I don’t know about you, but this time of year often brings overnight guests to our house. Now while I’d love to cook Easy Eggs Benedict for all guests who stay with us, we operate more like “I’ll make the coffee but then you’re on your own” here.
I could easily put out a variety of cereal, muffins, and fruit, but I do like to put a little more effort in…as long as I can do it ahead of time. Because let’s be honest, with a mini me underfoot, my mornings are all about trying to keep her entertained while guzzling back coffee (can you tell coffee is a big deal in our house?). So I was happy to discover Pecan Cranberry Granola in Chatelaine’s 100+ best holiday recipes. Easy, healthy, and tasty, it’s the perfect make-ahead breakfast meal to satisfy hungry guests.
With a hearty combo of pecans, dried cranberries, pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds), and oats, a little goes a long way with this granola. And most of the sweetness comes from the ½ cup of honey, which means no added sugars or sweeteners need to be used. To appeal to the mini sous chef’s palate, I chopped the pecans up more finely and added extra cranberries. From pecan chopping to cooling, this granola only took up 15 minutes of my life (would have been less than 10 minutes, if I wasn’t frying-pan challenged – see below). And with the green pepita seeds and red cranberries, this granola fits right in with the seasonal holiday colours.
The only thing I would do differently next time would be to replace the pepitas with the suggested option of sesame seeds, as the kiddo was not a fan of the little green seeds (I spent longer picking out pepita seeds from her bowl of granola than I did making the whole batch…ah, motherhood).
I would definitely make this again (and again), keeping in mind the following “tips”:
1. Buy extra cranberries if you know you have a fan in your midst…I had to make a second trip to the store after my little one discovered my stash. Raisins would also work well.
2. I don’t have two large frying pans (maybe I should?), so I split the granola in half and did it in two batches, then put it all on the same cookie sheet to cool. Worked just fine, and took only five minutes longer.
3. Double the batch if you have a hungry bunch, or are expecting a houseful of guests. Trust me, it won’t last the weekend!
Try the recipe: Pecan Cranberry Granola