Looking for inexpensive gifts that can be made quickly in large batches? Homemade food gifts are a great way to say “thank you” and “happy holidays” to friends, neighbors and teachers.
Homemade Granola as an Inexpensive Gift
Just as one batch of roasted nuts can be divided to make several gifts for friends and neighbors, a batch of homemade granola can go a long way. Country Living’s Golden Honey Granola in the December/January edition takes only 15 minutes of prep work and less than an hour total to make 15 cups of crunchy, sweet granola.
The granola can be stored in containers that are purchased at the dollar store. Wrap a ribbon around the jar before giving as teacher gifts. Or add some raffia, a gift tag and Country Living’s suggestion of including a small metal or wooden scoop.
Truffles and Peanut Butter Balls
Most people love chocolate truffles and peanut butter balls are a holiday favorite. These no-bake recipes are easy to make in large batches to give to friends and neighbors. No-bake peanut butter balls and truffles require very few ingredients and can be made in a few hours or less. Get the kids involved in making these gifts and they can distribute them to their teachers.
Flavored Vinegar & Oil for Bread Dipping
If a large number of gifts are needed, flavored vinegar may be the way to go. Making flavored vinegar in large batches is easy and inexpensive. It requires little hands-on preparation time and looks like a sophisticated gift. Supplies include cider vinegar, fresh herbs and empty glass bottles with screw-on lids or corks.
Flavored vinegar can be matched with homemade infused olive oil to create a lovely Christmas gift, hostess gift or housewarming gift. Unlike food gifts that can be stored, infused olive oils need to be consumed in one week. For this reason it is best to make dipping oil the night before a gift-giving event. Make a gift basket with crusty bread, oil and vinegar.
Salsa and Jelly Food Gifts
Making homemade salsa or homemade jelly is a homemade gift for people who are familiar with canning. For experienced canners, making homemade salsa is very easy. Homemade jelly is more labor intensive but can yield great results as well. It does not make a lot of sense to purchase all the items needed to make these food gifts if the canning supplies are not on hand.
Making homemade salsa is as easy as adding a package of Mrs. Wares salsa mix to several cans of diced tomatoes. The mixture is boiled then placed in sterilized canning jars and placed in a hot-water processor. One package makes five pints of salsa to give as gifts.
Homemade jelly requires some specialized equipment. For those who love canning or homemade jelly, it may be worthwhile to purchase the equipment as it can be used for years. Making jelly from grape juice reduces the amount of labor and the time needed to make jelly. One batch of jelly can be divided into decorative half pint jars and added to a gift basket of other food gifts.
When it comes to making food gifts, ideas do not have to be expensive or overly involved. Teachers, neighbors and friends will appreciate homemade edible gifts like granola, flavored oil and vinegar or homemade salsa and jelly.