For many Americans, the tradition of sharing Christmas treats with neighbors and friends adds a personal touch to the holidays. This provides the perfect opportunity to present your friends and holiday guests with goodies made from fruits and vegetables from your garden. Not only are you sharing the bounty of your harvest, your friends get healthy foods they are sure to enjoy.
Fruit and Nut Breads
Fruit breads are a favored food gift at Christmas, as they provide a nutritious snack and complement that late-morning coffee. So, thaw out those fruits, berries and nuts you preserved from your garden, and make delicious breads and muffins to share with your friends. Relatively low in sugar, fruit breads and muffins provide a sweet treat without providing a sugar overload. Suitable for both adults and children, fruit breads provide a helping of fruit and a healthy dose of carbohydrates for needed energy.
Soup in a Jar
There is nothing quite like homemade soup on a cold winter day. Fill a decorative Mason jar with an assortment of dehydrated vegetables from your garden. Add your favorite dried herbs and sun-dried tomatoes and tie up with a bow. Include a recipe card with instructions for making soup.
A selection of nuts is always appreciated during the holidays. Mixed nuts in the shell with a fancy nutcracker makes a practical gift for families, but may pose a problem for older Americans. Choose an assortment of shelled nuts in decorative containers for those who may have difficulty cracking shells. Nuts from your favorite pecan or walnut tree are sure to be a big hit.
Cookies are always a favorite, but don’t limit it to Christmas cookies. An assortment of healthy cookies made from shredded zucchini or dried fruits are always a welcome change from sugary treats. Include a batch of your famous Christmas cookies to celebrate the season and your gift is sure to be appreciated.
Fudge and Candies
Whip up a batch of your favorite fudge or hand-dipped candies for that special person on your list. Use nuts or berries from the garden to make this a special treat. A variety of candies wrapped up in decorative cellophane makes an attractive and mouth-watering gift for Christmas.
Hot Beverage Mixes
A selection of hot cocoa, herbal teas, flavored coffees and mocha in decorative jars tied up with a bow is sure to tickle the fancy of friends and family. Include directions for mixing beverages and add a special mug or two to personalize this gift. Include a variety of dried mint from the garden to add flavor.
Gather an assortment of your homemade preserves for an extra-special gift. Spicy apple butter, smooth jelly and thick jam make a thoughtful gift. Arrange in a basket with a loaf of homemade bread and tie with decorative ribbon.