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5 HEALTHY HOMEMADE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

November 19, 2018 by Renee Tavoularis

5 HEALTHY HOMEMADE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

Giving healthy, homemade gifts this holiday season is a great way to surprise your friends and family with a unique and thoughtful present. From homemade nut butters to healthy candies, there is a gift for everyone to love.

There are several benefits to making your own holiday gifts. For starters, you are able to control the quality of the ingredients you are using and can be sure you are giving your loved ones a high-quality product. Gifts can also be tailored to meet the preferences and tastes of each recipient. You can also make a large batch of a certain gift to have on hand whenever a holiday party pops up and you need the perfect gift for your host. 

Read below for 5 healthy, homemade holidays gifts that you can make today. 

MAPLE SESAME ALMONDS

These almonds are the perfect gift for your favorite host or hostess as they are a great snack for parties. The sesame seeds also add a bit of protein and additional nutrients. 

MAKES 3 CUPS
TIME: 15 MINUTES PLUS 1 HOUR REST TIME
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN 

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups raw almonds
3 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and place almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast almonds 6-8 minutes, flipping once. Turn the oven off.
  2. Transfer almonds to a large bowl and toss with maple syrup, sesame seeds and salt until evenly coated.
  3. Spread the almonds on the baking sheet in a single layer and place back in the oven with the door slightly open for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let sit for 1 hour before packaging.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

ROSEMARY SEED CRACKERS

These seed-based crackers pack a satisfying crunch and are perfect paired with your favorite nut butter or dip. The combination of seeds ensures you are getting healthy fats, protein and nutrients like zinc in every bite.

MAKES 20-30 CRACKERS
1 HOUR 20 MINUTES
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN 

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup chia seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Olive oil, for greasing the pan 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to combine.
  2. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil and press the seed mixture into the tray. Spread out the mixture as thinly as possible.
  3. Bake the crackers in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes before cutting into squares using a pizza cutter. Flip the crackers over, ensuring they are in a single layer and place back in the oven.
  4. Cook for another 30 minutes until crispy. Remove and let cool completely before serving or packaging.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

VEGAN NUTELLA

No one will ever know that this vegan nutella is homemade and healthy. Rather than being filled with cheap oils commonly found in store bought varieties, this spread features hazelnuts, raw cacao and high-quality coconut oil.

MAKES 2 CUPS
20 MINUTES
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups hazelnuts (skins removed), toasted
1 cup vegan dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup almond milk (or other dairy-free milk of choice)
Pinch sea salt 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a double boiler set over low heat. Stir occasionally until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Turn the heat off and let cool slightly.
  2. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend for 8-10 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally, until they become a smooth mixture similar to a nut butter.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond milk and sea salt. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and the chocolate is well incorporated.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 

TOASTED QUINOA & COCONUT CHOCOLATE BARK

Toasted, crispy quinoa is an unexpected addition to a favorite holiday sweet. The popular grain also adds a nutty flavor and a healthy dose of fiber.

SERVES 4-6
15 MINUTES PLUS 20 MINUTES CHILL TIME
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN 

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces vegan dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¼ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Toast the quinoa in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until quinoa begins to pop, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate until smooth, stirring frequently. Alternatively, heat the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second intervals until smooth.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use a knife or spatula to spread the chocolate into a thin layer.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate with the toasted quinoa and coconut. Let chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate is set.
  5. Break the bark into pieces and package in an airtight bag or container at cool room temperature for up to 10 days. 

GINGER DATE CARAMELS

No one will believe that these sweet bites contain no added sugar! Dates are the superstar of this healthy, homemade candy as it provides natural sugars, lots of fiber and makes this candy creamy without using any cream.

MAKES 24 CARAMELS
10 MINUTES PLUS 2 HOURS CHILL TIME
GLUTEN-FREE
VEGAN

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
¼ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the dates in a food processor and pulse for 15-20 seconds or until the dates are in very small pieces.
  2. Add in the almond flour, tahini, ginger, vanilla extract and sea salt. Blend on low for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is smooth.
  3. Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the date mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula.
  4. Place the baking dish in the freezer and let chill for at least 1 hour. Remove and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  5. If preferred, wrap each caramel in a small piece of parchment paper before storing in an airtight container in the freezer.

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