Homemade Winter Berry Granola

I love making homemade granola. It's one of those things that's so simple, but which just feels really satisfying for some reason.

It feels like there is something super wholesome and substantive and old time-y about it, straight out of a Little House on the Prairie novel.  I'm not sure why that is; maybe it's the fact that the vast majority of people just buy their granola and other cereals, so to make it yourself feels extra special.

The other cool thing about it is that it's absurdly easy to personalize or adjust. This recipe is really forgiving about swaps.

Prefer maple syrup or molasses or all honey or white sugar or rice syrup? Go for it! They all work. Or skip the spices. Or swap in a different extract (orange or almond would both be lovely).

Add crunchy banana chips or dried pineapple or coconut. Use all cherries or add huge spoonfuls of chocolate chips.

As long as you keep the proportions the same, you're pretty much golden.

I made about 15 pounds of this granola recipe last week to gift as the party favor at the baby shower I hosted for my friend. I filled clear cellophane cones with it, then labeled them all with a homemade sticker I designed and printed.

It was a simple, affordable and crowd-pleasing treat that went well with the rustic winter theme of the party I hosted. Doesn't get much better than that!

Loved this recipe? Here are three other Granola recipes you might like:

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Winter Berry Granola
Brown sugar, spice, and dried berries come together to create this lovely winter granola recipe. This takes about 5 minutes to prep, then bakes up easily in the oven. Make a huge batch at a time; this keeps well for weeks and is wonderful as a breakfast, snack or garnish over yogurt or ice cream.

Makes about 12-13 cups of granola

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but awesome)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 cups rolled oats
3 cups chopped nuts (I used 1 cup each of pecans, cashew, and almonds)
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups dried berries (I used a mix of cranberries, goji berries, cherries, and mulberries)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 large baking sheets with coconut oil.

In medium saucepan over low heat, combine the honey, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and salt, whisking until the sugar is melted and it's all very smooth and evenly combined.

In a large bowl (I use a big pot), combine the oats, nuts, and pumpkin seeds, and stir to combine. Pour in the hot oil and sugar mixture and stir well to coat completely.

Divide into the two prepared pans, and bake about 40 minutes, stirring and rotating the pans after about 20 minutes. Bake until golden, then remove from oven and let cool completely. (It will get crunchier as it cools.) Stir in the dried berries and chocolate, if using, then store in an air-tight container, or divide into bags to use as party favors.

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