Hallie Klecker

Hallie Klecker is a cookbook author and holistic nutrition educator. She shares gluten- and dairy-free recipes on her blog, Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole and natural foods. In her two cookbooks, Super Healthy Cookies and The Pure Kitchen, she transforms clean and unprocessed ingredients into delicious meals and treats. Her newest e-book, Crazy for Kale, features 40 recipes all using kale. Connect with Hallie on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

10 Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

With Christmas just days away, you may find yourself scrambling for those last-minute items to stuff into stockings. Fear not! We’ve got 10 quick ideas for simple gifts that will leave your loved ones delighted without draining your bank account.

DIY Satin Flower Hair Clips

For all you do-it-yourselfers, these DIY hair clips are cute, simple to make, and easy to personalize to the tastes of the recipient. Chances are, if you’re a regular crafter, you might have some of the supplies on hand already.

Spiced Maple Pecans

A jar of spiced nuts is a quintessential holiday gift. These healthy nuts are naturally sweetened with maple syrup, so you can feel good about giving them away…or whipping up a batch for yourself!

source: Alta Mantsch

source: Alta Mantsch

Lavender Olive Oil Body Scrub

This rich and luxurious lavender olive oil body scrub is an easy-to-make gift that will encourage your loved one to pamper themselves in the new year with a relaxing spa night at home. Pair it up with a dry skin brush and some lotion for a heftier gift set.

Food Rules

Food Rules, by Michael Pollan

For the foodie in your life, a copy of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a fun and educational gift that makes for great light reading over a holiday break. The slim paperback copy fits easily into a stocking or shoebox.

Mismatched Recycled Sweater Mittens

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the mantra of these mismatched sweater mittens! Find a unique and cozy pair on Etsy or a festive holiday pair from Uncommon Goods.

 

More quick stocking stuffer ideas:

  • Fresh fruit. I love hearing the stories my mom tells about my grandfather receiving a piece of fresh fruit in his stocking every year. His annual orange was one of his favorite gifts…and often the only gift. Sometimes simple says it best!
  • Notepads and paper. I love giving cute notepads to my family members each year, since most of us are always scrounging for scratch paper. Pair it up with a set of pens or pencils to sweeten the deal.
  • Small jars filled with paperclips, thumbtacks, magnets, or stickers. Repurpose jam and honey jars for holiday gifting by filling them up with useful office supplies (or stickers for kids).
  • Essential oils. Available at most health food stores, pure essential oils make a lovely stocking stuffer for the ladies in your life. Choose lavender for stress relief and better sleep, peppermint for sore muscles and body aches, orange for increased energy and immunity, and lemon for natural home cleaning purposes.

What are your favorite holiday stocking stuffers to give and receive? Leave a comment and let us know!

Hallie KleckerHallie Klecker is the author of Super Healthy Cookies and  The Pure Kitchen, both gluten- and dairy-free cookbooks focusing on fresh ingredients and whole foods. Her newest e-book, Crazy for Kale, makes use of kale in 40 creative ways. She is also the Editorial Content Manager for Simply Gluten Free Magazine. Hallie writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Apple Muesli Balls

These easy-to-make treats serve double duty as either a snack or a breakfast option when paired up with a smoothie or some scrambled eggs. If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods this holiday season, tuck a few of these Apple Muesli Balls in your bag for a quick snack that will kick your sweet tooth to the curb and fill you up at the same time.

When I bake, I try to pack in extra protein, fat, and fiber to make my baked goods more nutritious and satisfying. I drew inspiration for these treats from the classic concept of muesli, which is really just nothing more than oats, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit served with milk or yogurt. To add a little texture and extra sweetness, I added grated apple to the muesli balls. You could also try grated carrots (or zucchini when it’s in season).

Lord knows the last thing we need this time of year is another baked good recipe, but I think you’ll find that these treats are healthier than most. If you have company coming into town around the holidays, tuck a few muesli balls in the freezer and you’ll have a quick grab-and-go snack at the ready at all times.

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All Treats & No Tricks: 20 Autumn Treat Recipes

All Treats & No Tricks: 20 Autumn Treat Recipes

Get ready for a whole lot of treats without any tricks! I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, but I can’t pass up a healthy treat every now and then. So, I’ve combed through the web and rounded up a collection of 20 gluten-free autumnal delights that will have your mouth watering faster than you can say BOO!

Tie on your aprons and let’s get cooking.

Halloween Cut-Out Cookies

source: Amy Green

Cookies, Brownies & Bars

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Two-Bite Pumpkin Cookies

It’s the end of September and you know what that means. Pumpkin season!

While most of us think of pumpkin as a base for pie and other festive fall desserts, we often overlook the fact that it is also a nutritional powerhouse.

  • Packed with vitamin A, pumpkin and other winter squashes are one of nature’s finest immune boosters. Winter squash is packed with lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene—three antioxidants that play a huge role in helping our body fight the “bad guys” and stay in tip top shape during cold and flu season.
  • While pumpkin is a carbohydrate, it is rich in fiber and phytonutrients, therefore making it more satisfying than refined carbohydrates and a cleaner source of fuel for the body to burn.
  • According to WH Foods, while we don’t think of squash as a fat source, one cup of winter squash contains about 340 mg of omega-3 fats coming from ALA. That makes this fall comfort food a fantastic supporter of heart health and an anti-inflammatory all-star!

When it comes to cooking and baking with pumpkin, I will add it to just about anything, from classics like pie and cheesecake to hummus, muffins, curry, and more. Roasting and pureeing winter squash is incredibly easy to do, but if I’m in a pinch I’ll pick up a few cans of organic pumpkin puree. My favorite brand is Farmers Market, as the cans are BPA-free.

But we’ve all been in that sticky situation where we’ve just cooked up a pumpkin-licious storm but still have a small scoop of leftover squash hiding out in the fridge. Do we dump it? Eat it as a quick snack?

I say when in doubt, bake cookies!

I found myself with just a little bit of pumpkin in the fridge in one day and set out to use it up in a nutritious cookie recipe. These incredibly moist Two-Bite Pumpkin Cookies were the end result. They are small but delicious. Packed with many of my favorite ingredients (almond flour, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, coconut sugar, and cinnamon to name a few…), they’re the perfect autumn treat to tuck away in the freezer and pull out when you have a craving for a sweet but not-too-indulgent treat.

One important note: Like I said, these cookies are very moist. Just 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree gives them a soft and chewy texture. In light of this, the cookies hold up best on the day they are made. The good news? They store beautifully in the freezer! Just give them a quick thaw and enjoy. Or if you’re impatient like me, eat them straight from the freezer. They’re amazing this way.
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