Christmas. I bet it’s on your mind. (Yup, on mine too!)
Whether it be planning on where you’ll spend it, who you’ll spend it with, what you’ll cook or bake for it, what church service you’ll attend, or what presents you’ll get for loved ones…the holidays are top of mind!
This year, Christmas is going to be nice and simple for my honey and I. See, our last two Christmases have been spent out of town; last year we went to Ecuador to spend Christmas with my family and the year before that, we went to Orlando to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with our friends. Both experiences were great, but nothing really beats a peaceful, comfortable and tranquil Christmas at home. So we’ve decided to stick around for the holidays this time around!
Another nice change for us this year is that our family has decided to do a gift exchange, where each person has only one person to give a gift to. I love this, because not only does it help you save time, money and energy in all that involves Christmas shopping, but I also love it because it allows you to focus on the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus!
Now, even though we are doing a gift exchange with our direct family, there are still LOTS of other people on our gift list (friends, neighbors, employees and co-workers).
So what do we do in order to not break the bank, but still get something nice for our friends and family for Christmas? We make homemade gifts! We put lots of love, effort and creativity to our craft, and we make cute gifts that are meaningful and sweet.
This year I am making something that I know people love receiving (and I know this because I’ve made this in the past and it’s been a hit). Wanna know what it is?
Homemade granola jars!
Granola makes for a great gift because people need to eat breakfast (and people love easy and tasty breakfasts), and people love having yummy snacks available in-between meals to keep them going. So, granola is perfect, because it’s one of those foods that works great for breakfast AND for snacking. Plus, people love crunchy, sweet, healthy treats that can be enjoyed in countless ways (by the spoonful, with milk or yogurt, with fruit, on top of other foods, etc.).
If you have a few people on your Christmas list this year, you should join me in making these cute granola jars! You’ll find it fun to make, affordable, unique and very rewarding.
Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to my Christmas Gift Granola Jars. This tutorial yields four 1 L. jars, but you can adapt the recipe to make as many jars as you need!
OH! And to spread extra Christmas cheer this year, I’ve partnered up with Swanson Vitamins to do a $100 gift card giveaway! If you are the lucky winner, you can use that money to buy your granola ingredients! YAY! Perfect timing.
We’ll pick one winner at random, so be sure to enter for a chance to win (you have until December 20th to enter)! Winner will be announced December 21st.
Swanson email signup is a requirement to enter the giveaway. Participants must be in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec) to enter!
Here is what you’ll need for the granola:
- 6 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats (to make it PALEO: use a combination of your favorite chopped seeds and nuts)
- 2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 cups chopped pecans
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup light brown sugar (to make it PALEO: use coconut sugar or maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup raisins (you can sub it with any other dried fruit or dairy free chocolate chips)
Here is what you’ll need to get for the jars:
Instructions to prepare the granola:
- Place racks at the top, middle and bottom of the oven.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl using a spatula.
- Mix wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl, using a spatula.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
- Transfer mixture to three large baking sheets, spreading mixture evenly. evenly.
- Place one backing sheet on the top rack of the oven, another one on the middle rack of the oven, and another one at the bottom rack of the oven. Bake granola for 45 minutes total; but every 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet from oven, and using a spatula, carefully stir the mixture to prevent granola from sticking to the baking sheet and from burning.
- Once the 45 minutes pass, remove baking sheets from the oven and let the granola cool completely. Once cool, fold in raisins/dried fruit/carob chips.
- Fill each jar with granola. Make sure each jar’s lid is tightly closed.
Instructions to assemble the jars:
- Use your favorite pen to write “Homemade Granola” or your recipient’s name on the gift tags ahead of time, and set them aside.
- Cut burlap into large enough circles (or squares) so that they cover the jar and have about two inches left to spare. Place the burlap over the tight closed lid and hold it in place with a thin rubber band (this will allow you to adjust the burlap, so it’s just right, before you tie the twine around the jar). Once the twine is firmly tied, clip the rubber band.
- Add a jingle bell (or a few artificial holly berries) along with your pre written name tag, tie these two together in place with some more twine with a nice bow, and BOOM. You’ve got yourself your first Christmas Granola Jar!
- Repeat steps 1-3 until done.
Hope you enjoy making these cuties, and Merry Christmas to all of you beautiful people!!! XO