Nothing says “I love you” more than a homemade gift! And nothing unites people more than food! Led by these two beliefs of ours, we think that Edible Christmas Gifts are the most personable and caring things that you can make to surprise your loved ones over the festive period! Not only that, but you can save a lot of time and money by crafting these Christmas Food Gifts In Advance, making use of seasonal fruit and vegetables and taking advantage of discounts and offers in your local grocery shops!
When Can You Start Making Edible Christmas Gifts?
Ok, don’t judge us, but we start making our Christmas gifts in July! Yes, in the middle of summer! Why so early, you ask? Well, we make good use of our garden here in North Wales, and utilise our yearly harvest of fruit and veg that we grow to make delicious Christmas gifts that family and friends enjoy later in the year!
What if you don’t grow your own vegetables? Well, summer is still a great time to start thinking about frugal edible Christmas presents. Since many fruit and vegetables are in season during the summer months (and continue into the autumn), make good use of the discounts and offers you get in your local greengrocer’s or supermarkets to make jams, chutneys and preserved vegetables for Christmas time.
Why Edible Christmas Gifts Are So Special (To The Giver and The Reciever)
- Christmas is a hectic time and you should use it for festive merriment, not thinking about gifts. Making edible Christmas gifts in advance will free up your time to go to all the festive events, see your family and friends and relax.
- By using seasonal food to make gifts ahead of time, you will save a ton of money!
- Homemade presents are so much more personal than shop-bought ones. They really show you care and put in your time and effort to make something special for people that you love.
- Food in general is a uniting force that brings people together. Who doesn’t like a lovely treat, especially around the indulgent Christmas time?
“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it each month.”— Harlan Miller
What Edible Gifts Can Be Made in Advance?
Many sweet treats and bakes are best made a day or two in advance, but since Christmas can be just as stressful as it is enjoyable, it is best to choose less perishable food gifts that can be made way ahead of time.
We put together a list of our favourite things to gift that can be made at least a week (some can be made up to a year) ahead of Christmas. These will help you get organized in advance! These include:
- Spice Blends
- Flavoured Salts
- Flavoured Oils
- Alcoholic Drinks
- Herbal Tea/ Infusion
- Candied Nuts
- Dried Fruit
- Preserved Fruit & Vegetables
- Fudge and candy
BONUS TIP: Make a few more edible Christmas gifts than you need! If you have some unexpected guests or make new friends in the upcoming months, you will have a lovely surprise for them too! And if not, enjoy all the lovely food gifts yourself!
So let’s jump in!
1. Jams For Christmas
Jams and marmalades make a wonderful Edible Christmas Gift. Not only you can make them ahead of time, using seasonal fruit, but they last a long while and can be enjoyed for months after Christmas. After all, who doesn’t like a choice of jams in their cupboards to spread on their morning toast or stir into their porridge? And every time they do, they will think about the person who’s made it for them… So why not be that person this year?
Some of our favourite jams to make in the summertime to gift at Christmas include:
- Cinnamon-Scented Plum Jam (perfect if you have plum trees in your garden).
- Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam (a great tart jam with a subtle scent of vanilla, plus rhubarb is typically really cheap at the beginning of summer).
- Bilberry Jam (the best jam if you have some wild bilberries or blueberries growing in your local area! Make a day of it and go gather these beautiful gems to make a delicious (and nutritious) jam).
2. Chutneys and Savoury Jams
Why not grow some tomatoes, peppers or jalapeno chillies in your greenhouse/ balcony or on your window sill this year and make some delicious savoury spreads and chutneys for cheeseboards? These will make a wonderful Christmas gift for any foodie, especially with many cheese boards being served at Christmas time!
We absolutely love these Chutneys and Savoury jams:
- Tomato and Chilli Chutney with Ginger: a perfect sweet chilli chutney that goes well with cheese, in toasties or to use as a relish for chicken or burgers!
- Plum and Onion Chutney: is great to serve as a relish for Christmas Turkey (it has actually replaced cranberry sauce on our Christmas dinner table last year!). It also goes very well with soft cheese, like Brie or Camembert.
