It's that time of year... the mall parking lot is full to the last spot and the holiday commercials are flooding your mind. Whether or not you have finished your Christmas shopping yet, you may be looking for some creative extra gift giving ideas for friends, neighbors and teachers. There is something about homemade gifts that share more than a gift... they share uniqueness and creative love. I love receiving jams, cookies, and granola. So special to get some tasty treats to try around the holidays or serve at a holiday party. That is how this "munch mix" came into creation. It is super easy and could even be made in a last minute whim for a party "chex" mix kinda treat. I know they make certain chex mix cereals gluten-free so it is possible to probably make the traditional chex mix gluten-free if you wanted. But, this mix is slightly inspired by those delicious sugar and cinnamon roasted almonds that you can find at the mall, or maybe the county fair.
The great thing about this mix is that it is very easy to make, the ingredients are pretty simple and inexpensive, and you can make a big bowl for a party or wrap it all up in cute holiday bags as gifts. It is very simple and fun! A good idea for kids to get involved in gifts for friends and teachers... not to mention a yummy snack later to enjoy. Here is the recipe I used to make this creation...Holiday Munch Mix Recipe
4 cups of gluten-free Nature's Path Whole O's cereal or other GF cereal of choice
2 cups of almonds (or pecans)
2 cups of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of agave nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
1 TB of pure vanilla
1 ts. of sea salt
2 ts. of ground cinnamon
other optional additions: 1 cup dried coconut, or sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds
Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour onto a parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Then pull from the oven, do not touch, it will be very hot and sticky. Let cool for at least 15 minutes, or you can let cool for hours on the counter. When it is cool then mix it again with a spoon and toss in a bowl, or get ready to bag for gifts. I had some cute see-through cellophane bags to package it, then tied it with a ribbon and then had a few cute holiday stickers and also a sticker saying it was a creation from my kitchen. This mix can go a long way in entertaining this holiday season!
I have been trying to get creative in gift giving this year and have been searching other's ideas in making cute, frugal and even nutritious holiday gifts. So... this is just one of them that is an easy, fun addition. Here is another idea to wrap up in a tin or baggy: Cinnamon Vanilla Nuts from the Nourishing Gourmet, or Cookie Mix in a Jar from Elana's Pantry.
I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!