Cranberry Orange Granola (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Food Gifts)

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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!

Do you have a great food gift idea? Share it with us! Leave a comment or link up your post below.

1. Lynns Kit Adv (five ideas for food gifts) 2. A Busy Mom of Two (Mint Chocolate Cookies and Brutzel Bars) 3. Mama Bird’s {Pepper Jelly} 4. Susie’s Homemade 5. Leaving Excess (Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake!) 6. Centsable Momma – Jar Mix gifts 7. goodLife {eats} Cranberry Crumb Bars 8. Family stamping food (Mexican Hot Cocoa) 9. Amy-Cutting Coupons in KC (Homemade Bagels as gifts) 10. ElizabethG (Spicy Nuts) 11. HoosierHomemade(Christmas Cookies) 12. The King’s Missus (Super Easy Popcorn Balls) 13. Hannah @ Mulberry Spot (Cranberry Zucchini Bread) 14. MasonDixonMagnolia (Homemade Apple Syrup and Cinnamon Pecan Pancake Mix)15. Geri@heartnsoulcooking(orange-cranberry bread) 16. The Frugal Girls! {Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cupcakes!!} 17. Angie @ Many Little Blessings (Goodie Platter Gifts) 18. Kitchen Stewardship (Homemade Salad Dressings 100% EVOO) 19. Janel (Pizza Night Kit) 20. A Few Short Cuts ( Grandmas Waffle Cookies) 21. Tara @ Feels like home (double choc pecan cookies) 22. Fancy Frugalista (Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars) 23. Jill @ Love from the Kitchen (Garlic Pull Apart Bread) 24. Swqappin’ Spoons – (Banana Bread) the best recipe EVER!!! 25. Finding Joy in My Kitchen (Orange Cranberry Muffins) 26. Sara (chocolate glazed almond bars) 27. Our Changing Reflection (Edible Gift Ideas and Tips) 28. Sarah’s Musings – Coconut Macaroons29. Marsha @ Taste and See (Sweet Chex mix – 2 versions) 30. Newlyweds (Jalapeno Jelly) 31. Lucy Marie – Soup in a Jar 32. Faithful Provisions (Homemade Christmas Gifts!) 33. Jimi @ What’s Cooking (cookie dough truffles) 34. Lynn@queenofthecastlerecipes (addictive sugar and spice nuts) 35. BrownThumbMama (English Muffin Bread) 36. The Prudent Homemaker (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread) 37. Hallee the Homemaker – Delicious Cranberry Nut Bread 38. Homemake Peanut Brittle 39. Leftovers On Purpose (Apple Stuffing) 40. Christmas w/o breaking the bank 41. Lucky @ Making My Own Luck (Cranberry-Apple Ring) 42. Susieqtpies Scraps of Life Holidaze Fudge

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

PS. Don’t forget to pop over to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free on Thursday for this week’s installment of the Holiday Food Fest. Amy is rounding up all sorts of cocktails, mocktails, and appetizers. Great giveaways are available as well.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  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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