This cranberry orange granola is a fun twist on the classic homemade granola recipe! With dried cranberries and orange zest it makes a wonderful holiday gift to give to family and friends. And making your own granola is always a great way to save a few dollars.
I love browsing in chi-chi food boutiques. I don’t like the prices they charge. So, instead, I’ve chosen to make my own delicious gifts to give to friends and family.
This gift of good taste is one the boys and I experimented with just this morning. We took our standard granola recipe and doctored it up with some fresh orange zest and dried cranberries. Delish!
Cranberry Orange Granola Ingredients
- Brown Sugar – To sweeten the granola. I love the caramel and molasses flavor it gives to the granola.
- Neutral Oil – You want to use something neutral like vegetable or canola oil that won’t impart a strong flavor.
- Powdered milk – Otherwise known as dry milk.
- Water – You will add this to the wet mixture that gets heated on the stove.
- Cinnamon – I added some cinnamon for some wonderful spice!
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla is an easy way to add more flavor to your granola.
- Salt – A little sweetness always need to be balanced out with some salt.
- Orange – You want to use just the zest of the orange. Avoid the white layer underneath as that can be very bitter.
- Rolled Oats – I used old fashioned rolled oats because I like the texture. Quick oats and steel cut oats don’t have the right texture.
- Nuts – You can use any combination of chopped nuts. You can also omit them if need be.
- Cranberries – I used dried cranberries. Be sure to add these to the granola after its been baked so they don’t burn.
How to make this cranberry granola
Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, powdered milk, water, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Heat until well blended.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and nuts.
Pour the sugar mixture over the oats and nuts mixture, stirring to combine.
Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Once cool, stir in the cranberries and serve with milk or yogurt.
What’s the best way to store granola?
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU COOK GRANOLA?
How long you cook the granola depends on how much you’re making and what temperature you bake it at. Low heat is helpful as it allows the oats to crisp without burning.
Generally speaking you’ll need 30 to 60 minutes to cook a batch of granola.
WHAT KIND OF OATS DO YOU USE IN GRANOLA?
Old-fashioned rolled oats are best for making granola. Steel-cut and quick oats don’t have the right texture to complement granola. That said, flaked rye, quinoa, and spelt are all great additions to the rolled oats.
HOW CAN YOU SAVE MORE WHEN MAKING THIS RECIPE?
Nuts and cranberries can be costly. Consider these strategies from the Good Cheap Eats System to help you lower your costs even more:
- Use what you have. You don’t need to go out for a specific nut or seed if you don’t have it. Feel free to use whatever you’ve got in the house, varying the amounts to suit. You can also increase the proportion of oats since they’re so much cheaper than the other ingredients.
- Make a plan for leftover ingredients. Since nuts are somewhat of an investment, be sure that you’ll have a use for the rest of the package. Likewise, be sure to freeze the granola for longest storage if you don’t think you’ll eat it up in a couple weeks.
- Visit the store with the best prices. The cost of nuts and cranberries can vary widely from store to store. Compare prices so you know where to stock up. (I usually get my nuts and seeds at Trader Joe’s and maple syrup at Costco.
- Check the sales and clearance. When you see great prices, load up on these ingredients so you can have granola whenever you want.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup neutral oil
- 1/2 cup powdered milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 orange , zested
- 5 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, powdered milk, water, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and orange zest. Heat until well blended.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and nuts.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the oats and nuts mixture, stirring to combine.
- Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Once cool, stir in the cranberries and serve with milk or yogurt.
- Store granola in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature.