Healthy Treats for Holiday Gifts

Purple Gift Box with orange ribbon and bowGet into the holiday spirit by wrapping up some sweet, savory or spiced homemade gifts. Many traditional holiday treats can pack on the pounds, so instead we're giving you 6 foodie-friendly gift ideas that everyone will feel good about. They are great for friends and family, as holiday party favors, or even as stocking stuffers!

1. Granola Gift Bags

Fill clear gift bags with this deliciously sweet and crunchy Maple Raisin Granola, tied off with a colorful ribbon. Make it more festive by using dried cranberries instead of raisins. This granola is packed with nutrients and is so tasty no one will know that it's lower in fat than most granola. It makes for a great snack on its own, can add some crunch and flavor to yogurt, or can be eaten as a hearty breakfast served with a little milk!

2. A Festive Jar of Homemade Soup Mix

Layer a pretty glass jar with the dry ingredients from this warming and comforting recipe for White Bean Soup with Spinach, Leeks and Couscous. Add a square of festive fabric folded over the lid with a rubber band, and attach the recipe and cooking instructions. (For this gift, use dried cannellini beans rather than canned and add whole, unpeeled garlic cloves in the glass jar).

3. A Mug Full of Holiday Biscotti

Make these scrumptious Ginger Spice Biscotti and place a few inside a coffee mug. Tie a clear bag around the biscotti-filled mug and give this as a gift alongside a package of your favorite coffee beans. Biscotti are a nice treat that can satisfy your sweet-tooth craving rather than overindulging on holiday cookies and candies. And did you know coffee is being studied for a possible role in reducing cancer risk? This gift idea is sure to be a winner, and may even provide hidden health benefits!

A Spicy Stocking Stuffer

Stuff the stockings with something new: a small jar containing a mixture of dried spices with a hand-written recipe card for its use. Make your own 5-spice Chinese powder by combining star anise, ground cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and ground fennel seeds. Include this recipe for Indonesian Salmon for a savory dinner idea that is filled with heart healthy omega-3s.

4. A Healthy Workout Duo: Apricot Power Bars and Resistance Band

Give a few homemade power bars in a nice parcel that is tied together with a resistance exercise band. Follow this recipe for Apricot Bar Cookies, cut into 1" x 4" bars, and tightly wrap individual bars in plastic wrap. These bars make for a nice post-exercise reward: they are a tad sweet and full of plentiful nutrition with oats, whole wheat flour and dried fruit.

5. Go Nuts!

Who doesn't love nuts around the holidays? Delight your neighbors with a platter filled with these honestly sweet, chewy Date-Nut Kisses. You can also make this beautiful Walnut Chutney and keep attractive jars on hand for any last-minute (or unexpected) gifts you may want to give. Chutney makes for a delightful spread on toast, scones or as a dessert topping.


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