I tend to do my Christmas shopping in long, “shop ’til I drop” blocks, four hours or more at a time. Once I get going I like to get as much done as possible. I try to bring a Lara Bar or a handful of almonds in my bag so that I don’t get overly hungry and hear Mrs. Fields calling my name:)
My favorite thing to throw in my purse is a baggie of homemade granola. It is awesome warm out of the oven on a Sunday morning and lasts for several weeks in a glass jar. It keeps me going on my shopping sprees until I can eat a real meal. This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life Cookbook, but I have adapted it over the last two years and the result is below. I make it in two batches, one with nuts and one without. Use this as a guide and add your family’s favorite ingredients. My kids love to help decide what to put in it as well as help with the mixing.
6 c quick-cooking oats
3/4 c wheat germ or 1/4 c flax meal
1/2 c shredded coconut
1/2 c sunflower seeds or pepitas
1 c chopped almonds
1 c raisins or currents or dried cranberries
1/2 c safflower oil
1/3 c maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 c turbinado sugar (granulated sugar would be fine) I try to use a bit less than 1/4 c.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on rimmed baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Transfer oats to large bowl and add in all the dry ingredients. Stir to mix. Now add the oil, syrup, and vanilla. Mix until everything is moistened. Spread half of mixture onto baking pan and bake 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes for even baking. Let cool on pans, then transfer to bowl and stir until crumbly. Store in airtight container.