holiday gifts for food lovers

Healthy gifts for food lovers

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Giving food is a great way to show you are thinking about friends, neighbors, coworkers and family. But, many food gifts are full of sugar, salt and saturated fat. In this post, I’m going to talk about two food items I made this year for friends that had less sugar, less saturated fat, less salt, more whole grains, and more veggies.

Basil Pesto: a healthy gift from the garden

Last month, I talked about making dairy-free pesto from my basil harvest? I decided to give folks a gift straight from my garden: mini jars of that basil pesto!

Pesto isn’t just for pasta anymore (though I certainly do love it with pasta). You can try pesto:
• Spread on toasted whole grain sourdough
• On top of your salad greens
• Between thin slices of turkey or chicken on a sandwich
• In you omelet
• Dipped with whole grain crackers
• Mixed into hummus

Pesto as a gift is unique and memorable. However, it’s important to note that pesto is full of olive oil. Olive oil is a healthy fat, but it contains a lot of calories. Because pesto is so flavorful, a little goes a long way anyway. So, I found these cute mini-jars that I filled with homemade pesto and tied with a ribbon.

Pumpkin bread: a healthy gift with less sugar, more whole grains, and more veggies

Pumpkin bread a little more traditional. It’s spicy, moist, and delicious. I found a yummy recipe on Once Upon a Chef, and modified the recipe to have less sugar, more whole grains, and a bit more spice. Then, I baked the bread in mini loaf pans to be “gift-sized.”

Recipe for Pumpkin Bread
Makes 6 mini loafs

healthy gift

Dry Ingredients:
• 1 cup white flour
• 1 cup wheat flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Wet Ingredients:
• 1 ½ sticks butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 can 100% pumpkin

• ½ cup oats
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
• 2 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Cut parchment paper into rectangles and place in mini loaf pan
3. Mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside
4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, add eggs, then pumpkin
5. After your wet ingredients are mixed, slowly (I do ¼ cup at a time) add your dry ingredient mixture
6. Once all ingredients are mixed, spoon them into mini loaf pans, filling ¾ of the way up the pan
7. Next, in a small mixing bowl combine (by hand) oats, brown sugar, flour, and butter
8. Add your oat mixture to the top of the pumpkin batter
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean

Gifts for food lovers

What healthy gifts are you planning to give this holiday season?

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