Do you love the idea of making from-scratch cookies, bread loaves and other Christmas confections with your kids, but what you’ve tried so far isn’t as fun and and insta-worthy as expected? I’m with you. I have a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old. As patient as I (at least think) I am and as low as I set my expectations, just about any time I’ve attempted baking with my best little gals, things often go south and out of my control. Egg yolks end up on the floor, flour dust coats the stove and most of the batter gets consumed before making it to the oven. It’s no secret, I think it’s important to include kids in the kitchen. However, I can only tolerate so much waste this time of year.
So this year for Christmas, instead of attempting something ambitious, expensive and messy, how about granola?
Simple? Yes. Relatively low mess? Yes. Healthy? Yes. Yummy? Yes yes!
Gather whatever random nuts, grains (think outside of just puffed rice and oats this time), dried fruit and other fixins’ stored deep in your pantry and try this fool-proof, incredibly forgiving “recipe” that’s as healthy as it is delicious.
Scroll through for how to do it start to finish!
An Easy and Delicious Granola Recipe for the Kids
Gather some durable yet lightweight bowls (wooden salad bowls work perfectly) and fill with your favorite on-hand nuts and seeds (try pecans and sunflower seeds), grains (try oats, millet, and buckwheat) and coconut flakes. Fun tip: mortar and pestles are great for toddlers to chop nuts with.
In a larger mixing bowl, add 3-5 generous tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter, a heaping spoonful of almond butter and a dash of vanilla. Have your helper count five shakes of cinnamon into the mixing bowl with the liquids and whisk it all together.
Have them dump each bowl of dry ingredient into the larger bowl, mixing gently as they go. When all the dry ingredients have been dumped into the bowl, give them a few generous spoonfuls of honey (we love the Pleasant Bee’s!) to drizzle over it and mix, mix, mix!
In batches, have them scoop and drop onto a lined or greased baking sheet. Don’t crowd the baking sheet! Bake for 10-13 minutes until fragrant, crispy and golden brown, rotating your baking sheet or stirring everything up half-way between the cooking time.
Fifth and Final Step:
Once cooled, have your helper add half of a bag (or whole) of dark chocolate chips. Using a wide-mouth funnel, have your little helper fill small jars or little gift bags with the finished product.
Gift to others or serve yourself over yogurt, as a cereal, atop a smoothie or alone as a snack. Here’s a more specific instructional below!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup whole cut oats
- 1 cup whole buckwheat
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1-2 cups pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 1-2 cups coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 bag of dark chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil or butter, vanilla, cinnamon and almond butter.
- Then add in the nuts, seeds, coconut and mix.
- Next, add the honey and then bake for 10-13 minutes until toasted, golden brown, stirring once half way between baking.
- Once cooled add chocolate chips, stir, store, eat or pass out to others.
- Other grain and nut options include walnuts, sliced almonds, hazelnuts, quinoa or amaranth.
- If you want your granola to stick together more try adding more almond (or peanut!) butter and about 1/4 cup water to wet the mixture before baking.
- Dried fruit such as cranberries or currants are great to add in once cooled.
- For a different flavor option try almond extract, cocoa powder or pumpkin spice.
- Let your child do as much of this as possible and don't worry if more or less of something makes it into the oven-granola is very forgiving as long as you don't over bake it!