8 Food Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

holiday cookie gifts
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Finding the perfect present for family and friends can often be stressful and time consuming. Fortunately, there is one gift idea that almost anyone would be thrilled to receive—homemade, edible gifts! Especially ones that are packaged in pretty ribbons and bows.

Food gifts are perfect because they are easy to put together, are delicious, and show your friends and family you care.

Warning: Follow safe food handling procedures to prevent foodborne illnesses.

1. Food Basket

holiday food gift basket

The most popular food gift idea is a basket of delicious goodies. Food baskets are not only simple to arrange, but also offer you the most freedom in what you choose to include. You can make fruit baskets, dessert baskets, meat and cheese baskets, or combination baskets. For example, you can arrange apples, oranges, wine, cheese, and crackers for a delicious DIY gift basket that anyone can enjoy.

One important thing to keep in mind when arranging a food basket, is to be creative when arranging and packaging. The more creative and fun your basket is, the more your gift will be appreciated!

2. Cookies

holiday cookies gift

For bakers—a box of homemade cookies is the perfect gift. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Make peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, ginger bread cookies, or classic chocolate chip cookies.

Homemade cookie recipes that are modified or specially made for people's allergies and diet restrictions like gluten-free, vegan, or nut-free recipes will be especially appreciated. If you really enjoy baking, make a variety of cookies for an even greater effect!

Package homemade baked cookies in a box or basket lined with wax paper and seal closed with simple twine or ribbon.

3. Mix in a Jar

mix in a jar

A great gift idea is to layer all of the dry ingredients for cake, muffins, bread, or hot cocoa in a mason jar. Then all you have to do is write the directions with a list of the ingredients on a tag and attach it with a bow.

These layered baking mixes make for a great food gift because they don't have to be eaten right away. Instead, whoever receives this gift can bake it any time they want, well after the holidays are over. For those who receive a lot of baked goods, this is definitely a good thing! It's also more than just a treat, it's also an activity they can enjoy doing at home.

4. Jams

jam in jars holiday gift

Homemade jams, chutneys, and jellies make the perfect edible present that can be prepared well in advance, so you have one less thing causing you stress over the holiday season.

Making your own homemade jam is a lot easier than you'd think. There's also many different options for you. For example, you can make strawberry, raspberry, apricot, grape, or apple. Simply choose your friend or family member's favorite fruit flavor, and go crazy!

5. Granola

holiday granola jar gift

Granola is both delicious and nutritious, and it's simple to make. For most granola recipes, all you have to do is combine oats with your choice of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. You can add a combination of sweeteners such as honey, molasses, brown or white sugar, and a nut butter to combine the oats and other ingredients into clusters or bars. Bake the mixture for about an hour.

Once it's complete, package it in an airtight container for up to five days, or you can freeze it for up to two months. Granola tastes great served with milk as a cereal, or even as a topping on yogurt.

6. Infused Olive Oil

olive oil gift

If you have a friend or family member who loves to cook create for them a bottle or two of dried herb infused olive oil. There are many different recipes for making infused olive oil using dried herbs. A popular herb many people enjoy using are sprigs of dried rosemary. Rosemary is not only fragrant and tasty, but also nice to look at.

Only use dried herbs for a home preparation of infused oil. Fresh herbs require additional processes to prevent botulism contamination. To make your infused olive oil an even nicer gift, use fancy glass bottles and make your own tags.

7. Flavored Sea Salts

flavored sea salt

Another great gift for the chef in your social circle is flavored sea salts. These make a terrific food gift because they can be used time and time again throughout the year. Also, depending on how you flavor it, the salt can be used in a number of daily recipes. A few popular flavors include garlic, porcini, chili, bacon, vanilla, and lavender.

Just like with any homemade gift, you'll want to put a little bit of extra effort into the packaging to make your flavored sea salt look decadent. Rather than package it in a plastic bag, why not purchase cute little glass bottles and make your own labels?

8. Roasted Nuts

holiday gift roasted nuts

Freshly roasted nuts are an absolutely delightful tasting and easy to make. You can make them in bulk—allowing you to create dozens of gifts at once. Choose any kind of nut you like, from pecans to walnuts to cashews to peanuts. Simply coat them in brown sugar and maple syrup, and bake.