Do you want to give healthy edible Christmas gifts this year? It's that time of year when we plan our gift-giving, and if you have a tight budget and a creative streak - like me - you may be already busy making your gifts. Maybe in batches?
I've been crowded for time the last few months, so I'm just now reviewing my options. There are plenty of ideas online for gifts with that yummy touch. Gifts that they will gladly eat up, or share around the room, and you don't have to worry about cluttering up their home with object they don't like, or that would make it look messy. I don't know what percentage, but I think a lot of gifts are only enjoyed for a few minutes after opening.
In that case, we might as well give them healthy, edible Christmas gifts. No point in serving up junk food and unhealthy foods. Remember, you and I are keenly interested in healthy alternatives ourselves. We sort of shoot ourselves in the foot if we preach a healthy lifestyle but we give store-bought truffles and cheesecakes as gifts, right?
So, I'm ruling out the jars of decorated Christmas cookies, or fruitcake, candy canes, and things in that vein. However, here are a few healthy, edible Christmas gifts:
* Live aloe vera plants
* Potted herbs
* Baskets of fruit
* Granola bars (my own favourite recipe)
* Ointments made from the herbs in my garden, malva, calundula, plantain, etc.
* Loaves of banana or zucchini bread (I have a recipe now for gluten-free) with real butter
Otherwise,.. what about some Forever Living Products? (as many as I can afford)
Or, what about printing another batch of my poetry book from a few years ago; I have some new friends now who didn't get one that back when I first self-published it in 2005.
Oops, I guess those are not a healthy edible Christmas gifts. My mind is going on tangents.
Here's another idea that just wandered by, now that I'm brainstorming. I used to make little gingerbread houses with cardboard cut from cereal boxes. I didn't bake any gingerbread, but glued graham crackers onto the cardboard using royal icing. Then, with the same icing I glued candies all over the little gingerbread houses. (This was when I ran a Pioneer Girls club and we were creating center-pieces for a church banquet). We placed each gingerbread house on a paper plate turned over, which was then a little hill of snow for each house or cottage.
I advised the girls not to eat any of the candies because we had handled them like craft supplies. I believe they all obeyed me, but when we were cleaning up from the banquet some girls reported to me that some boys had been picking candies off the houses during the banquet. Hmmm!
I don't recommend this gingerbread house idea because it is a healthy edible Christmas gift - it is not. But it can be a way to clean up a lot of leftover Halloween candies. You can declare them inedible and therefore now out of bounds. If no one picks at it, the gingerbread houses made this way will last indefinitely as something to look at. The royal icing recipe turns hard, and we know that insects find no nourishment in things that are mostly white sugar.
I must confess, I feel like I'm unwittingly playing a joke on myself; how did I get from "Healthy Edible Christmas gifts" to gingerbread houses you should NOT eat?
Hopefully you are as willing to see more of these photos, as I am in a mood to share them just now!
As you can see here, even a sweet little church can be made a gingerbread house.
I'm sorry, I can't remember which girl made this, and what she used for the windows, but obviously we had some of those light, crisp chocolate wafers to use for the roof. Perhaps she bunched some together and covered them with icing to make the steeple.
However, you can see that having a little wild imagination can make this experience a lot of fun.
See? Some will get carried away and come up with more adventurous ideas. In this someone made a little house for Charlie's dog, Snoopy, and even tried to create an icing representation of that famous canine.
Obviously, without time to be stored in a freezer, poor Snoopy became rather limp.
That same Christmas I went home to my parents' house for the holidays, and my siblings showed up too. Knowing that I did well with kids and crafts, it did not take me long to suggest to my little niece Audra Beth, that we make a gingerbread house together. We found a shoebox and some graham crackers, and Mom had enough icing sugar in the kitchen so I could make up a batch of royale icing. Somehow we rounded up some candies. (Unless, maybe I brought some with me from the Pioneer Girls Club project).
This gingerbread house filled a serving tray, and made a great impression on the adults when Audra Beth and I brought it into the living room where they all sat.
I don't recall how we put it away, so I think over the next few days, the candies were picked off and eaten, and we may have dumped the rest of it into the garbage when it was destroyed far enough.
Let me remind you again, that this is not really an example of a healthy, edible Christmas gift. Rather, how such a goal can take you off on a tangent. [smile]
If you do enjoy working with food, consider preparing healthy, edible Christmas gifts like live aloe vera plants, potted herbs, baskets of fruit, or jars of ingredients for a healthy dish that is ready to bake or cook. If you do a search in your cookbooks, or online, you will find an endless source of recipes of all kinds, suitable for all tastes and diet limitations.