Purim & 4 Parshiyot

Slice of Life, Purim

March 16, 2011
Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide

One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to Purim is how I’m going to fill my myriad of Shalach Manot baskets and not have to take a second mortgage out on my house to buy all the stuff it will take to not make them look awkwardly under filled, slightly bare because I ran out of “stuff” to stuff it with. I rack my brains every year to find the right mix of playful container, yummy goodies and insightful yet humorous greeting to accompany said basket. One year the theme was chocolate, the next muffins and another was s’mores. This year due to time constraints such as “where did it go?” and “I got no time left” I decided to go with wine, Clementines, my very own homemade hamentashen and a couple of really delicious snack mixes.

Mishloach Manot (the sending of portions) is the baskets of food given to friend, family and the community on Purim. Jewish law mandates the giving of two different types of “ready to eat foods”, to at least one person on Purim hence our need to give them to everyone we’ve ever met and a few we haven’t. Trail mix or granola really fits the bill both expense wise and bulk wise when it comes time to figure out what to pack into the basket along with the fruit, wine or grape juice and candy.

A first-class, satisfying and delicious trail mix usually consists of nice mix of sweet and salty flavored ingredients with a dash of chocolate thrown in for fun. I typically use nuts, cereal, dried fruit and again, chocolate in some form. The following recipes are guaranteed to satisfy the mandate to be generous and give as well as having your friends begging you for the recipes.

TIP: To wrap up your mixes you can use a small plastic sandwich bag and tie it with ribbon or you can put it in a pretty tin or bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Note: Make sure you mark any mixture that has nuts in as there are lots of people out there with peanut allergyies.

Cherry and Pecan Granola (pareve or dairy)

Yields 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked old fashioned oats (not 5 minute or instant)
  • 1-1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries if you don’t’ have cherries, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • ½ cup honey

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a sided sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together oats, cherries, pecans and salt. Drizzle with butter and honey and toss thoroughly.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly on the parchment in the sheet pan.
  5. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes until just golden brown (20 to 25 minutes).
  6. Cool on cookie sheet and then place in an airtight container.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled.


Animal Cracker Trail Mix (Pareve or Dairy)

8 cups of mix

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cup walnut pieces or pecan pieces
  • 2¼ cups vanilla animal crackers
  • 2¼ cups chocolate or cinnamon animal crackers
  • Non stick cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. In a large nonstick saucepan or skillet, dry-roast the walnuts over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in the animal crackers. Remove from the heat.
  2. Lightly spray the mixture with vegetable oil spray and then return the mixture to the heat.
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and continue cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes but no more.
  4. Add the dried fruit, mix to combine and remove immediately from the heat.
  5. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet with sides and let it cool.

Modified from The New American Heart Association Cookbook, Seventh Edition


Chocolate Nut Mix (dairy or pareve)

Yields 7 to 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups honey roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup salted, roasted almonds
  • 1 cup salted, roasted cashews
  • 1½ to 2 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut

Ingredients:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix until combined.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled


White Choco Chex Cheerio Mix (dairy)

Yields approx. 12 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups small pretzels
  • 5 cups Cheerios ®
  • 5 cups Rice Chex ®
  • 12 to 16 oz. plain or peanut M&M’s
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags white chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Line 3 cookie sheets with sides with wax paper and set them aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan or huge mixing bowl combine the pretzels, Cheerios, Rice Chex and M&M’s. Mix to combine.
  3. In a microwave bowl melt 1 bag of white chocolate chips, stirring after each 30 second interval until it’s smooth.
  4. Pour the melted white chocolate over the mix and mix to combine, it won’t cover it totally.
  5. Melt the second package the same way, pour it over the mixture and mix to combine. It’s easier this way than trying to mix all the white chocolate in at once.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheets and let cool. Break the mixture into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Submitted by Georgie Cohen age 13 Toronto Canada


Shredded Wheat Trail Mix (dairy or pareve)

Yields 7 to 9 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 oz. sweet or semi sweet or milk chocolate
  • 2 to 3 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 to 3 cups bite-size shredded wheat cereal
  • 1 to 1½ cups dried cranberries or cherries

Instructions:

  1. Line 2 cookie sheets with sides with wax paper and set aside.
  2. In a large microwave bowl melt the chocolate, stirring so there are no lumps and it’s melted. Remove it from the microwave and immediately add the popcorn and shredded wheat. Mix to coat.
  3. Spread the coated cereal into single on the 2 cookie sheets and let cool.
  4. When totally cooled place the mixture in a large bowl, add the cranberries or cherries and mix to combine.
  5. Toss with cranberries before serving.

Store in an airtight container

Modified from kraft.com


Chocolate-Covered Raisin Trail Mix (dairy)

Yields 9 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried fruit, chopped (any mixture you like)
  • 1 cup roasted salted cashews
  • 2 cups roasted salted pecans
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups chocolate covered raisins

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.

Store in an airtight container.


Golden Trail Mix (dairy)

Yields 8 to 9 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 cups granola cereal (any brand)
  • 1½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1½ cup honey roasted peanuts

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

Store in an airtight container.


No-Bake Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars (dairy or pareve)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 3 cups toasted oat cereal
  • 1½ cups raisins
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, roasted
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 16 oz. peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Spray a cookie sheet, including sides, with non stick spray and set it aside.
  2. In a bowl combine the cereals, raisins, sunflower nuts and chocolate chips. Mix to combine and set it aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the honey and sugar and cook stirring constantly, until it starts to boil. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute until the sugar and honey are combined.
  4. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla, mixing until the peanut butter is completely melted and combine with the liquid in the pan.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Cool completely before you cut the cookies into bars.

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.