Did you know that in the original tradition of mishloach manot people sent each other meals? No candy, no cutesy themes or environmentally harmful packaging. They just shared their meals with each other to increase the joy of Purim, forge new connections and strengthen existing ones.
There’s a lot of peer pressure surrounding mishloach manot, with women (especially) competing with each other to send the most impressive package. Each year, it seems like the mishloach manot people send are bigger, contain more junk food, cost more money and include more elaborate baked goods and fancier packaging. This causes undue stress, as we become obsessed with fitting in, being loved and being recognized for our expertise in the kitchen.
What if we could meet these needs in a healthier way – for our bodies and souls and for our friend’s bodies? It is possible to go back to basics and still send something which will be much appreciated by the recipients.
Here’s my idea: Time your mishloach manot to coincide with breakfast or lunch and send an appropriate, delicious and healthy meal. Purim morning is a busy time and many women can easily forget to sit down to a proper breakfast, so a well-timed tray of breakfast food can really hit the spot.
Mishloach Manot Breakfast Ideas
- Bagel with spreads such as matbucha (cooked tomato salad), tahini or hummus and an Israeli salad
- Cup of homemade granola with sliced fruit on the side
- Delicious coffee or tea kept warm thermos is always appreciated!
If you’re delivering mishloach manot later in the day, try to give something which can be a positive addition to lunch and/or the Purim seuda (feast).
Mishloach Manot Lunch Ideas
- Vegan soup kept warm in a soup thermos and a vegan hamantaschen (recipe in the Jewish Food Hero cookbook).
- Baked potato slices smothered in spices, a green salad and a slice of vegan apple pie
- Medley of roasted vegetables, plain rice and a fruit salad
If you’re worried about how to get all these mishloach manot into your car or a large bag for delivery, buy a bunch of BPA-Free colorful containers or reusable trays with compartments to separate different types of foods or pack the meals in wide mouth blue mason jars.
Don’t forget to use a pretty tag. (Print out these Mishloach Manot tags to add to your packages for an easy and elegant decoration.)
I hope this post has given you some inspiration for a healthy and back to basics mishloach manot.
Your turn: I’d love to hear from you – what are you planning to put in your mishloach manot this year? What were some of your best ideas from previous years?