Christmas Brunch 2009 – Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola

Here’s the menu for Christmas Brunch 2009:

Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola with milk or yogurt
Extra-Sour Sourdough Bread
Baked Eggs
Roasted Potatoes
Coffee, Tea, and OJ

I made Christmas Brunch this year. I started with homemade Extra Sour-Sourdough Bread. I received the starter as an early Christmas present. I already tried the Simple Sourdough recipe, and the Extra-Sour version was much better. It took approximately 24 hours to complete the entire process. But, it isn’t a lot of work, and the result was beautiful and tasty. We got two delicious loaves of crusty bread.

Next, I worked on the Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola (recipe below and it’ll be included in Cupboard Cooking). Making the Granola in the slow cooker turned out to work really well. We had our doubts if the slow cooker could dry the same way that the oven does. So, we made a contingency plan to make oatmeal out of the ingredients if we had to. But, I am very happy, and would highly recommend this process. The granola was served with your choice of milk or yogurt. I had a selection of plain Greek yogurt, Coconut yogurt, or vanilla yogurt.

The eggs were baked in individual ramekins, and were not only easy to put together, but required very little preparation or ingredients. Simple and wholesome, just made from eggs, a small amount of butter, milk, salt, and pepper.

The Roasted Potatoes were small Yukon Golds that were sliced about ¼ inch thick lengthwise. I lightly oiled the pan and the potatoes, and roasted them in a 350°F oven for about 35 minutes. After they came out of the oven, I salted them. Again, very simple, and I will definitely be making them again- for dinner, lunch, or breakfast- they would be great.

So, I’m very happy with the meal, and a happy belly makes for a great Christmas. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to make new things and new experiences. The process of making, testing, and writing this cookbook is so fulfilling. Thanks, so much to my husband. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to do this, and he means the world to me.

Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola

Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola

Maple Almond Slow Cooker Granola
Makes about 8 cups

Feel free to customize the flavors. For example, substitute dried blueberries for the cranberries, ore use rains instead of dates. If your family doesn’t like coconut, omit it. The nice thing about making the granola in the slow cooker is that you don’t have to worry about burning it.

5 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup shredded coconut
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Place mixture in a lightly oiled 4-quart slow cooker, and cook on high for 1 ½ hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is crisp and dry.

Spread the granola on a baking sheet to cool completely. Store in airtight jars. Store up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Serve with milk as a cereal, or top yogurt or ice cream with granola.

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