More Healthy Edible Gifts & Party Food

Appetizers & Dips,Healthy Holiday Tips,Healthy Snacks,Money Saving Tips,Nuts & Nut Butters

Looking for an easy recipe to bring to a holiday potluck, party, or gift exchange or something you can make for the people on your gift list? I’ve got just the recipe, actually many recipes, for you. I’ll post one below and additional ideas as well.

6a00e552ad01da88340153940fdac1970b-320wiYou can savor the season without spending a fortune. You can delight family, friends and co-workers with memorable, mouthwatering gifts made from inexpensive whole foods ingredients and give the gift of health. I make it a point to make and share healthy, edible gifts. I usually teach one or two cooking classes where I share some of my favorite recipes for this purpose. In it, I also share tips for wrapping, decorating, packing, freezing, and shipping your homemade delectables.

If you already own my award-winning book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce Dominated Diet & Cookbook, or my dessert book, The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten Free Cookies Compotes & Sauces, you may already know about some of the great recipes they contain that work for gifts for friends near and far away.

For ideas, check my previous healthy gift ideas posts for a list of recipes with links for some of the items listed.

6a00e552ad01da8834015437e38026970c-320wiI am also including a great recipe from another source, Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, a paleo and primal diet and fitness blog. I own and have read Mark’s book, The Primal Blueprint. I’ve cooked from his cookbooks. I also led two cooking demonstrations last year at Mark’s PrimalCon, a weekend of primal education, fitness, fun, and camaraderie at a beach park in Southern California. I’m scheduled to teach there again next year.

I’ve made this recipe in a cooking class and I’ve shared it with friends who loved it. I plan to make and give more of it away for Christmas.

Say Yes to Nuts!
Nix nuts and seeds from your “no-no” list. Recent research has affirmed what your taste buds already knew: nuts are great for your health. How good? Findings from at least five epidemiological studies have concluded that consumption of one ounce of nuts at least five times a week may significantly reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease. One ounce of nuts is roughly 1/4 cupful; this is equivalent to 2 tablespoons. Either one is an easy amount to squeeze into your diet five times a week or even once a day. That amounts to about 200 calories per serving. YOu don’t need to eat a lot of them to reap their health benefits. There are many studies showing that eating

 Spicy Almonds

Prep: 15 minutes        Cooking: 20 minutes        Yield: 2 cups

One of the greatest things about nuts is that they are easy to transport, but sometimes, well, they’re just a little boring. Spice up your next snack mix with this recipe from Mark Sisson from his blog: Marks Daily Apple. Note the word of caution above about the energy density of nuts. Sometimes people go wild with them and wonder why their weight is going in the wrong direction.

I make the recipe as is except that I use a different kind of red pepper. You could ramp up the spice the second time around if you like more heat. You can double, triple, or quadruple this recipe. It ships well. It also looks great in a canning jar with holiday ribbon and a card.

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use ground chipotle, my favorite)
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoon olive oil (avocado oil also works)
2 cups of whole raw almonds, shelled (of course!)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt or Redmond Real Salt and only 1 teaspoonful)

  • Preheat oven to 300˚F. In a non-stick skillet heat the olive oil and spices over low heat for 3 or so minutes.
  • Place the nuts in a bowl and pour oil mixture over the top, toss and stir. Add the sea salt and stir to evenly distribute.
  • Spread nuts into a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and pop preheated oven for 15 minutes, shaking the tray about every 5 minutes to cook evenly. I add another 10 minutes to the baking time to get a better crunch and to toast the almonds throughout.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl. Let cool two hours. Store in an airtight container.


  • Lauren Mirkin
    August 21, 2020 at 04:42

    I’m a big fan of your healthy recipes and have followed your work and books for years. You are such an incredibly talented chef. But, I do not agree with your exhortation about going easy on nuts because of the fat content. You sound like a spokesperson from the American Dietetic Association. As a clinical nutritionist who has worked with thousands of clients and patients and as an advocate of a “lowered carb” style of eating, I fell your warning is misguided. We know from research that fat is self-regulating and even overeating on nuts will not result in weight gain. Why, because enough fat and protein in a meal signals to the brain to release a chemical called CCK that triggers satiety. I would much rather my clients eat more nuts than eat higher glycemic index snacks such as 100 calorie packs. There is much more to why someone will gain weight than the amount of calories one eats each day. A good reference for this are the books written by Gary Taubes, such as Good Calories, Bad Calories and the books written by endocrinologist Dr. Diana Swarzbein especially her book called The Progam.

  • Laurie Pevnick
    August 21, 2020 at 05:41

    1/2 tsp cumin occurs twice in the ingredient list. What is the second one supposed to be-perhaps coriander?

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