If you want to treat a friend or family member to a healthy, delicious gift this holiday season, look no farther than your kitchen for inspiration. Instead of splurging on expensive electronics and handbags, give the gift of health with a taste-tempting and nutritious treat. Whether it’s a tin of our walnut-studded dark chocolate bark or a Mason jar of spiced nuts, homemade foods are gifts made with love. These holiday treats can be prepared ahead and packaged in a festive way, so you can deliver them personally or bring one to a party as a hostess gift.
Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts
Our crunchy and decadent Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts packs a double dose of health benefits from the antioxidant-rich flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids it contains. The recipe makes about 20 pieces of bark and doubles easily. If you’re making the bark ahead, refrigerate it in an airtight container. When you are ready to wrap, place the bark in parchment paper in a festive tin and topped with a colorful ribbon.
Coconut and almonds impart a naturally sweet, nutty flavor to these gluten-free treats. You can divide the 24 macaroons into four gift boxes with six macaroons each. Prepare a batch of these treats a few days in advance. Package them in a clear box, a DIY gift box with separate compartments to protect the cookies, or a basket with the macaroons wrapped in colorful tissue paper. Tie the box or basket with a peppermint stick-printed ribbon.
Whole-Grain Cranberry Spice Cake
Our South Beach Diet-friendly version of this Yuletide favorite is made with whole-wheat pastry flour, fresh cranberries, and orange and vanilla extracts. Be sure to let the cake cool before wrapping it in foil and keep it refrigerated if you’re not gifting it on the same day that you make it. Decorate two sheets of parchment paper by stenciling some snowflakes or add holiday-themed stickers, like poinsettias, Christmas trees, and snowmen. Then, wrap the cake in the two sheets of the decorated parchment paper and tie a ribbon over it to hold the loaf in place. For another festive touch, attach some jingle bells.
Holiday Spiced Nuts
Roasted peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds are seasoned with ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne, though you can use your own favorite spice mixture if you prefer. Roasting the nuts enhances the absorption and flavors of the spices. Pack the nuts in colorful cellophane bags, or pack them in a Mason jar. Either way, add a homemade label with a merry greeting.