Healthy Homemade Gift

Are you searching for a healthy gift for a senior, camper, traveler, college student? Consider Crispy Granola, our featured recipe this month. It’s a good snack or breakfast cereal, and makes a great topping for fruit, yogurt, or  ice cream.

Unlike most granolas, this one has no added fat and only about 1 tablespoon of honey per serving. Oatmeal is a whole grain and provides soluble fiber (helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels). The dried cranberries and nuts add fruit and flavor.

I use old fashioned oats when I make this granola, but any oatmeal will work. I often double or triple the recipe and freeze some of it in freezer containers. If you are making gifts, be sure to package granola in a plastic bag or something airtight before you put it inside a holiday tin or box.

Crispy Granola

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • 3 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit.
    *Either old fashioned or quick cooking oats work – both are whole grains.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a large shallow baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Put egg whites in large bowl and use a whisk or fork to mix until frothy. Stir in honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Add oats plus nuts and/or dried fruit, if desired. Stir until oats are coated with egg mixture. Spread oat mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes until golden borwn; stir mixture carefully every 5 or 6 minutes to prevent overbrowning.
  5. Remove pan to wire rack and cool completely until crispy and crunchy. Store in airtight container. Freezes well.

Snack Idea: Crispy granola, Yogurt, Sliced fruit or berries

A great gift that you don’t have to shop for

If you still have people to buy for the week of Christmas, maybe it is time to consider a gift that involves a resource we all have (although in limited amounts)our time.  Here are some ideas.

  • Get together with a friend or relative you’ve been meaning to see this year, or someone you used to see often, but have lost touch with. Invite them out for coffee or a mealor to your home. Don’t just say, let’s get together…get your calendar out and set a date.
  • Offer to take an older relative to see friends or loved ones they can’t easily visit.
  • Take someone who may be troubled or depressed out to coffee. Then really listen if they want to talk about a problem they are facing.
  • Offer to take nieces/nephews to Laser Tag (or other local entertainment) with one of their friends. This might also give their parents a few free hours.

The list is endless. All it takes is some thought on your part and a commitment to follow through.

If you want something to present, how about a gift coupon. I made these coupons in Microsft Word by choosing a clip art image that matched what the coupon will say, and then typing the phrase next to the picture. If you like, put the coupons into an envelope and decorate the envelope with hearts, mistletoe, et cetera.

Happy Holidays!

-pointers by Peggy

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