Healthy Holiday Tip of the Week: DIY Gifts Other Than Baked Goods!

Thinking about homemade goodies for presents, but feeling like you’d rather not add to all the sugar flying around all over the place? For years, I did an annual bake-a-thon for the holidays. I’d be in my kitchen all weekend long baking anywhere from five to ten (or more) cookies, letting them cool, plating them, packing them up, tying them up with a bow and then excitedly delivering them to friends, family and colleagues. Many an avid baker and cooks also spend hours on end preparing goodies filled with love, but also with sugar, gluten and dairy, for friends and family. But once any of us have been through the rigors of healing from sickness, determining that sugar or gluten really doesn’t suit us well or simply realizing how “everything in moderation” really makes no sense, where does that leave us in terms of being able to make heartfelt gifts to give unto others? Actually, it leaves us with plenty of options! Below are my top five go-tos for homemade holiday giving: 1) Go nuts! Make your own spiced nut blends using organic raw nuts and mixing them with your favorite sweet or savory spices, then giving them a light toast to bring out their flavor. Try cinnamon with coconut oil on macadamias, chili powder with lime on cashews or ginger and a drop of honey on almonds. 2) Get spicy! Speaking of spices, why not make your own blends? You can easily procure small glass vessels at many cookery shops and with a little art-and-craftiness, make your own labels. Then, all that’s left to do is blend up some of your favorite combinations and send them along to the happy recipients! 3 ) Food as Art.  Think pomanders, popcorn strung on the tree or making a gingerbread house to look at, rather than to eat.    (Remember that post I did a while back comparing the ingredients in play-dough to bread?   Enough said.  As art, there’s no issue using flour and sugar!) 4 ) Another use for sugar: on your body, not in it!   As an exfoliator, a homemade version of a sugar scrub can be just what you need to keep winter skin from getting the better of you, and saving you from feeling like a crocodile in the cold, dry air! 5 ) Finally, rather than giving the proverbial fish, you can teach someone ‘how to fish’ by sharing a collection of your own fave recipes or offering to share your favorite creations in your very own kitchen!  Don’t worry about calling it Paleo or gluten free; simply call it your own private collection and share the sage advice! Keep those creative juices flowing!