Today, if you don’t mind, I’m starting something new.
Just a few gifting ideas, inspired by and made with some of my favorite ingredients from my favorite corner of this country.
The time is right, don’t you think? Gifty giftapalooza is on everybody’s brain.
So let’s start this new thing with something sweet, maybe a little healthy?
Let’s start with some Sweet Tooth Granola.
Sometimes it’s nice to give the gift of health.
I love my family. I love my friends. I want them to stick around for as long as possible.
But, you know, I really don’t want to gift my mom or dad a colonoscopy. Nope.
I would prefer not to bless my BFF with a dental cleaning. Somehow I don’t think she’ll thank me.
And I’m pretty sure that even B., my poor little pudgy pooch, is not going to be thrilled when I gift him with a diet on Christmas day.
We need to find something a little more subtle, don’t you think?
A healthy gift that doesn’t involve a doctor’s waiting room or a backhanded (un)compliment.
So I’m thinking granola.
This granola is fun to make. This granola was extremely popular amongst those who received it.
I’m churning out pounds of this stuff, wrapping it in some sassy cello, and tying it up with some crazy-festive ribbon.
There will be cards involved, and they will all say nice things.
There will be smiling and there may even be hugging.
There will not, however, be any mention of colonoscopies.
There will be no discussion of dental cleanings.
And I will not be sitting down with B., having a lengthy and heartfelt discussion about the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, until after the first of the year.
Let’s keep things festive. Let’s keep the hugs coming.
So now you can go ahead and give someone a special, southwestified gift of health this year.
I think your family and friends will love it. You can save the colonoscopies for after gifting season has concluded.
Sweet Tooth Granola
1 c. golden raisins (I used California sultanas)
2 tbsp. pinyon nuts (pine nuts may be substituted)
1/2 c. sunflower seeds, hulled
1/2 c. pepitas, hulled
1/2 c. wheat germ
1 c. coconut, shredded, sweetened
2 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. canela, ground (ground cinnamon may be substituted)
1 c. raw blue agave
3 tbsp. canola oil
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place all of the ingredients except the cinnamon, agave and oil in a large bowl and toss well. Top with the ground cinnamon, oil and agave, and continue to toss until all of the dried ingredients are well-coated.
Spread the granola mixture as evenly as possible onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, carefully toss the granola, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Finished granola should be browned and fragrant. Remove, allow to cool and serve or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
YIELD: approximately 7 cups of granola