A few years ago, my mom put the kibosh on Thanksgiving pre-meal snacking. Who could blame her? My family would eat so many little finger foods that we’d be too stuffed to fully partake in the turkey and cranberry main event. So instead, Thanksgiving morning has the new tradition of making a big batch of spiced granola. A small bowl in the morning keeps the Thanksgiving crowd held over with a decadent treat until dinner. Plus, a make-ahead batch is a sweet hostess gift for any Thanksgiving dinner that you attend—especially if you use local ingredients from the Tualatin Valley!
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day”
4 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups walnut halves from Duyck’s Peachy-Pig Farm
1 ½ cups raw hazelnuts from Oregon Orchard Hazelnuts, halved or crushed to your liking
1 cup large-flake, unsweetened shredded coconut
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
Zest of two oranges
2/3 cup butter (can use 1/3 cup for non-decadent days)
½ cup and a tablespoon of maple syrup or warmed honey from Smith Berry Barn
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, walnuts, hazelnuts, coconut, salt, cinnamon, cranberries and orange zest.
(If you can only find roasted hazelnuts, then omit here and add them post-roasting)
Melt butter on the stove or in the microwave, then whisk maple syrup or honey into the butter until well combined.
Pour the butter mixture into the oat mixture and stir until the oats are well coated.
Divide the mixture between the two baking sheets, spreading it all into a thin layer.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes.
Remove granola from the oven and let cool completely before serving or packaging.