When I was a child, I was least interested in any gifts that amounted to food (or clothing for that matter, because it was always numerous sizes too big for me - “She can wear it for longer” they would say). I always hid my disappointment when I unwrapped a festively decorated tin of gourmet ginger cookies that I had hoped would be the newest edition of Polly Pocket (undisputedly a child of the nineties). Heck, even receiving a fancy box of chocolates would not float my boat (with the exception of Ferrero Rocher).
Now, as an adult, I will gladly exchange all the material gifts in the world for anything edible and especially homemade. I now understand how much effort and more importantly, love, goes into preparing a homemade gift, and that makes it all the more special.
There’s still time for you to be inspired to create your own edible Christmas treats (or treats in general). We are sure you have heaps of recipes for some of these pantry ideas: cordials, chutneys, jams, spiced nuts, vegetable stock powder. Here’s a few other ideas to get you started.
Sometimes the sweetness of Christmas can get a bit too much and result in unwanted tummy aches due to over-indulging (it’s my 7th Christmas party and we haven’t hit December yet).
Your gift will stand out not because of the absence of sugar, but because the colours, aromas and flavours that will define your present. Pop open the lid and within seconds, the recipient of your gift will succumb to uncontrollable salivating. Here's a versatile ingredient that's easy to prepare: Chilli Oil
Use either our Tomato Kasaundi or Pickle Curry spice blends to help you attain those tangy flavours.
We can help you out with our recipes for Basil and Cashewnut Pesto or Roasted Red Pepper dip which not only taste great on crackers, but fits in with the Christmas colour palette.
Chivda (spicy Indian snack)
This one is a good gift for anyone who loves savory kind of snacking. It is usually a yellow shade (thanks to the spices) and made from a mixture of poha (beaten rice), peanuts, roasted lentils and spices. In terms of taste, it is spicy but with a hint of sweet, which is why it goes well with chai. Click here if you would like to have a go at making this snack.
Spread the joy with the gift of spreads. They don’t take too long to prepare and require a limited variety of ingredients but yield substantial quantities (so you can even gift little ol’ Agnes from down the road). If you love gifting nut butters, it would be worth investing in a good food processor that does most of the work for you.
You can be eco-friendly and re-use glass jars by removing the labels. Get creative and add ribbons, cardboard tags and glitter glue for that personalised touch.
Seeing as it is summer and mangoes are in abundance, why not try our Mango Chutney recipe to get started?
If you are not into cooking, here’s a simple no fuss Rose Jam which just requires time to mature.
Still on the nut bandwagon is another one of my favourite treats - brittle! Chikki is the Indian version of brittle and is also made from a mixture of nuts/seeds and bound together by jaggery (palm sugar). Have a candy thermometer handy so you know up to what point to heat the syrup. I always prefer a drizzle of dark chocolate before the brittle sets because who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate in everything?
Once brittle has set, break it up into shards/bark and it stick it in a glass jar. It makes for a very aesthetic gift!
Let’s face it, everyone loves granola in some form or the other. Whether you consume it straight out of the jar, with yoghurt and berries as a snack or sprinkled on top of your oats, there’s no limitation on how you enjoy it. I find that homemade granola is tastier and far more affordable than buying the ready-made stuff. It doesn’t require much time and can be made according to the quantity you require.
I like to use this base recipe because you’re given a formula which you can easily vary depending on your taste.
When we were children, my mum used to make nankhatais every Christmas and I remember helping her to roll them into perfectly round balls. Click here for our nankhatai recipe, which are easy to make, melt in the mouth at first bite and can be decorated with edible silver balls!
If you prefer something a little bit more familiar in taste, try our Chai-spiced Anzac cookies that always go down a treat. You can leave out a couple for Santa too because god knows he will be hungry after doing the rounds!
This gift idea helps with making edible dishes delectable! If you are fortunate enough to have a green thumb and a wee bit of space, herbs are so much fun to grow. If your garden is in abundance, cut some sprigs of thyme, rosemary, mint and a chilli or two (to spice it up) and make a bouquet with some twine or colourful ribbon.
And if you are pressed for time this season, you can always give the gift of spice! Our spices are entirely free of preservatives, FODMAP friendly and vegan. They are crafted using pure spices and according to the recipes passed down through the generations. Click here for our entire range of over 40 spice blends.
Happy gift-making or happy shopping!