Katie's Healthy Bites: More Homemade Gift Ideas

by in Healthy Holidays, December 13, 2009

gift olive oilsSome of the best gifts I’ve given and received have been homemade. The effort that goes into them make the items more meaningful, and the money you save is a gift to yourself in return.

As a chef, I love using my culinary creativity when giving gifts, and these are a few ideas I’ve tried that foodies will appreciate and be sure to use.

Salt Sampler
I can’t get enough of all of the gourmet salts at the markets these days. Buy some colorful flavorful salts in bulk — I like Himalayan, Hawaiian or smoked sea salt. Put a bit of each into small candy bags, and arrange then next to one another in a little box (make sure you label them). Tie a bow around the box and that’s it!

Flavored Oils
This is a quick and easy gift that looks beautiful. Your local craft store probably sells a variety of bottles in different shapes and sizes with cork lids. They are usually about $1.00 each. Fill each bottle with a decent-quality olive oil then add some flavor. I do that by throwing in some fresh rosemary, thyme and/or dried chili peppers — I love the way look and taste in oil. Tie a ribbon around the top, add a holly leaf or a decorative holiday charm and it’s good to go.

Homemade Dog Biscuits
Who says the food has to only be for humans? This is the perfect gift for dog lovers because healthy pets are important, too! Make your own dog biscuits and wrap them up in a colorful bag or box with a handmade label. For good recipes, check out ThePoop.com (the treats are more appealing than the name!).

Gift-wrapping tip: Wrap your gift in a re-usable grocery bag, an old food magazine or even some colorful comics. I went this eco-friendly route last year and it was a big hit.

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Comments (5)

  1. katie says:

    You have two choices when making herb oils and that is to use fresh or dried herbs. With fresh herbs there is a little more work. I like to keep the herbs whole (rosemary and basil work well) as it looks pretty. Blanch them in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Make sure to pat them dry or even better let them hang dry overnight as any remaining moisture can grow mold in your oil. Once your herbs are dry, fill each bottle with ¼ herbs and ¾ oil. I use an extra virgin olive oil. If you are using dry herbs skip the first few steps and simple fill your jar or bottle with ¼ herbs and ¾ oil. The dried herbs make take a few weeks to infuse the oil with flavor so give them time to rest.

  2. custom desk says:

    Wow! Gift ideas! This is something new for presents this Christmas. I am worried on what to give my friends. I want something new for them and not the usual goodies I give them.

  3. Great Ormond Street says:

    Some people are impossible to shop for or just have everything that they could possibly need. How purchasing an "alternative gift" from Great Ormond Street Hospital here, http://shop.gosh.org/GOSHShop/Catalogue/alternati… The money paid will purchase items thatt are vital to the hospital. It is great to give a gift that helps out people in need!

  4. Jessica says:

    I love the salt sampler idea! I have gotten on a kick of trying different kinds of salt ever since I tried Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com. I bought some for gifts this year but never thought of putting together a sampler! I'll have to make a note for next year. Happy holidays!

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