Meaningful Gifts for the Holidays
Along with thankfulness for health, family, friends and meaningful work (not asking too much, is it?), one of the things I’m sometimes forgetful about, but which deserves its own category of thanks, is healthy food to eat. Once I learned about healthy alternatives to most of the processed, high-sugar and high-fat products I’d been eating before, I never looked back and certainly don’t miss them around the holidays.
Why not share the whole foods wealth with your friends this year, and make up some gifts that will satisfy the need for something indulgent, tasty and delicious—while still encouraging and promoting a healthier body? A great way to show your loved ones how much you care is through homemade, “good-for-you” gifts.
Here’s a collection of ideas to get you started (including a few non-food items).
You Make It: Gifts that you make, wrap and deliver:
- Fudge Two Ways –squares, or clusters. It’s up to you! (photo at top of post).
- Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies are a perfect twist on a classic.
- Pumpkin Butter is great on crackers, biscuits, scones or whatever strikes your fancy. (Photo above).
- Easy Blueberry Jam—you won’t believe how quick and easy this one is!
- Homemade Vanilla Extract makes a thoughtful gift for any baker.
- No-Bake Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are pretty AND easy to put together!
- Grain-Free Cranberry Walnut Granola looks lovely in a mason jar, tied with ribbon.
- Dark Chocolate Nut Bark–sugar free! (photo above).
They Make It
These gifts are made of recipe components that your recipients can then use to create delicious food or drink.
- AP Flour Mix—and Maggie’s Cupcakes in a mix! Just add a short instruction card and your recipient can make her/his own treats easily.
- Pancake mix (mix the dry ingredients, with instructions on what to add)
- Soup mix (switch up the ingredients for a gluten-free mix, and add your own cooking instructions)
How about gifts that can be used while cooking, or in the kitchen?
- Pot holders, tea towels, mason jars, etc.
- Specialized cake pans or muffin tins
- Small tools or utensils. I love this julienne peeler, this microplane grater or this mini scoop for cookies.
- Cookbooks! What cook wouldn’t love a new cookbook to add to the collection? These are some of my recent favorites:
What’s your favorite food-related gift to give at the holidays? Please share your own ideas in the comments!
Ricki Heller is the blogger behind Diet, Dessert and Dogs and the author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar , recommended by Ellen DeGeneres on her website. Ricki’s second book, a revised and updated version of Sweet Freedom that’s 100% gluten-free and lower glycemic, is due out in Fall of 2013. She lives near Toronto with her husband and two dogs. Find Ricki on Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest, too!