Cranberry Orange Granola

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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. I’ve shared the muffin kit with you. Today’s 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

5 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup powdered nonfat milk
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300°. In saucepot combine salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, water, oil, powdered milk, orange zest, and vanilla. Heat until well blended. Pour over oats and nuts in large mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Spread on large greased cookie sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Cool.

For longest storage, store the cooled granola in an airtight container in the freezer.

I’ve noticed that dried fruit gets a little hard when it’s mixed into the granola. So, I’d recommend packaging it separately. Like this:

The dried cranberries are in a snack size bag, resting atop the granola in a larger treat bag. Tie with a bow and you have a great gift!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Hoosier Homemade says

    Yum!!! That looks great! Do you buy dried cranberries? Like craraisins? Or dry them yourself. I have never tried to dry them.
    Thanks for hosting!

  2. FishMama says

    I just use craisins.

  3. Christian Frugal Mama says

    Yay! Thank you thank you thank you!! I warned my family they're all getting homemade stuff this year and I've been looking for ideas! I really appreciate this topic!

  4. Jimi says

    The granola looks awesome! Do you just eat it like cereal, with milk?

    We love giving food gifts at the holidays! I just hope our friends like receiving them. 🙂

  5. FishMama says

    Jimi, we eat it dry, with yogurt, or with milk.

  6. Lynn says

    This looks like a great gift, FishMama. Nice and healthy and you don't have to feel like you need to hurry and eat it before it goes bad. Great idea to do this linky carnival, too. (Is that the official name, "linky carnival"? 😉 )

  7. 6p0120a5dc1e23970b says

    The colour and the shape of the cranberries make it so festival. Great gift idea, thanks very much!

  8. Homemakers Cottage says

    Oh, yum! My kids and I LOVE homemade granola… and this looks delicious!! Can't wait to try it out! ~Kristy

  9. Amber says

    I can't wait to try this recipe – yummmmm! I do have a question though – Can I use a Silpat lined baking sheet instead of a greased one? I think I love my Silpat just as much as you do and I was planning on using it, but was worried about a potential, unforseen problem. Thanks for the wonderful site – I love it!

  10. Susieqtpie says

    Love it! I have something similar going on my blog! Can you come link up? Thanks so much! Holiday Recipe Exchange

  11. For Their Future says

    Oooo! i love garnola! I will have to get me some cranberries and orange zest now!

  12. For Their Future says

    I could not find the Mister Linky to post this in, so thought I would leave it in this comment!
    It is a link to my recipe "sugar free Carrot cake"!

  13. Merrilee says

    Yum! We just made it today for breakfast this week. I love the orange in it. Thanks for sharing. I found your blog from a link on another, but can’t remember which one now! 🙂

  14. Cassie says

    This may be an odd question…I’ve never seen milk powder in a granola recipe. What’s its roll? In other words, is it there for flavor, nutrition, bulk, etc.? I love the combo of orange and cranberry. My favorite Christmas cookie recipe is a cranberry-orange-dark chocolate cookie. Yum!

  15. Michelle says

    Hi Jessica,
    I love reading your blog! I have a question about the granola. Can you use regular milk instead of powdered milk? What is the purpose of the powdered milk in this recipe?


    • Jessica Fisher says

      You can omit it if you want. It adds calcium and protein, but omitting it won’t ruin the recipe.

  16. Cassie says

    Hi Jessica! I made the cranberry orange granola today. It’s very tasty, but I was wondering what kind of texture you get out of yours. I tend to like granola that has clusters in it–where the oats and/or nuts have stuck together to make crunchy little chunks. What I got with this was a lot of delicious individual oats and nuts, but no clusters. Do you think substituting honey for the brown sugar would yield more “clustery” results?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I don’t think it’s the sweetener. I just made some with brown sugar and got the clumps and sometimes when I use honey, I don’t. I think it has to do with the size of the pan and the amount of stirring. I also think it’s more of an art than a science.

  17. Sarah says

    Oh my.. I just took my slightly modified version out of the oven.. so so delicious and simple to make! Thanks! Will be blogging about it over at

  18. Mary Ellen says

    Is it really one Tablespoon of cinnamon or teaspoon? The cinnamon smell is knocking me out. Is that normal? I used my Saigon cinnamon.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Yes, it’s one tablespoon, but feel free to use less if you prefer.

  19. Just made this this afternoon and the initial assessment is delicious! I’ve never tried dry milk in granola and thought that was interesting. I subbed some rice crispies for some of the oats and left out the nuts {per my family’s preferences and normal granola} and it’s great. I only stirred it once and ended up with some decent sized clumps, just the way we like it!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I’ve been wanting to sub rice krispies as an experiment. Glad to know it works!

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