If your bank account is empty and your diary is full – look no further.
I have found that the gifts that are fully appreciated and adored meet one of two criteria: homemade or edible. So, I present to you (no pun intended) the perfect gift which ticks both these boxes.
This granola is beyond delicious. Since making it, it has brightened up every breakfast and satisfied every snack craving. It’s filled with festive flavours and health benefits –from the vitamin C in the orange, to the fibre in the oats, to the powerful antioxidants in the chocolate (yes, chocolate IS good for you).
Ingredients: (fills 1.5 litre jar)
For the granola:
- 3 cups oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free version)
- 1 cup almonds and pecans
- ¼ cup flaxseed
- ½ cup pumpkin and sunflower seeds
For the sauce:
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 tsp edible glitter
Start by putting the almonds and pecans in a food processor or blender. Blend for about 1 minute. The nuts should be partially crushed but nowhere near ground to add a crunchy texture to the granola.
Mix the blended nuts with the granola ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Place all the sauce ingredients in a pan and boil on a low heat for approximately 5 minutes. I used a small-holed grater to add the zest of the orange.
Pour the sauce over the granola, making sure all of it is covered.
Pour the ingredients onto a baking try or into a large ovenproof dish, making sure they are spread out evenly. Put in the oven on 170°C for 30-40 minutes, mixing the granola around every 10 minutes so that all sections are cooked and the top doesn’t burn.
While waiting for the granola to cook, measure out your toppings. I chose dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries and raisins to give the granola a festive flavour.
When ready, remove the granola from the oven. Add the cranberries and raisins and sprinkle with edible glitter – because everything is better with a bit of sparkle!
Divide the chocolate chips into two portions. Add one portion after 5 minutes of the granola being out of the oven and the second once the granola has completely cooled down. The first portion will melt into the granola, whilst the second set of chocolate chips will keep their shape.
Put the granola into an airtight jar and decorate with the biggest festive ribbon you can find.
It’s so good you won’t want to give it away!
NOTE: fodmappers should not eat more than 1 tbsp of raisins and 1 tbsp of dried cranberries in one serving.