The Elving continues! I'm particularly enamoured with Adelaide's recent discovery. After being frustrated by cutting out small circles of white paper, she had a lightbulb moment that cotton balls really make the best "snow 'of all. And what is that you say, dear friends and family? You have no snow in your neck of the woods? No worries, Adelaide is planning on mailing her snow to everyone on her list.
(I must remember to buy more cotton balls.)
Meanwhile, I'm making clothes for the Elves. I made my first Pointy Elf Hat from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts in just under an hour yesterday. Which has me thinking that there's time still to make some for a whole lot more little elves on my list. The first one was knit with what I had on hand - two strands of worsted held together, and it worked. Searching for a slightly more affordable option (in mass elf quantities, that is) to the yarn listed in the book, I've landed with Quince & Co.'s Puffin for the rest of them. I cannot wait to dive in (half of two sleeves to go on a certain sweater, and then I can!).
And lastly, today's edible gift from the Elves. A bit healthier than yesterday's option, but oh, just as tasty I promise you (really). This is THE granola that we have been making every single week, for soooo many years now. It's from the wonderful, favorite book Feeding The Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. It's in the first edition of the book, but the second edition includes a replacement granola recipe (which we love and make too...but this one always holds as our favorite). Eaten with milk or fruit and honey, or in yogurt, or just by the fistful, I wonder how many pounds of this my family ingests each year. A lot.
Though I make this year round, and often give it as a gift for any ocassion (housewarming! new baby! get well soon! just because!), I am giving it as a holiday gift this year to some folks too. Paired with the book the recipe comes from, I think it makes a wonderful gift for families - especially new or young families; or those who are just setting out on a healthier lifestyle path; or for those who I know are mindful of the sugar intake of their littles; or neighbors with busy mornings. Okay, for a whole lot of people, this granola, I think, makes a lovely gift.
So many of you have asked me for this recipe over the years, but it wasn't mine to share! I'm so pleased that Cynthia so graciously gave me permission to share it here with you today (she also mentioned that there's a video and recipe on her site for the second granola recipe - Maple Nut Granola. Check it out here, along with all the other good stuff offered on her site Cookus Interruptus).
Without further adieu...THE granola we love, eat and gift:
Nut & Seed Granola
from Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods by Cynthia Lair (shared with permission)
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup cold-pressed vegetable oil (we like to use coconut, though all wet ingredients need to be at room temperature to do so)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/4 cup apple or orange juice (in a pinch, most other juices have worked for us too)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 300degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, seeds, almonds, flour, cinnamon and salt; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine oil, syrup, juice and extracts. Slowly pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, using a spatula to fold and evenly coat the dry mixture with the wet. Spread on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan and bake. Turn granola every 15 or 20 minutes so that it toasts evenly. Bake until granola is dry and golden (45-60 minutes). Store in an air tight jar.
I always double the recipe (I have four children. I double everything), which fills a one gallon jar and lasts us almost one week. For making and sharing as a gift, a double batch fits nicely inside two half-gallon mason jars.
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Join us all week long here as I share some of the simple, handmade family gifts we're making in this wonderfully full time of Elving (& Giving)!