It’s finally friday and today is the day to run the last errands and start settling down for the weekend. Today has been devoted to wrapping gifting so I wanted to share some inspirations and ideas with you. Homemade treats make a wonderful gift idea and the internet is filled with eatable inspiration if you are lacking in ideas. My favourite ideas are homemade cinnamon granola, fresh loaf, cake mixtures, chocolates or nutty granola bars. The ideas can be simple and easy to make, it’s the presentation that makes them beautiful. Last year I got a gift basket from my brother and sister-in-law with homemade fudge (and yes I ate it all in 3 days), a nordic-style rye bread, herb Marseille soap, home-made apple glögi along with all kinds of goodies presented in a cute wooden box. Defining other people’s taste can be very difficult so resulting to fine teas, soaps, salt blends, scented candles all make elegant ideas.
This year I opted for wrapping gifts with natural items, lots of washed colours of simple brown, muslin paper or whites. The gifts are decorated with whatever I find from nature and generally lots of twine or natural string/linen. Branches of holly slipped under the string, tiny braided blueberry branches, cinnamon sticks, rosemary or juniper branches all add that Scandinavian touch to it. Eucalyptus and cotton plant are totally dreamy as well, if you wish to buy supplies from a florist.
I wanted to share this easy healthy nutty granola bar recipe with you all that makes a great gift idea! This recipe is originally by Nigella Lawson (breakfast bar recipe), but I’ve altered it a bit to suit my taste buds. Nigella uses coco nibs and corn flakes in the mixture, which adds a subtle chocolate flavour. I left those ingredients out and added some of my favourite granola into it along with sunflower seeds. I love this recipe because it uses no sugar and you can make it gluten-free which has more global appeal. The key is to use good quality dates that are sticky and fluffy that become the holding glue for the granola bars. I made a batch for ourselves to eat over the weekend and on Saturday it’s time to make it for others! See the recipe below
Homemade Granola Bars
|250g sticky dates, 1 tbsp cinnamon, about 1 1/2 cups cold water
||Preheat the oven to 180C and line with baking parchment the bottom and sides of square-shaped baking tin. Pit the dates and tear into a small saucepan. Add the cinnamon and cold water until the dates are barely covered and let it boil until for about 7 minutes. If the texture looks too dry, add a little more water Turn off the heat and beat with a spoon until it turns into a pureé.
|80g goji berries, 80g pumpkin seeds, 150g brown flax seeds, 25g chia seeds, 25g sunflower seeds, 100g porridge oats, 100g “favourite granola”
||Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Along with all the seeds and berries I added some of my “favourite granola” from a box that contains coconut flakes, almond flakes, raisins and crunchy oats”. This however is optional and you could substitute the granola with corn flakes.
|Place into the oven for 30 minutes.
||Add the date mixture into the bowl and mix until everything is combined. Wear a pair of disposable gloves for this as the sticky date mixture is really hot. Press into baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until firm and golden. Leave to cool before cutting into pieces.|
|Packaging ideas: Glass Maison jar, cooking sting, lingonberry twigs or cinnamon stick
||Stack the granola bars into a glass maison gar and decorate festively. Granola bars last up to a week.
Wishing you a wonderful friday and good luck with all your christmas preparations! I can’t wait for sunday and all the goodness around it!