It seems like every time I open a kitchen cabinet something clatters to the floor.  This must be a sign that I should refrain from buying kitchen gadgets for a while.  Aren’t you feeling cluttered, especially at this season of so much giving and receiving (and shopping, and wrapping, etc.)?

That’s why I often prefer to give and receive edible holiday gifts that don’t take up space, at least not for long. Here are a few of my favorite gifts to make, including one incredibly easy and tasty recipe for Tamari Almonds from my friend Cathy Barrow over at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen.

Coffee and Tea
Make Your Own Basket:  Buy 2 pounds of coffee, one regular and one decaf, a selection of teas, 2 colorful mugs, and make or buy some biscotti or tea cake.

Luscious Fruit
Make Your Own Basket:  Select some luscious, seasonal fruit, including some citrus and a Microplane zesting grater. Some other tasty additions could be a bar of dark chocolate, and a wedge of aged Parmesan cheese.

Mexican Fiesta
Make Your Own Basket:  Combine salsas, tortilla chips, a bottle of tequila, margarita mix, limes and a CD of salsa music.  For a cute presentation, arrange it all in a sombrero or cowboy hat instead of a basket.

Sweet and Savory Treats
Make Your Own Basket:  Pile a batch of your favorite nuts (see the recipe for roasted tamari almonds below) and cookies on a gorgeous reusable serving plate.  You can vary this theme by making your own pancake mix (only the dry ingredients) and combining it with a pancake skillet, maple syrup and your favorite pancake recipe. Or, stir up a batch of cider mulling spices and include two festive mugs, or give a freshly baked loaf of banana bread, like this Buttermilk Banana Bread from our buddy Lisa Cain (a.k.a. Snack Girl) in a lovely hand painted bread pan.
(From Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen)

What are you favorite edible gifts to give at the holidays or anytime? Do you make your own basket of delights? Please share the details with us below.

Recipe: Tamari Almonds

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 18 min(s)
  • Total Time: 23 min(s)

Bake a sweet treat to give as a gift.

Ingredients

    • 1 lb raw almonds
    • 1/4 c (scant) low sodium tamari

Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl, toss the almonds with the tamari until they are well coated (for a spicy kick, add a pinch of wasabi powder).
    • Spread the almonds out on the baking sheet and allow them to dry a little while the oven heats up.  Toast the almonds in the center of the oven for 18 minutes.
    • Remove the pan from the oven and loosen the almonds from the parchment paper using a spatula.  Remove the paper and spread out the almonds on the hot baking sheet, shaking well. Pop them back in the oven for two minutes to dry out a little more.
    • Remove and allow the almonds to cool completely on the pan. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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  • http://mostlyhealthymom.blogspot.com (Mostly) Healthy Mom

    I love tamari almonds! I never realized how easy they would be to make. I can’t wait to try this…thanks for the recipe!

    As for gift baskets, I like giving edible ones with easy recipes. For instance, a basket with apples, bananas, strawberries, melting chocolate, and wooden skewers with an easy recipe for making chocolate dipped fruit kabobs.

    • Aviva Goldfarb

      (Mostly) Healthy Mom, that is the cutest idea for a chocolate fruit fondue basket–thank you!

  • Cookie_mom

    What is tamari? Is it a type of spice like cayenne pepper? The tamari almonds recipe is easy I want to try it right away.
    I’ve made cayenne almonds, they helped cured a sore throat for a friend:) We usually give our homemade cookies, chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter and one specialty cookie for the christmas holiday. We’ve given banana bread muffins too but it wasn’t a holiday.

    • Aviva Goldfarb

      Cookie Mom, thanks for asking! Tamari is an aged soy sauce, it’s a little higher quality product than soy sauce, as it’s fermented longer and made with more soy beans than wheat. But, you should be able to use soy sauce for the almonds and they’ll still taste great.

  • http://savorysweetlife.com alice

    Hi Cookie_Mom: Tamari is similar to soy sauce. They are both made from fermented soy beans except Tamari is thicker, darker, richer, and smoother. Most recipes calling for either soy sauce of Tamari can be substituted for one another without much difference.

    Aviva: Great recipe, I always love the tamari almonds at Trader Joes but never thought to make it out home. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!