Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Homemade Granola with a Valentine's Day Twist!

This is the standard recipe for homemade granola that I've been using for a couple years now. I saw the original on Alton Brown's show on FoodNetwork awhile back, and this is a tweaked version of it. It always turns out perfectly, and it's my favorite recipe for granola!

Margot loves this granola, too so I thought it was about time to send her another care package. I gotta make sure she's stocked up on all the essentials! Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I wanted to do a little twist on this recipe. 

I made this recipe on Friday but I had to wait until today to post it because someone would've seen it before they got their surprise! I told Margot she wouldn't be able to read my blog for a couple days but she said that wasn't possible so I just decided to wait until now to post this! 

When I was shopping at Target for the ingredients for another recipe, some of the Valentine's Day candies caught my eye, and I figured it'd be fun to add some to the granola. I picked the M&Ms because 1) chocolate and 2) does there need to be another reason? 

So here's what you'll need: 
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup oil (any that is light in flavor)
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of sea salt 
Valentine M&Ms (or any add-ins you want!)

Preheat the oven to 250 and mix all the ingredients together. 

For some of the ingredients there are definitely substitutions. I've used agave instead of honey, coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, sunflower seed oil, canola oil, and Amanda's even used olive oil before when she was in a pinch. It's not a recommended oil but it does work. You'll want ones like canola, vegetable, or sunflower seed. 

To make this recipe gluten-free just double check that the oats are gluten-free, and haven't shared equipment with any gluten products! Trader Joe's has a brand that states plainly that the oats did not come into contact with anything gluten. You'll also just want to make sure that none of the add-ins you choose have gluten. 

Once all the ingredients are combined, place the granola in a greased baking pan. This batch gives about two 9x13 pans. Make sure you definitely grease them! You don't want to get in to a "sticky" situation like Amanda did where the granola wouldn't come out of the pans...I will never stop with the puns haha!

Bake the granola for about an hour and 15-30 minutes depending on your oven. Stir the granola and rotate the pans about every 15 minutes. 

I made half the batch plain and half with the M&M's. You can't put the M&M's in before the granola cooks because they would all just melt in the oven! I waited until the granola was done and cooled before tossing in the chocolate. 

Amanda swiped the batch of plain granola since it's the gluten-free version. She's been going without gluten for about a week now because of stomach issues, and she's feeling much better! 

Once the granola was cooled, I added in about half a bag of the Valentine's Day M&Ms. I thought it added some nice pop of color! Plus, it was festive!

We also found these cheesy bags that were of course perfect for the occasion! 

I love going the homemade route for presents so I think this would be a great idea to try for any granola-lover in your life! I also made Margot these Valentine's Day Oreos which I'll be getting up soon, and I'll make sure to include the link back to this post!

What are some of your favorite homemade gifts?!

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