In an effort to reduce the use of boxed cereal in our diet, I make Farmer Mike's granola from a recipe his mom developed when he was young. It was so kind of her to share that because it is his favourite thing on earth for breakfast.
It dawned on me one day that gingerbread spices thrown in with a homemade granola recipe might just be the perfect marriage of Christmas tradition and breakfast cereal. And best yet, if your low on eggs, as we are around here, there's none required for this recipe. Which makes it a sure thing for food gift giving that we tend to do this time of year. To make this even easier, we tend to make up batches of just the dry ingredients and store them away, so it's even quicker to make up a batch of homemade granola. I suppose the dry ingredients could be packed in a jar, and given like those popular soup or cookie in a jar gifts.
8 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon allspice
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon powdered ginger
1 Tablespoon cloves
(spices are highly subjective--more or less is up to you.) :)
1 cup oil of any kind
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 to 1.25 cups of water
Mix all dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients to the top. Note with the water, that you'll want to use just enough to make the oats clump together. Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 225 - 250 degree F for 30 minutes. Then use a spatula to break up the clumps and turn the granola over. Bake for another 30 - 60 minutes, until the clumps are rather dry and toasty. Let cool.
Storing: At this point, you can make your homemade granola more nutritious by adding nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. Add as little or as much as you'd like. We tend to store it simply as it comes out of the oven, then we dress it up as we like on an individual basis.
You can't even imagine how good this tasted for dinner last night with chopped pecans and eggnog, instead of milk. It was like having dessert for dinner. :)