It has taken me years to convince my family and friends that I actually get more exited about a luxurious bottle of olive oil than a cashmere sweater. Clothes, shoes, jewelry? Um, can I eat those? No. All I really care about at Christmas are the edibles, and I unapologetically accept all the ridiculously expensive items that I would never buy myself. Oh…you want to give me a kilo of raw wildflower honey? Thanks. Heirloom chia seeds? Organic truffles? My Christmas stocking is now usually full of the most exclusive, decadent food products that keep me motivated to experiment and stay healthy in the kitchen, all year round.
But it’s not all selfish, of course not! My true pleasure during the holidays is giving incredible gifts. I love hearing my friends squeal with delight when they feel the weight of a glass jar, all wrapped in brown craft paper, anticipating the implausible deliciousness inside. I really do make a point of creating all my own gifts, more often than not in my kitchen. I’m not just passing on something delicious, but also planting a little seed of healthy inspiration – that is the best gift that lasts far beyond December.
Although I have posted a granola recipe before (in fact, one that was specific to the holidays, here), this is usually the one I make huge batches of for Christmas and pass it along to just about anyone hosting a party, my boss, in-laws, the postman. It doesn’t look like anything fancy, but trust me, kooky-delicious. Addicting, in fact. You’ve been warned.
The other reason I bake this granola so often is because it’s very customizable. Switch up the basic ingredients or even add to them to make an endless variety of designer cereal. I’ve included some of my favorite combinations.
If you’ve never made homemade granola before, give this foolproof recipe a shot. You will be blown away at how simple it is and how much more delicious it tastes compared to the store bought brands.
So will your friends. And the in laws. And the postman.
Simple Gourmet Granola
4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup raw almonds, chopped
1.5 cups flaked coconut
1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt (1/2 tsp. coarse, pummeled)
1/3 cup liquid honey (or maple syrup, agave)
4 Tbsp. coconut (or sunflower oil, ghee, or butter)
1. Preheat over to 350°F.
2. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk oil and honey together.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut, and sea salt.
4. Pour oil and honey mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and stir. Place back in oven but remove and stir every 5 minutes or so until the oats are golden brown (approx. 25-30 minutes).
Nuts & Seeds:
Dried Fruit (add after baking):
Superfoods (add after baking):
Sarah B’s Favorite Combinations
Pecan + Date
Cardamom + Pistachio + Mulberry
Walnut + Fig
Vanilla + Cashew + Cacao Nibs
Pumpkin seed + Cranberry
Hazelnut + Apricot
Goji + Hemp
~ My New Roots Healthy Holiday Gift Guide ~
Here are just a few of my favorite things to give and receive during the holidays. Inspire someone you love and give the gift of healthy inspiration (or cut and paste the lot to your own wish list). I even rounded up the best edible presents from My New Roots, perfect to prepare ahead of time and grab last minute – one can never have too many hostess gifts!
My New Roots Edible Gifts
Keep in the fridge until giving:
Need a gift for the healthy gourmet foodie in your life? Needing ideas on what to wish for yourself this year? Look no further than this indulgent pantry list!
smoked sea salt
dried shiitake mushrooms
or seed butters (cashew, almond, hemp, pumpkin)
raw organic honey
high quality balsamic vinegar
hemp seed oil
high-quality olive oil
organic Medjool dates
matcha green tea
Here is a very short list of things I use in my kitchen almost daily. Some are major investments, while others you can find inexpensively. In my opinion, a healthy kitchen functions best with the following items:
mortar and pestle
microplane zester / grater
wooden cutting boards
nut milk bags
glass food containers
glass tea accessories
Best Healthy Cookbooks
2. Enlightened Eating: Nourishment for Body and Soul
3. Nourishing Traditions
4. Supernatural Cooking
5. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
6. The Savory Way
7. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
8. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
Sandor Ellix Katz
9. Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning
The Gardeners and Farmers of Terra Viviante
10. The Sacred Kitchen: Higher Consciousness Cooking for Health and Wholeness
Robin Robertson and Jon Robertson
Lastly, I want to send out a huge thank you for all the recipes that you’ve been submitting! I am blown away with the creativity and enthusiasm you have for healthy holiday foods, and as a result I have a very tough job ahead of me. Wanna come for dinner?