Stumped by what to give a relative who has everything?  Strapped for cash?  Homemade edibles make thoughtful, useful, and affordable presents.  How about granola?  Everybody likes granola.  With two kinds of seeds and no butter, this recipe makes a nice gift for a family with nut or dairy allergies.

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For-the-birds Granola

Makes about 2 quarts.

4 c. rolled oats

1/2 c. sesame seeds

1/2 c.  raw or roasted sunflower seeds*

1/2 c. wheat germ or shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. safflower or canola oil

1/2 c. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a measuring cup.  Slowly pour wet into dry, stirring to coat evenly.  Spread granola on a large sheet pan and bake for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until nicely browned.  Let cool on tray (will dry out and crisp as it cools).  Store in an airtight container.

Notes:

You can substitute honey for the maple syrup, but watch it carefully while it bakes — honey is quicker to burn than syrup.

To make it wheat-free, use shredded coconut instead of wheat germ.

To make it sesame-free, use shredded coconut instead of sesame seeds, or use an extra 1/4 c. each wheat germ and sunflower seeds.

* Read ingredients carefully:  some roasted sunflower seeds contain peanut oil.

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