Guiltless Holiday Food Gifts for Everyone on Your List

By Alison Lewis for Ingredients, Inc.

It’s always rewarding to prepare and receive homemade food gifts during the holidays. Well, guess what? Not all of them have to be heavy, high-fat desserts, sugary candy, or gifts that you feel bad about afterwards. I thought I would share a list of some of my favorite homemade food gifts, including quick bread, cookies, granola and more.

If you don’t have time to bake, I’ve also included a great list of healthy food gifts you can purchase online such as chocolate, jam, peanut butter, rubs and fresh fruit. Enjoy these options for a healthier holiday season.

Healthy Homemade Food Gift Ideas

Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Flaxseed from Ingredients, Inc. – Made with Greek yogurt, canned pumpkin and simple baking ingredients, this recipe makes several small loaves just in time for the holidays.

Berry Good For You Cookies from Canola Info – This combination of oats, cherries, coconut, mini chocolate chips and almonds creates a wonderful cookie with only 100 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

Chunky Nut Granola from Ingredients, Inc. – A very popular granola recipe filled with flaxseed, oats and easy-to-find healthy, all-natural ingredients. Fill a mason jar and top with a decorate ribbon and an ornament for a beautifully presented homemade gift.

Citrus Chocolate Chunk Cookies from In Good Taste Blog – Filled with pure baking ingredients, dark chocolate and orange zest, these would be a perfect holiday splurge.

Cranberry Orange Marmalade from Cooking Light – This four-ingredient recipe is sure to please on toast, served with cheeses and as a topping for meat, pork and seafood.

Ginger Molasses Cookies from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes – Vegetarian or not, the gluten-free friends on your list will appreciate this seasonal cookie made from molasses, brown sugar, spices like cinnamon and cloves, and garbanzo flour. Add the optional black pepper to create a traditional German Christmas dessert called Pfeffernüsse.

Lightened Up Spiced Pecans from Ingredients, Inc – This mixture of sugar, sea salt, cayenne, egg white and paprika flavor the nuts to perfection.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 cups


  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 16 ounces whole pecans (almonds and walnuts can be substituted)


1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne or smoked paprika in a small bowl, mixing well.
3. Whisk together egg white and water until frothy. Add pecans, tossing to coat; drain. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, mixing well.
4. Place pecans in a single layer on a large cookie sheet coated lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove from oven and separate as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Healthy Online Gifts

Royal Navel Orange & Grapefruit or Royal Riviera Pears from Harry & David. Their pears are so juicy and fresh you can eat them with a spoon, and the basket of oranges and grapefruit will inspire fresh juices on Christmas morning.

Pear with Honey and Ginger from Quince & Apple – I tried these preserves from Wisconsin and they were as fresh as can be. I love the tiny jars, perfect to spread on healthy breads, fresh fruit or served along cheese. Other varieties include Figs and Black Tea Preserves and Orange Marmalade with Lemon.

75% Cacao Chocolate Bar from Olive and Sinclair -This artisan chocolate bar, made in Nashville, Tennessee, has a slight tropical earthiness with a hint of lemon zest. Made from cacao beans from the Dominican Republic.

Blackberry Farm Peanut Butter from Williams Sonoma or Blackberry Farm – This artisan peanut butter is made from all natural ingredients including a touch of sea salt and freshly roasted premium grown peanuts.

Grilling Rub Collection from Williams Sonoma – This collection of Chili Lime Rub, Spicy Chipotle Rub, Smokehouse rub and more is a great way to flavor grilled meats without adding fat.

Lollihop Snack Boxes from Lollihop – Give your loved one a healthy gift that keeps on giving all year! This gift subscription ships a box full of healthy snacks every month. There’s even a vegan box available.

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