It’s the season for gifts – teacher gifts, co-worker gifts, last-minute gifts, hostess gifts, and (ack!) I-forgot-to-buy-so-and-so-a-gift gifts. Thank goodness for edible gifts!
Our Olive Oil Granola in particular makes a great edible gift. After all, everybody eats (or knows someone who eats), and what could be more thoughtful than a healthy, homemade gift?
The olive oil and maple syrup give this granola an incredible depth of flavor and an extra little sprinkle of salt added right at the end keeps the sweetness in check. With its perfectly crisp oats, toasted nuts and seeds, and jewel-like bits of dried fruit, it’s as pretty as it is tasty. We should warn you, though, it’s addictive stuff – any time we bake a batch, we have a hard time staying out of it.
In our minds, a good gift is also practical. Our Olive Oil Granola travels well in any airtight container, there’s no “this side up,” and there’s no delicate icing or intricate designs that can be ruined. It also doesn’t spoil, perfect for mailing to friends and relatives, or just prepping a few days in advance.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s make some knockout gifts!
Once you have baked your granola, let it cool completely, then package it up. As we said, any airtight container will do, but we have a thing for mason jars. Glass jars feel substantial, look impressive and can be purchased just about anywhere. Add a festive ribbon and a tag and you’re good to gift.
This recipe makes about seven cups, which will fill about three pint jars, plus about a cup extra to allow for snacking, because we weren’t kidding about it being addictive. If you need more than that, go ahead and double it – just remember to spread it onto two or more large pans. Crowded granola is soggy granola and we want crisp, toasty, oaty, golden granola.
Tip: If you’re mailing or shipping your granola, you can reduce weight and the chance of breakage by forgoing the jar and using a zip-top freezer bag inside a pretty paper or fabric gift bag.
Olive Oil Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats (750 ml)
- 3/4 cup coconut unsweetened shredded (180 ml)
- 1 cup almonds slivered (250 ml)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds raw (125 ml)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds raw (125 ml)
- 1/4 cup flaxseeds (60 ml)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (125 ml)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar packed (75 ml)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (125 ml)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground (2.5 ml)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt coarse, plus extra for sprinkling (2.5 ml)
- 1/2 cup cranberries dried, or tart dried cherries, chopped (125 ml)
- 1/2 cup apricots dried, chopped (125 ml)
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and flax.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together maple syrup (or agave), sugar, olive oil, cinnamon and salt.
- Pour wet ingredients over oat mixture and stir well, until all ingredients are well-coated. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Spread evenly over one or two lightly oiled or sprayed rimmed baking trays, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then stir granola, spreading evenly before returning to the oven. If you are using two baking trays, rotate position (up and down) after stirring.
- Bake for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, watching carefully towards the end. Granola should be toasted throughout and golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before breaking into clumps.
- Once cool, add dried fruit, stir and transfer to airtight containers.