Christmas is nearly upon us, which means most of us are in gift mode: brainstorming, shopping, listing, and bargain hunting. I figure everybody likes to eat, so I think a good strategy for gift giving is food. Last year I decided to make homemade gifts; specifically healthy, homemade, edible gifts in a jar. I had to wait until this year to share them with you, of course, so I didn’t tip off any of my recipients before the unwrapping!
First I made a mix for Gingerbread Pancakes from The Spicy RD Blog. You’d never know they were gluten free. Buckwheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, delicious.
Then I decided I wanted some other choices. The standard of course is cookies in a jar, or baking mixes, but what about other breakfast ideas or dinner in a jar? After a bit of trial and error I ended up modifying a couple of my favorite recipes and packed all the dry ingredients in my beloved pint and a half mason jars. I printed the labels on craft paper and decorated the jars with twine and colorful Christmas fabric.
The first one was a typical winter breakfast for us, adapted from the Oregon Dietetic Association’s cookbook, Tastefully Oregon. It’s a great option for hot cereal in the morning if you want to mix up your oatmeal routine.
The second is an easy one-pot dinner recipe that we rely on an awful lot. It’s an extremely flavorful and hearty bean dish adapted from Mark Bittman’s Mung Bean Dal with Apples, Coconut and Mint. You can find the original recipe in his book (or app) called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.Print
One benefit of these recipes is that they use healthful ingredients that we should all be eating more of, like whole grains and legumes. Because of this the dishes provide fiber and have plenty of protein. And while I think they’d taste fantastic to anyone, these recipes can work for friends or family on special diets like vegan (bulgur or dal), gluten-free (pancakes), or low sodium (bulgur or dal). So grab some jars, get your layers going with colorful and tasty ingredients, and start checking people off your Christmas list. What better way to show someone you love them than by giving a gift that says “I want you to stay healthy for the New Year!”
What are your favorite food gifts, for giving or receiving?