5 Healthy, Homemade Gifts

Save big on these DIY gift ideas.

When it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts, right? If you’re sick of holiday consumerism, trying to save some money, cutting down on waste or just striving for more intentionality this holiday season, you might want to consider some homemade gifts.

Taking time to craft a personalized gift is much more meaningful than rushing to buy something half-heartedly from the store. And your loved ones will appreciate the extra effort. Below is a list of homemade gift ideas your friends and family will love.

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 Healthy Chocolate Bark

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate bark makes for a healthy, sweet treat, and it’s easy to make. If you’re feeling a little short on time this season, this is the perfect recipe for you. And you might find that most of these ingredients are already in your pantry!

Epicurious suggests using about 12 ounces of any high-quality chocolate for two to four gifts. But this of course depends on how much you plan to give each person. Here’s what to do:

●       Melt the chocolate in the microwave or stove.

●       Add in some fun, tasty ingredients.

●       Cool in the freezer or cold garage on a baking sheet.

●       When the chocolate is firm to touch, snap it and break it into uneven pieces.

For a healthier alternative, you can use dark chocolate instead of milk or white chocolate and add in some dried fruit and nuts. Sample recipes include dark chocolate bark with pistachios and sea salt and dark chocolate hazelnut bark with dried cherries. The options are endless—get creative with your own recipe!

Homemade Spice Mix

Have a friend who loves to cook? Try gifting them a tailored spice blend you personally love or find a recipe online. Follow directions for blending and storage for best outcomes. You can also throw in a recipe or two that includes the spice blend as an extra touch. Here are a few homemade spice mixes to get you started: Tuscan spice rubchili seasoningpizza seasoning and rosemary salt.

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Homemade Sugar or Salt scrub

Gift a homemade sugar or salt scrub to a friend who deserves some quality pampering. Simple homemade scrubs with fewer ingredients are usually better for the skin than store-bought scrubs.

 

You’ll need sugar, quality salt, coconut (or other specified) oil and any optional scents.

Check out these simple recipes for green teagrapefruit and lavender scrubs.

Spiced Nut Mix

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty gift that captures the holiday flavors (and you don’t want to spend all day baking) I suggest making your own spiced nut mix.

●       Toss nuts in a combination of spices, sugar, salt and possibly egg wash.

●       Put the mix on a baking pan and bake until done.

●       For best results, be sure to store in an airtight container.

Here are some straightforward recipes to start with: contest-winning sugar & spice nutsmaple syrup spiced nuts and Indian spiced nuts.

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Healthy truffles

Truffles may sound intimidating to make, but they don’t have to be. While store-bought chocolate truffles are delicious, they can also be expensive and packed with sugar and preservatives.

Make your own by finding a recipe online. Some will be more elaborate than others, but even the simplest recipes taste delicious. Core ingredients include dark chocolate, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Many recipes are naturally vegan, gluten free or raw. Here are a few examples: decadent healthy trufflesavocado chocolate truffles and chocolate tahini balls. And here’s a chocolate-free option: raw date and orange truffles.

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Holly Klamer is a registered dietitian with an MS degree in nutrition and exercise science. She teaches nutrition at 2 colleges in Denver and has her own nutrition consulting business.