This zesty orange cinnamon granola makes a fabulous (and cheap!) Christmas present. (Via Kristen Bounds)

Earlier in the year, before the pandemic hit, I was at my friend Sarah’s house and had the best granola I’ve ever had. The crispy oats and pecans had the perfect amount of crunch, and the zesty orange, cinnamon, and cranberries really gave it a unique, delicious taste.

“I made it! It’s so easy,” she said.

She sent me the recipe, and I’ve since made countless batches. It takes less than 40 minutes to make and your house smells amazing afterward.

For those looking for a cheap Christmas present for your loved ones this year, pop the granola into an old glass jar, wrap a red bow around it, and boom, you’re set!

Delicious Zesty Orange and Cinnamon Granola

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 24 minutes

Total time: 34 minutes


  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (sweeter, more gooey) or ½ cup maple syrup (crispier)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2/3 cup cranberries (optional, but highly recommended for optimal holiday goodness!)
  • Orange zest from a whole naval orange



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking tray with parchment paper
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
  • Pour in the oil, maple syrup/honey, and vanilla. Mix until every oat and nut is lightly coated.
  • Pour granola onto the tray and use a large spoon or spatula to spread it in an even layer.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Take out the tray and add the coconut flakes, dried cranberries, and orange zest. Mix evenly through the granola and then use the large spoon to pat it down tightly like a pancake.
  • Bake for another 12 minutes.
  • Take the granola out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Break into small chunks and then put the granola into a large container/jar.


And finally, enjoy the granola with your favourite yogurt (I love it with dairy-free coconut yogurt, or good old fashioned plain), a smoothie, or as a snack by itself!


Kristen Bounds is a fifth-year Creative Writing major focusing on non-fiction and journalism. Her writing mostly centres around her passion topics: environmentalism and social justice. Apart from talking about plastic to anyone who will listen, she enjoys reading, surfing, and is quite partial to a cold hazy pale ale.

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