- A version of this article first appeared on Sustaining Life.
If you’re anything like me, you are still scrambling to finish off at least a few Christmas gifts – despite only having four days before the deadline. As someone who actively avoids any and all holiday hubbub or excess that goes along with last-minute gift shopping, I have adopted a new strategy this year. Yep, you guessed it, I’m cooking up some holiday treats!
Not only is holiday shopping stressful and expensive, but it also comes with a lot of waste, excess, and mediocre gifts. By making edible gifts at home and packaging them in cute, reusable mason jars, I am happily avoiding all of that trash while ensuring that my gifts are both useful and enjoyable for everyone! These three edible treats are sure to please the loved ones on both of our gift lists this year. These treats and sustainable wrapping suggestions are cheap, easy, and can all be accomplished in one day. Now that is what I call an enjoyable holiday activity.
For The Home Cook: Rosemary Sea Salt
What you need:
- 4 cups coarse sea salt
- 4 sprigs ( or tbsp) dried rosemary
- Chop dried rosemary with a knife or pulse in a food processor.
- Mix salt and rosemary together in a large mixing bowl.
- Transfer to jars!
For The Toast Eater/Leftover Reheater: Sweet Pumpkin Apple Butter
What you need:
- 5 lbs of apples
- 1 small sugar pumpkin (about 1/2 lb)
- 1 pint apple juice/cider
- 1 pint water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp crushed cloves
- Remove stem, skin and seeds from pumpkin. Chop into rough 1 inch cubes.
- Remove cores from apples and chop into rough 1 inch cubes, leaving the skin on.
- Add chopped apples, pumpkins, and the rest of the ingredients to a crock pot or large, heavy pot on the stove. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, let sit for 1 hour.
- After simmering for 1 hour, blend the mixture either with an immersion blender or by transferring it to a blender or food processor. If you are transferring the mixture, be sure to allow it to cool (almost completely) before blending, and definitely do not overfill your blender/food processor!
- After blending, simmer for 3-8 more hours, stirring very occasionally. Be sure that the heat is low enough so that the butter does not bubble and splash as it thickens because that stuff burns. When stirring, check for thickness of consistency.
- Transfer to jars when desired consistency is reached. I like mine to be somewhere in between a thick applesauce and jam.
For The Snacker: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark
See the recipe here on Sustaining Life.
Wrapping your Holiday Treats
Check out the creative ways to wrap pretty & natural, using turmeric (!) here.
What are you favorite holiday DIY gifts?
Also by Faye: Vegan Pear Apple Tarte
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Photos: Faye Lessler