Publix GreenWise Market Magazine - December 2008
Try a new spin on the traditional cookie party by trading tasty organic or natural holiday treats instead.
|Whoever invented the cookie exchange was a genius at time management. This holiday tradition takes the work out of baking by allowing you to make just one type of cookie and get a variety in return. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get together with friends. But since the holidays are notorious for not-so-good-for-you snacks and goodies, why not try an exchange with a twist?|
Your group can choose almost any food to exchange, but let’s face it—you’ll probably end up trading some type of goodies. With a little ingenuity you can find more wholesome alternatives to the usual sugary treats. Here are a few natural and organic ideas to get you started:
Bake your favorite cranberry, pumpkin or banana bread using whole wheat flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour, organic sugar and extra chopped dried fruit, organic nuts and seeds. Mini loaves or muffins are perfect for exchanging.
Baking bread is an art and eating it is truly a treat, especially when whole grains and natural or organic ingredients are included. Whole grain dinner rolls, mini loaves or cinnamon buns are all likely to be snatched up quickly.
Have guests bring their own signature snack mixes in bulk to exchange. Or try this variation: Ask each person to bring a generous supply of a single ingredient and set up an assembly line where guests can mix their own custom concoctions. Tasty possibilities include dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries or banana chips; organic walnuts, almonds or cashews; organic raisins; and Publix GreenWise Market Organic Honey Nut Toasted Oats Cereal.
Here’s another steamy idea. Swap homemade beverage mixes. A spiced tea mix can be packaged in small cheesecloth bags that others can take home and steep in boiling water. One great combo: Celestial Seasonings Organic Black or Green Tea mixed with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.
Other guests might want to share a special blend of plain and flavored organic coffee beans, while still others could opt to offer a sweet taste of chocolate by filling containers with a homemade spiced cocoa mix. (For about a quart of dry mix, stir together 2 cups of nonfat dry milk powder, 1 cup of malted milk powder, 1 cup of instant chocolate milk powder, 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon. Include a note with instructions to prepare by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1/3 cup of mix in a coffee mug.)
Spell it out:
The holidays are a busy time, so make plans and send invitations well in advance. Spell out what will be exchanged and how many items to bring for sharing.
Ask guests to bring their own reusable tins and containers and be sure they understand that the focus is going to be on more wholesome, natural treats.