Bag the shopping and give homemade gifts from your kitchen instead. This holiday season, treat your friends, family, and loved ones to a homemade edible present – Cook your way through your gift list! We've compiled 10 of our favourite suggestions to inspire you:
Flavoured Salts - Salt is one of those essentials in any kitchen, and it can take any dish from OK to amazing with just a quick sprinkle! The process of making flavoured salts is simple and the possibilities as to the flavourings are pretty endless. Three possible varieties: roasted garlic salt, lemon salt, and shiitake salt. The roasted garlic and lemon salts both take a little longer to make, but the shiitake one's incredibly simple and would work with just about any dried herb, from dried mushrooms to chilli flakes to rosemary. When combining a salt with a flavouring that is a little more moist like roasted garlic or citrus, you will need to dry it out in the oven for a short period.
Home made liqueur - Looking for homemade Christmas presents and party drinks? Then look no further than your orchard, hedgerow or flower bed, and turn an assortment of garden produce into heady ambrosia: spicy ciders, fruit liqueurs and gin. Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/10435262/How-to-make-alcoholic-gifts-for-Christmas.html
Cookies (Gingerbread men) - Gingerbread was already a favourite treat at festivals and fairs in medieval Europe – often shaped and decorated to look like flowers, birds, animals or even armour – it is considered a Christmas classic and a kids’ favourite to eat and decorate!
Chocolate candied orange zests – Straight ahead with the recipe for this easy and impressive little treat - * Trim 1⁄2'' off ends of navel oranges; make a slit in rinds and scoop out the flesh. Slice the peels into 1⁄3-inch-wide strips, put in a bowl, cover with water and refrigerate overnight. Transfer the strips to a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain the strips and set aside. In the same pot bring sugar and 1⁄2 cup water to a boil until sugar dissolves. Add the strips. Simmer until soft and glazed, about 30 minutes. Dry the strips on a rack until tacky. Roll in sugar and dip ends in melted dark chocolate. *
Homemade jams – Jams, chutneys and preserves are a wonderful homemade food gift to prepare in advance. If you’re planning on making your Christmas gifts for friends and family, then jam is a great option. A quick and easy recipe to make – rhubarb and vanilla jam - macerating the rhubarb in sugar overnight will help preserve its colour and shape, which makes for an attractive jam with a great texture. For the full recipe check:http://www.redonline.co.uk/christmas/christmas-recipes/best-homemade-christmas-gift-ideas#image=18
Fudge - Just six simple ingredients - and you can make the creamiest vanilla fudge ever. A guaranteed hit - make this fudge as a food gift for Christmas:
* 450g (1lb) granulated sugar / 85g (3oz) butter / 150ml (¼ pt) milk / 175g (6oz) evaporated milk / Few drops of vanilla extract / A little vegetable oil
* for full recipe check: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/137868/vanilla-fudge
Marshmallows - Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marshmallow plant; today, corn syrup and sugar are the main ingredients. Homemade ones can be cut into any shape you like – ready to be roasted on an open fire!
* 2 1/2 tablespoons unflavoured gelatine / 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar / 1 cup light corn syrup / 1/4 teaspoon salt / 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract / Confectioners' sugar, for dusting * see the full recipe on: http://www.marthastewart.com/333971/homemade-marshmallows#Marshmallow%20Recipes|/276327/marshmallow-recipes/@center/1008647/christmas-candy-recipes|333971
Infused oils – A gorgeous gift for the foodie in your life, flavoured oils are easy to make, customizable in every way imaginable, and wonderful to use. If you get these steeping now, they'll be packed with flavour and ready to use in a few weeks; just in time to be thoughtful, handmade gifts from your kitchen to another. Think of the type of food that the recipient likes to cook the most, and use the herbs and spices from that region. Simple flavoured oils can be made by just using one herb, or with an intricate mix. Here are some ideas:
*Spicy pepper oil: assorted dried pepper flakes
*Lemon and garlic
*Tarragon and chive
*Italian spices: oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil
*Herbes de Provence
*Garlic and fennel
*Basil, red pepper flakes, assorted peppercorns
*Cumin, coriander, pepper flakes
Sugar coated fruit jellies - These homemade fruit pastilles are great fun to make and contain pure fruit and juice with no artificial colours or flavourings. Chewy and fruity, these sweets are made using either fresh or tinned fruit, or even some of your summer crop from the freezer – a perfectly ‘sweet’ homemade gift for both family and friends. Why not try these combinations: *Apple & Blackcurrant - *Tropical Fruit *Kiwi, Lime & Nettle - *Plum, Port & Cinnamon – for full recipes visit:https://homefarmer.co.uk/home-made-fruit-pastilles/
Home made granola - 7 elements is what you will need to remember when preparing a tasty granola as the best present to kick start the day!
1. Real rolled oats: Quick oats or baby oats won’t work. If you’re making it to give away, you’ll want to buy around a quarter-pound per person.
2. Sweetener(s): Maple syrup tastes best, but it’s pricey. If you’re going to use it, I recommend mixing it with Agave syrup or honey. If you like your granola on the dark side, you could add a dab of molasses or some minced dates.
3. Oil: Coconut and sunflower oil is best, but anything neutral-flavoured will work, even light olive oil.
4. Nuts and/or seeds: The most affordable options are shredded coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, but best to add at least one big-ticket item if making it as a gift, such as: pecans, macadamia nuts, slivered almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios.
5. Fruit: The most common options are raisins, currants, and cranberries, but there are many more. Dried cherries, pears, or peaches make it fancy.
6. Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and vanilla all go well in a granola — but not all at once! Try them one or two at a time and see what works for you. If you want to get really crazy, add cacao nibs.
7. Salt: A pinch of it - the crucial ingredient!
Date Created: 09/12/2015