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A fiery, red-headed newbie Vegan who loves wine, food, reading, writing, and all things curious.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gifts You Can Make In The Kitchen

One of my favorite blogs-JL Goes Vegan-has inspired me on my own vegan journey. She launched a new series on her blog called, Food Is Activism where she highlights vegan recipes made by non-vegans. I enjoy the question-"What do vegans eat?"-because it gives me a chance to explain that we do eat many of the same foods non-vegans eat. Beans, rice, oatmeal, whole grains, etc... There is always a small glimmer of disappointment in their eyes when I don't start off with dreaded T-word. Food that is vegan just means that no animal was harmed in the making of it. Anyone can enjoy it!

Gifts of food are a great way to spread holiday cheer and keep in step with the idea that Food Is Activism. For me, a homemade gift that someone has prepared means love, time, thought, and kindness. These cookies and bread make great hostess gifts. The nuts can be paired with wine or beer in a basket for a stellar presentation!

I used recipes from Kris Holechek's amazing book The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes 
The Shortbread Cookies are so perfectly crisp and buttery! I used pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries to look like holly. The Saucy Apple Bread is crazy moist and-- seriously the topping alone could be served as a dessert!

The spiced nut medley (recipe below) blends the holy baking nut trinity of almonds, walnuts, and pecans along with dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, and raisins. The curry and other spices give you the warm and fuzzies all over--especially when paired with a pint of eggnog ale or other holiday spiced libation! 
Did you know that the act of gift giving was very different in Colonial America? Learn about early holiday traditions HERE

Curry Spiced Nut Medley
For Spice Blend:
3 tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Nut Blend:
2 cups Pecans
3 cups Walnuts
2 cups Almonds
3 Egg Replacers (Ener-G)
1 cup Dried Apricots, diced
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup, Raisins
1/2 cup Sugar

Preheat oven to 300 deg F. Mix spice blend together and put aside. Combine nuts and egg replaces and mix till the nuts are coated. Add the rest of ingredients including spices and mix until everything is incorporated. Spread mixture on lightly oiled cookie sheets. Cook for 25 minutes and allow to cool completely. 

Put a scoop or two in a holiday tin and you have an instant gift. Don't forget to add the recipe so they can pay some veganism forward. :)

Another great site to check out for holiday gifts that can be made in the kitchen is my friend Lee's blog:

And if any of you were curious of the whereabouts of that sweet, jolly man all dressed in red...NORAD has got it covered:


  1. This is such a beautiful post! I'm so happy that you have found inspiration on my blog -- and look at what YOU are doing! Your creations would make anyone want to eat vegan food and hear more about eating vegan! Bravo!

  2. Love the cranberries and pumpkin seeds to decorate the shortbread cookies. Clever!

  3. I am sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Hi Farrah,

    I made shortbread too! Your are gorgeous! And the nuts look super yummy.