Earlier this month, we posted the third and final part of our foodie holiday gift guide with tons of great ideas and buy links to help you shop for the food lovers in your life. Kitchen gadgets and cheese samplers are all well and good, but sometimes the best (and least expensive!) gifts are ones that you make yourself. If you want to give a special homemade present this year, look no further than your pantry. We’ve rounded up the 10 best DIY gifts from the kitchen to help you cross off the rest of your holiday list.
1. FLAVORED COOKING OIL – Infused oils are an easy way to enhance the flavor of your food, but store bought varieties can be expensive. To make your own, simply seal up dried herbs and spices with enough extra virgin olive oil to fill the bottle, and in 3 to 4 weeks, you’ll have a delicious flavored oil ready to be strained and used. Want to speed up the process? Simmer your oil with dried flavorings for a few minutes and strain. Add some fresh herbs just before gifting for a beautiful garnish. Check out Inhabitat for some flavor ideas.
2. HAND/BODY SCRUB – You can make an all-natural scrub from a few simple ingredients from your kitchen. Sugar and olive oil mixed with citrus or essential oils turns into a sweet solution to dry winter skin. This one from Under the Table and Dreaming uses lemon juice for a bright, refreshing scent.
3. LIP BALM – Cocoa butter and oils form the basis of for DIY lip treatments that are good enough to eat! Try one of these three great ideas from Bite Size Wellness and package them in pretty resealable containers.
4. FLAVORED ALCOHOL - Why spend extra money on specialty vodkas when you can make your own? Like the flavored oils, all you need to do is drop your favorite flavorings (fruit, candy, etc.) into a bottle of vodka, let it infuse, and strain. You can also make vodka-based alcohol like Kahlua. This recipe from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen only takes an hour to make.
5. JAMS/FRUIT SPREAD – Homemade jams aren’t as complicated as you think! Boiling fruit and sugar in water is a foolproof way to make a delicious fruit spread that you can jar and give as a gift. We love this strawberry, raspberry and vanilla bean quick jam from Juanita’s Cocina.
6. CANDY – As avid DIY candy enthusiasts, we encourage everyone to try their hand at candy-making at least once this holiday season. It can really be as simple as melting some chocolate and pouring it into molds. If you’re up for something a little more hands-on, we recommend our vegan peppermint bark or this s’mores fudge from Real Mom Kitchen.
7. HOT CHOCOLATE SPOONS – We found this amazing gift idea on Yummy Mummy Kitchen: refrigerate melted chocolate mixed with peppermint extract onto small wooden spoons and wrap in a plastic treat bag with instructions to stir into a cup of hot milk!
8. JARRED MIXES – Create a gorgeous mix in a jar for the baker or home cook on your holiday gift list. The possibilities are endless–simply measure and layer the dry ingredients and include a printed or handwritten tag with instructions and additional ingredients. This idea works really well with baking recipes, like Food For My Family‘s gingerbread cookie mix, but you can also make savory recipes like soup mixes.
9. SPICE BLENDS - Bring a little spice to your holiday season by giving out homemade spice blends. Whether it’s your favorite BBQ dry rub mix, a taco seasoning blend, or a special pie spice blend, this gift is sure to please. Try out this homemade ranch dressing mix from Bake Your Day. Just add some non-fat Greek yogurt and milk when you’re ready to use!
10. GOURMET POPCORN – Delicious gourmet flavored popcorn has long been a popular holiday gift. Make and package your own in minutes for a unique treat to give to friends and family. Go the traditional route with a caramel and chocolate coating, or try a more festive recipe like this candy cane popcorn from The Girl Who Ate Everything.