3 Easy Edible DIY Christmas Gifts to Make Now

With almost everyone affected by the financial state of things, homemade holiday gifts are not only beloved of late, they’re in fashion.  Try your hand at these three easy gifts to get ahead of the holiday rush!

Herb-Infused Olive Oil

What you’ll need:

Extra virgin olive oil

Favorite herbs and spices in their whole, ungrounded form

Glass bottles (not jars, so as to prevent double-dipping)

What you’ll do:

Consider the combination of herbs you will choose.  Rosemary and thyme is a great pairing, as is basil and oregano; tarragon and mustard; and lemon peel, red chili pepper, ginger, and rosemary.  Garlic is also a great additive but they will need to be removed after a couple of as they will go bad more quickly than the herbs.

Most crucial is the process of cleaning your chosen herbs.  Without proper cleaning, the oil will go bad (with botulism—yikes!) more quickly.  Properly cleaned with a distilled white vinegar and water bath (or spray), the product will last about two months if refrigerated.

Once bathed or sprayed with white vinegar and water, rinse the herbs and remove excess moisture gently with a towel.  Next, bruise them with a mortar and pestle (or the handle of a kitchen knife on a cutting board) before putting them into your bottles.  Pour in olive oil, seal, and store in a cool, dark place for two weeks.  Done!

Stinging Nettle Tea Set

What you’ll need:

Stinging nettle plant(s)

Paper bag or dehydrator

Tea cup

Tea infuser

What you’ll do:

This is the perfect gift for anyone in your life who suffers from seasonal allergies.  Stinging nettle is known to calm inflammation caused by seasonal allergies and is full of potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A and C, to boot.

Although you can just get stinging nettle tea from the store, you can also grow your own nettle for a yearlong allergy fix in your own garden.  Nettle will grow in practically any weather, so getting a pot from your local farmer or herb enthusiast and sticking it right in the ground is a good bet.  To pack some up for as a holiday gift, snip off a few stems and, after properly washing and drying, bundle them together with a rubber band by the stem.  Poke a few holes into a paper bag and place the nettles upside down within, tying the bag and suspending it in a cool, dark place.  (Be sure the herbs aren’t crowded or touching the bag.)  You can also use a dehydrator.

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Once dried, cut up the herbs into manageable pieces and grind into a fine powder with a coffee grinder.  Store in a small, airtight bag or glass jar and stuff it inside a tea or coffee cup, complete with a tea infuser.

Bahraini Cardamom Coffee

What you’ll need:

3 cups of fair-trade coffee

1/3 cup of cardamom

Several pinches of saffron

Optional: rosewater

What you’ll do:

This is about as easy of a gift as you’ll ever make.  Simply pour the coffee beans into a mason jar, followed by the cardamom and saffron.  (This recipe makes two jars full.)  Leave the coffee and cardamom ungrounded to preserve the flavor of both.  Seal the jars and shake it to distribute the spices throughout the jar.  Put a cute piece of checkered fabric on the lid and tie it off with twine.  Add another bit of twine to tie an optional small container of rosewater to the jar.  Provide instructions to grind the coffee mixture as one would any coffee and add 1 tbsp of rosewater to each serving.  Yum!

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