The Perfect Teacher Gift: Home-made Granola
For starters, I have to thank Stacie for getting me on the “make-your-own-granola bandwagon”. It was definitely not on my culinary radar, but now that I have made my own, there seems to be no turning back. Good packaged granola is all the rage these days, however it comes it a pretty hefty price tag. Making your own anything is usually less expensive than purchasing, and in this case, it is rather easy as well.
Homemade granola also makes the perfect year-end gift for teachers. Ria had concocted an elaborate list of items for each “teacher” – ranging from the school principal, who she thinks she is personal friends with, to her dance teacher’s assistant. Needless to say, I was the “meanie” who pared down the list and standardized the gift. It was difficult and took much negotiating, but I eventually managed to convince her that her head teacher did not need chocolate truffles, and every other teacher did not need something individual and special. Her teachers are awesome and I have the deepest respect for them and the profession in general – but there are just not enough hours in day to make a unique treat for each one unless you live in “Ria-land”.
Though I admire Ria’s big-heartedness and gratitude, let’s be real, I am doing all the heavy lifting, while she is measuring using cup measures and making cutesy labels. Labels which she gives up making half-way and I have to cajole and bribe her into finishing. Each jar also ended up with some ugly and irrelevant stickers. Plus, she wanted to add things like chocolate chips and sprinkles to the granola, which I also nixed. My intervention aside, these jars of granola had a unique “Ria-flair” to them and I hope they were well-received. Now, we have to make some granola for ourselves and transform them into our favorite Granola-Yoghurt-Fruit Towers.
Truly made with love and a gift from the heart.
Granola - adapted from Alton Brown
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup raisins
I added some dried apricots and 1-2 tsp vanilla as well. The possibilities are endless – check out Stacie’s suggestions/recipe from a prior post. Will have to try her version next time.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for an 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
- Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.