Food is my love language. Whether it’s a slice of hot apple pie or a perfectly ripe summer tomato, the right bite can put a smile on my face during an otherwise dismal day. Not only does nibbling on a favorite treat taste good, but receiving one from someone lets you know that person is thinking of you and that they went to the trouble to show you that they care. Sometimes a simple gift can bring a lot of hope.
Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Granola is a fun treat to deliver. It’s super quick and easy to whip up. It makes enough for you to share with someone who needs a pick-me-up (or several someones) and leaves plenty left over to treat yourself to some extra special breakfasts or afternoon snacks. The granola is delicious eaten with milk in the morning, and equally delicious sprinkled on top of some vanilla yogurt with fresh berries for a light afternoon snack or dessert. Scoop some finished granola into cellophane bags and tie them shut with some ribbon and it is ready to deliver.
Now you just need to decide who needs a little visit to brighten their day!
Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Granola
Makes 24 servings
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecan halves, broken into pieces
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Stir together the rolled oats, pecans, coconut, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, water, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the rolled oats mixture and toss until the ingredients are well combined.
4. Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed cookie sheet.
5. Put the granola in the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking, and to ensure even browning.
6. When the granola is ready, remove it from the oven, stir the granola one last time, and set the cookie sheet aside to let it cool.
7. When the granola has cooled completely, move it to a large mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Store the finished granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*Recipe Notes: If you want to cut back on the sugar in the recipe, you could use unsweetened coconut in place of the sweetened coconut and omit the chocolate chips and double the dried cranberries.