Saturday, December 8, 2012

| homemade holiday gifts |

Okay, so this is slightly off topic because only 25% of the things below are food, but they are all made in your kitchen and contain mostly edible ingredients, so I'm going with it. If you have folks you'd like to give homemade gifts to this year, here are four that are easy peasy and cheap and useful.

TOASTY GROATY CEREAL
I found this recipe for buckwheat cereal on Mothering.com when I did a google search for make-ahead breakfasts. I tweaked it a bit and here you go! This is crazy-cheap....like maybe $2 for the equivalent of a very large box of cereal. I'd recommend packaging it in a nice airtight plastic container or a quart mason jar. It does need to be refrigerated....if it lasts that long.

Ingredients:
2 cups raw buckwheat groats
1/2 c coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 c peanut butter
2 T maple syrup
1/2 c raisins

1) Preheat oven to 350. Place groats on a cookie sheet with the almonds. (Trivia: apparently buckwheat is not wheat but is a seed and is gluten-free). Roast for 20 minutes. Stir. Roast for another 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, mix together the nut butter, maple syrup, and raisins.
3) When the groats are toasty, put them into the nut butter mix. The heat of the groats will melt the nut butter and coat them.
4) When they are cool, store in the fridge. Serve cold with milk.
VARIATIONS:
- Use any nuts or dried fruit you'd like.
- Try other nut butters. Almond? Cashew? Sunflower seed?
- Use other sweeteners. Agave nectar? Honey? Molasses?

HIPPY HAIR CARE
A friend of mine turned me on to "no poo." Weird name, but I dig it. Head over to Contentedly Crunchy to learn about how to do it.

Package up some baking soda in a cute container with a spray bottle of ACV. Whip up a batch of this home made hair pomade and you're in business for a hippy hair care basket of goodness.

Homemade Hair Pomade
1) Create a double-boiler with a mason jar or empty aluminum can. Place about 1/2 ounce of beeswax inside and melt it.
2) Add about 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 T coconut oil. Melt together.
3) Add about 1 T corn starch or arrowroot powder. Stir until smooth.
4) Add about 5-10 drops of any essential oil you'd like. I used clove and sweet orange in mine. Peppermint might be nice. Eucalyptus? Lavender?
4) Pour into desired containers. Let cool. Rub a tiny amount between palms and use on dry hair.

MINT MOCHA SUGAR SCRUB
Talk about an invigorating morning shower experience. Coffee in my bath products? Yes, please. Side note: I'm proud to say I created this recipe entirely myself.

Combine in a bowl:
2 c sugar
1 c ground coffee
1 T cocoa powder

Add equal parts olive oil and peppermint liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner's) until it's the right amount of gloopy for you. If you don't have access to peppermint soap, just use unscented soap and some drops of peppermint essential oil.

GROWN UP PLAY DOH
Make your favorite play doh recipe and add some good-smelling essential oils. It's fun to do lavender oil with purple, for example. Or sweet orange oil with orange play doh. Lemon with yellow is nice. Package them up in small, purse-sized containers and your friends can squish away when they are stressed.

Don't have a favorite play doh recipe? Ask the Google. Or just click here.