The Gift of Great Taste
By Sarah Campbell-Bligh, RD, Sobeys Dietitian
We all have those hard-to-shop- for people on our holiday gift giving lists. People you would like to gift, but who either seem to have everything or who don’t want anything in particular. This year, instead of fighting it out in the malls, why not give the gift of great taste with an edible gift? Everyone eats, and most people will appreciate the time and effort that goes into an edible gift!
There are a few different ways to approach an edible gift depending on your food skills and comfort level: buying the contents and then packaging it yourself, buying some and making some, and making all of it yourself. I tend to run in the middle. I make part of the gift myself, and then buy something that compliments it. For example: making a set of BBQ spice rubs and then pairing those with a grilling accessory. Once you know how you want to do things, the next step is to figure out what to gift! Here are three of my favourite foodie gifts to give to get you thinking.
If you have a baker on your list, consider mason jars filled with the dry ingredients of a recipe! You can
layer the ingredients (i.e. flour, sugar, cocoa, etc.) for an eye catching effect, and decorate the jars with
festive ribbons, wrap, or gift tags. Try this recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies in a jar – It looks
great all done up in a large mason jar and the cookies taste even better!
This one may sound a little odd, but you can gift dry goods that turn into beverages. Homemade
hot cocoa mix, mulling spices, and flavored coffees make great gifts for the entertainers in your life.
Homemade hot cocoa mix is always a hit and generally better for you than packaged mixes. You can
give the mix in a sealed jar, or a cellophane bag that you put into a festive mug. Mulling spices, for
wine or cider, can be gifted in a sealed container, with cheese cloth alongside that you’ve cut into
squares for easy sachet filling. Make sure to include directions as to how much spice goes into a sachet
for how much liquid.
For an easy mulled cider mix, try the following:
12 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp allspice, whole
1 tbsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves, whole
1 cheese cloth
Small piece of butchers string or cotton thread
Pack the spices in a mason jar, or other well sealed container. Attach a card with instructions to cut a large circle out of the cheesecloth and dump the spices into the middle. Tie with string. To make the cider use 1.89L cider, 1L water, and the sachet. Heat gently until warm. Remove spice sachet before serving. Garnish with fresh orange slices if desired.
The final food gift I’m big on this season is spice rubs! Great for the foodie on your list, these rubs are
sure to get people into the kitchen and excited about cooking. These gifts are also great if you want to
make a large batch of one or two mixes and then use them as little add on to other gifts. I like to get the
mini mason jars with the flip lids from dollar store, make a big batch of one mix, and then fill each mini
jar – it’s just enough for 1 or 2 uses. These mini gifts are also great for party favors, or as hostess/host gifts.
Check out these mixes for some basic spice rubs. Make as big of a batch as you like, just make sure to keep the ratios of the ingredients the same.