Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Easy Cranberry Granola -- Recipe, Printable, & Packaging





Get this simple, yummy recipe and easy printable packaging after the jump!





This soft and chewy granola recipe takes me back to my very socks-with-sandals, constant-rain childhood in Oregon when my mom used to make and keep a seemingly constant supply of this yummy homemade granola on hand.  Every time I make it I feel like I'm in the kitchen at the house I grew up in, where my mom and step-dad still live.

Recipe
From a book called, "The Supermarket Handbook"
An all-natural foods book my mom followed religiously during her hippie days :)

  • 15 cups oats (one regular carton of old fashioned oatmeal = 15 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cup of each of the following: chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds (see photos below), chopped walnuts, wheat bran
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
Combine almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, wheat bran, and cranberries in a large bowl.  Add oats and stir.

In a microwave-safe bowl or large measuring cup, combine honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  Heat in the microwave about 2 minutes or until the honey is a good liquid stirring consistency.  Stir honey, oil, and vanilla until fairly well combined.

Pour honey mixture over oats mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are well-coated.  Unless you're working with a very large bowl, it may be easier to split the granola into two bowls to mix.  Scoop moist granola into two 9x13 baking pans.  (I prefer to use glass pans so the granola doesn't stick.)

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned.  Stir halfway through baking time.

Allow granola to cool completely in the pans before transferring to storage containers.

__________________________________
Note: The original recipe also includes 1 1/4 cup of sesame seeds, but I couldn't find them at the store when I made this batch and, to be completely honest, I'm not nuts about the sesame seeds in my granola.  They kind of get stuck all over the place in your mouth and they all float on top of the milk when you eat the granola like cereal.

While we're on the subject, I should probably also admit that the original recipe actually calls for 2 1/2 cups of chopped dates or raisins, but I had enough chopped dates in the granola my mom used to make to last me a life time, so I never use those.  I do still use raisins a fair amount of the time, but this time I felt like dried cranberries.

Oh, and my sister Kendra and I started adding the wheat bran back when we used to sell this at the local farmers market.  I don't really remember why.  Good source of ruffage?  But now it's just habit for me to add it.  




In case you're wondering, this is what the pumpkin seeds look like.  (It's not the kind you eat at Halloween.)
So far I've only been able to find them in bulk in the health foods section at our local grocery store.  

When we lived in Utah I used to get the pumpkin seeds (and most of the other ingredients) at the local whole food store where a lot of these ingredients were sold by the pound.  It's much cheaper than buying the pre-packaged bags at the grocery store.


Packaging


When we're making this granola just to enjoy at home, we keep it simple and re-pack it right back into the oatmeal container the oats come in.  Easy peasy.  



The granola will settle and stick to itself a little, so just give the carton a good shake or two before you open it up each time so the granola is nice and loose for pouring into your cereal bowl.  Or on top of your morning yogurt.  Or ice cream.  :)



We did save a little of this batch to keep here at home, but most of this granola is going to be sold at a silent auction the young women at our church are having to help raise money so they can go to Girls Camp this summer.  So I needed some smaller containers.

When we used to sell this granola at the local farmers market we always just packaged it in quart-sized Ziplock bags, but I didn't have any of those on hand when I made this batch.



I went to the dollar store (Dollar Tree) on the look-out for a good plastic container I could package the granola in and I was very happy when I found these quart-sized (32oz) containers for 4 for $1.00.



I made a double batch which was enough for 10 quarts to sell plus a mostly-full oatmeal carton for us to keep.


Printable

Once I divvied up the granola into the containers, they needed a little label to let everyone at the auction know what was inside, so I whipped up this simple little label.

I've included printable versions of the label for you to use if you'd like.  One has the ounces at the bottom, one doesn't.  Just click on the images below to go to the PDF.  

Each file prints 4 labels to a page.  The labels are made to fit the lids on the quart-sized containers I got from the dollar store.  But of course you could always fix them onto a glass jar or other food-safe container too.





Once you have all of your labels printed and cut, fasten the labels to the top of each lid by putting a tape bubble directly on top of the lid.  Then center your label over the lid and place it on top of the tape.



Voila!  Super easy and quick.

And by fixing them on this way, when people have finished their yummy granola they can re-use the containers for other things if the want to without having to deal with a pesky sticky label.



Though it's never lasted long enough in our house to prove it, I'm fairly sure this granola will keep for at least a good month or two just sitting in the cupboard.



But, like I said, in our house, it never lasts that long.  :)

Enjoy!

8 comments:

Polly @ Helping Little Hands said...

Yum! You really made it gourmet with the craisens and cashews. Don't tell my kids...

Mego said...

Oh YAY!! I've been waiting years for this ;) Thanks Katie!

Janelle said...

mmmm, may just have to make some of this!

Kathy Haynie said...

Definitely the best granola recipe EVER. Thanks for posting the recipe and the darling labels.

Kristie said...

Love cranberries in things. Thanks for sharing. I am going to pin this recipe for use soon!

Laura Hatch said...

I've been looking for THE granola recipe. I'll have to try this! Maybe I'll just have to pick some up at the auction.

Alison said...

Sometimes when I find these pumpkin seeds at my local grocery, they are labeled as Pepitas. In case anyone is confused! ;)

Megan said...

Definitely going to try this out! Have you ever used it to make granola bars? Do you think it would work?