Vegan Holiday Gifts from the Whole Foods Family
by Cathe Olson
I love giving homemade gifts – especially from my kitchen, but I’m reluctant to add to the overindulgence of sweets that is so abundant during the holidays. For the last few years, I’ve given non-dessert items that are healthy as well as tasty. Much to my surprise not one of my relatives or friends was disappointed that they hadn’t received cookies, cakes, or fudge – but rather they truly appreciated receiving wholesome food. The biggest hits were my Multigrain Pancake Mix and Millet Crunch Granola. Everyone is so busy during the holidays that a wholesome breakfast is often overlooked – and these gifts make special holiday breakfasts more convenient.
Here are the recipes and some ideas for packaging and accompaniments.
Multigrain Pancake Mix
(Makes about 8 cups)
The flours in this recipe are very flexible – I recommend using at least 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour – but for the rest, feel free to substitute your favorite flour or use just a couple of different ones. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled so make extra to keep for yourself!
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups barley flour
- 2 cups buckwheat flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup corn flour
- 1/4 cup baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 cup Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
Sift or whisk all ingredients together in large bowl until completely combined. Pour into jars or plastic bags and tie with a pretty ribbon. Make a label to attach to jar or bag with the following instructions:
Whole Grain Pancakes
- 1 1/4+ cups milk (dairy or nondairy)
- 2 tablespoons oil or melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat or Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix
Whisk together 1 1/3 cups nondairy milk and 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Multi-Grain Pancake Mix. Mixture should be fairly thick but if it does not spread on griddle, add a little more milk. Cook on preheated, lightly oiled griddle or skillet until golden brown on both sides.
Makes 6 servings (2 pancakes per serving)
Note: If I did any canning during the summer, I like to give a jar of homemade jam or applesauce along with the pancake mix. Maple syrup in a pretty bottle or fruit preserves from your local farmstand or gourmet shop is also a nice accompaniment.
Millet Crunch Granola
Makes 8 servings
Granola is great as a breakfast cereal, topping for fruit or soy yogurt, or on its own as a crunchy snack. Your friends will love this version that is packed with protein and essential fatty acids. It’s cooked over low heat to preserve the nutrients.
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked millet
- 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried berries, etc.)
Preheat oven to 250*F. Place rolled oats and millet on baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. In small pan, melt sweetener, tahini, and water together over low heat. In large bowl, toss oats, millet, and seeds with tahini mixture until completely coated. Spread on unoiled baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Stir once or twice during baking. Cool completely. Stir in dried fruit, is using. Do not bake fruit.
Pour granola into jars or plastic bags and tie with a pretty ribbon.
Note: Some ideas to go with granola in a gift basket could be box of soy, rice or almond milk, a funky cereal bowl and spoon, or even a jar of homemade cashew yogurt.