crucial because it allows the granola to harden. Next add in your dried fruit or any other mix-ins like chocolate chips, coconut flakes or other fun candies. Let cool completely (for about an hour) before placing in mason jars or any other type of packaging to avoid steaming. You want crunchy granola, not chewy....
Package each jar nicely with a sweet note and store in a cool dry place till they are ready for send off!
TIP: For the freshest granola I'd prepare this a few days before distributing. Granola can last up to two weeks on your counter top (perhaps three if your throwing caution to the wind) but I guarantee it won't last that long.
Hope this idea helps you get through the holiday madness, like it's helped me! And if it doesn't, then at least I've been able to share with you a recipe that will be sure to sweeten even your roughest weekday morning!