- Spicy Bell Pepper Chutney With Chilli: a great chutney for spice lovers!
3. Spice Blends
Do you have a bunch of spices in your cupboards that you bought for a specific recipe and then forgot you had them? We’ve been there! But this is a great opportunity to make some aromatic and flavoursome spice blends! Great Edible Christmas Gifts To Make In advance and surprise your friends and family members who love cooking and exploring world cuisines. Some of the easy and versatile spice mixes to make for Christmas include:
- Mixed Spice Blend: no Christmas (at least in the UK) goes by without using up at least one jar of this aromatic blend in baking.
- Egyptian Dukkah: is a versatile spice blend that can be used as a crust for fish, topping for salads to add texture or to flavour couscous and rice.
- Berbere Spice Mix: a wonderfully fragrant Ethiopian and Eritrean spice blend, commonly used in East African cuisine will definitely make an exciting edible Christmas gift for an adventurous home cook.
- Ras El Hanout Spice Mix: is a versatile and widely used spice blend that’s easy to make with common spices many of you will have in your cupboards.
4. Flavoured Salt
Possibly the easiest thing to make as a beautiful edible Christmas gift is flavoured salt that can be then used to sprinkle on various dishes or used in dry rubs. The perfect gift to make up to a year in advance!
Learn how to make a range of flavoured “finishing salt” for everyone’s taste here. or download our A4 guide for ease of reference!
5. Flavoured Oils
Similarly to flavoured salt, infused oils can take your dinner from mediocre to outstanding. And what better Edible Christmas gift to make in advance than a set of flavoured oils for your foodie friends? Easy to make in large batches, most cold-infused flavoured oils will keep for up to 6 months if stored correctly, so you can make them way ahead of time! Here are some of our tried-and-tested recipes:
A syrup for mid-morning coffee? Another one for an after-work cocktail? Or something to pour over a bowlful of vanilla ice cream? Whichever one it is, you can make a beautiful syrup as a gift for Christmas for people with a bit of a sweet tooth! Note that most syrups will need to be refrigerated and should not be made more than a week ahead of time! We highly recommend the following recipes to try:
7. Alcoholic Drinks
Ever since we received a bottle of home-infused Sloe Gin, we’ve been completely obsessed! DIY-infused alcohol is a lovely warming winter gift that will be appreciated by many. Try these delicious liquor recipes below:
8. Herbal Tea/ Infusion
A practical winter-warmer gift that anyone can make in advance – yes, it’s herbal tea! And you don’t really need much knowledge, just some herbs and flavourings! Dry the leaves and/or blossoms of various edible herbs, like mint, camomile, elderflower, lavender, and raspberry leaves in summer and used them as gifts at Christmas time. Here’re some suggestions and tips on how to make the best herbal infusions:
9. Candied Nuts
A week or two ahead of Christmas, make some delicious coated or candied nuts to pack in lovely see-through bags to give as edible Christmas gifts! These will be enjoyed by both children and adults!
Use any nuts you like, and you might even experiment with adding different spices to your sugar mix!
10. Dried Fruit
Whether you have a dehydrator or just an oven at home, you can make some delicious snacks by drying the seasonal fruit to be enjoyed later in the year! Fill jars or see-through bags with delicious dried fruit and hand them out to friends and family at Christmas time. Most fruit can be stored for up to 6 months, but check the recipe for more details.
Below is a guide for drying a variety of fruit and vegetables at home, using an oven or a dehydrator.
11. Preserved Fruit & Vegetables
There are many other ways to preserve fruit and veg besides making jams and chutneys or dehydrating them. Make some preserved lemons, canned jalapeno slices or gherkins instead.
What Edible Christmas Gifts Are You Making This Year?
Help us out and let us know what other edible Christmas gifts you like to make ahead of time! We would love to borrow some ideas from you and surprise our loved ones this Christmas with something new! Leave your ideas and thoughts in the comment section below! We cannot wait to read them 🙂