Home-cooked Gifts

This holiday season, why not give the greatest gift of all – food! Homemade gifts are unique, inexpensive, and from the heart. Here are some healthy, home-cooked gift ideas sure to delight anyone on your list.

Sweet and Savory Spiced Nuts

Adapted from Seven Spoons

Start to Finish: 25 minutes  Yield: 1 pound


2 tablespoons b3nutsutter

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme

½ teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 egg white

1 pound raw, mixed nuts

Fleur de sel or other sea salt, to finish


  1. Preheat an oven to 375ºF.
  2. Line a standard half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup and Turbinado (dark brown sugar is also fine). Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the herbs, spices and salt.
  4. In a large bowl whip the egg white until frothy. Toss in the nuts, then stir to coat. Add the butter and spice mixture.
  5. Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven, turning occasionally, until the nuts are glazed and shiny with a deep golden color, around 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven then sprinkle lightly with more salt (fleur de sel or Maldon are great) and stir again. Cool completely then store in an airtight container, such as mason jars or plastic bags with ribbon.



Spiced Apple Butter

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cook Time: 12 hours Yield: 4 pints



6 ½ pounds apples – peeled, cored and sliced

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix well.
  2. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
  3. Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.
  5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks or freeze.

Serve on breads, muffins, ice cream, pork chops or just eat it with a spoon.


Curry Girls Kitchen Granola

Adapted from Curry Girls Kitchen

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 30 minutes   Yield: About 8 cups


Dry Ingredients: (Mix well)*

4 cups rolled oats (not quick)

¼ cup coconut flour

½ cup coarse ground flax seeds

¼ cup ground chia seeds

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup each hazelnuts and macadamia nuts, rough chopped

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup hemp seeds

1-2 cup shredded flaked coconut (large pieces)


Wet Ingredients: (Combine in a bowl)

4 tablespoons honey**

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup**

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup coconut oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

*Other options to add to dry ingredients:  cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, raisins, cranberries, dried blueberries, mulberries, and apricots. (NOTE: stir in dried fruit once granola has baked and cooled completely.)

**Other optional sweeteners: Brown rice syrup or agave


  1. Preheat an oven to 325ºF.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Place granola on 2 separate parchment lined jellyroll pans (with sides).
  6. Bake at 325 ºF for 30 minutes total, turning the granola at 15 minutes. Bake until browned. If it needs a few minutes longer, bake in increments of 5 minutes.  Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly.
  7. Granola will stick together as it cools. Let cool completely before you transfer to large glass containers with airtight lids. Embellish with ribbons and labels if desired. Keeps up to a month.


Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *