From homemade nut butter to jars of from-scratch mixes, make someone’s holiday season yummier with one of these easy homemade food gifts.
It may be better to give than to receive–but it can also be a lot more stressful. Especially at the holidays, when your list of recipients includes everyone from your mom to your mail carrier.
Food gifts come to the rescue when you’re stumped for ideas. Because everyone likes food.
And food gifts that come from your own kitchen are even more meaningful and appreciated.
The list below includes sweet and savory, unique and traditional, perishable and everlasting–so I hope there’s something for everyone on your list.
15 Homemade Food Gifts
1. Fancy spiced nuts
These candied walnuts have less sugar than typical recipes but still deliver on that festive sweet-salty-spicy trifecta. Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts from Liz’s Healthy Table.
2. Vanilla Sugar
I made little jars of Vanilla Sugar for friends one year, using Alton Brown’s simple recipe. I picked up the glass canisters at World Market and the vanilla beans through Amazon (get a batch of 10 beans here).
3. Adventure Bread
This hearty loaf bread requires no yeast, flour, or rising time. It’s packed with nuts, seeds, and oats. Get the recipe for Adventure Bread from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.
4. Everlasting Vanilla Extract
I make a few jars every holiday for unique gifts. Here’s how: Make a slit lengthwise in 2-4 vanilla beans. Place them in a jar, fill with 6-8 ounces vodka, brandy, or light rum, seal, and allow to sit for at least six weeks (preferably more). As the bottle runs low, just top it off with the alcohol of your choice. I purchased the bottles through Specialty Bottle and the vanilla beans here.
These are made with Greek yogurt, maple syrup, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate for a twist on the traditional treat. Pack in a holiday take-out box like this one or a small sealed container. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Jessica Levinson.
With just one hour of prep, you can turn all the odds and ends of nuts and seeds in your pantry into a wholesome homemade gift to eat out of hand, with milk, or as a topping for yogurt. Portion into mason jars. Get the recipe for my ultra-flexible Use-What-You-Have Granola.
7. Chocolate Bark
This looks fancy but it’s super-simple to make. Top the melted chocolate with nuts, dried fruit, or something holiday-themed like crushed candy canes. Break into pieces and give in a sealed container. Get the recipe for Sweet & Salty Dark Chocolate Bark from Holley Grainger.
8. Taco Seasoning Spice Mix
Homemade taco seasoning makes an easy, homemade gift to give to friends, party hosts, or teachers. You can find small jars like these at Target and labels and craft twine at Michael’s. Get the recipe for Mild Taco Seasoning.
9. Cocoa Mix
You only need a few simple ingredients and about five minutes to mix up a large batch. Scoop into jars and wrap with ribbon. Package with store-bought or homemade marshmallows and a candy cane. Get the recipe for Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix.
10. Homemade Marshmallows
Homemade marshmallows are a fun project for kids and simpler to whip up than you might think. And my recipe doesn’t require a candy thermometer! Use cookie cutters to make festive shapes and package in cellophane bags tied with a ribbon. Get the complete how-to for Homemade Marshmallows.
11. Homemade Protein Powder
Unlike tubs of store-bought protein powder, this homemade version contains just a few pantry ingredients and makes a fun gift for the smoothie-maker in your life. Include a note about how much to use and a sample recipe. You’ll find those details here along with the recipe for Homemade Protein Powder from Teaspoon of Spice.
12. Homemade Peanut Butter
Do you have peanuts, a food processor, and about two minutes? That’s all you need to make your own peanut butter. Add a generous squeeze of honey or a few squares of chocolate to make a sweeter version. Fill decorative jelly jars and tie with a bow. Get the recipe for Homemade Peanut Butter.
13. Preserved Fruit or Veggies
Putting up fruits or veggies from the summer is such a labor of love, so a jar from your stash makes a thoughtful gift that’s sure to be appreciated. Top the jar with a bow and a label with the contents and month it was canned.
Muesli is a cereal made with uncooked oats, nuts, seeds, and freeze-dried fruit. You can eat it hot or cold, and it’s loaded with good nutrition like fiber and protein. It’s also just-slightly sweet, so it doesn’t taste more like dessert than breakfast. Package in a large glass jar and give with a pretty bowl. Get the recipe for Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muesli.
15. No Knead Bread
Easy even for beginner bread bakers, this dough is mixed in a bowl, set to rise in your Instant Pot (or on the counter) and comes out perfectly every time. Give along with a block of Kerry Gold butter or a jar of preserves. Get the recipe for Whole Grain No-Knead Bread.
Packaging for Holiday Food Gifts
Here are some supplies to make packing up your food gifts easy and special.
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