Posts in: Healthy Eating
Do you have a health nut in your life that wouldn’t touch a fruitcake with a ten foot pole?
Here is a list of some great healthy gifts to give those hosts and hostesses that would shy away from a tin of cookies!
Local Artisan Soaps
For the clean freak that loves organic, there is a variety of great local artisan soaps available at Riverside Arts Market and various boutiques in town. We love Long Hammock Organic soaps, because they come in a sweet little muslin bag. You can pick up a stack of bars at Violet in the 5 Point neighborhood in Riverside.
Local Fruit Basket
Those poor souls that watch their diet even during the holiday season, a fruit basket of locally grown fruit is a great alternative to a pound cake. Winter is citrus season, and persimmons abound in November. The Beaches Green Market is a safe bet for picking up a variety of local produce for a gift basket.
Spice it Up
A little bag of spices and rubs are a gift with a long shelf life. For those who love to go lean and mean on the grill, a new addition to the spice cabinet is always a safe bet. Native Sun has a fantastic selection of organic and unique spice blends.
Instead of bringing a bottle of wine, bring a beautiful glass jug of fresh juice. You can hit up Pulp or one of the local juice bars for a fresh squeeze.
Dress it Up
The Olive Oil store at the St. Johns Town Center has an awesome selection of olive oils and unique vinegars that would make an excellent gift for anyone who loves a good salad!
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed (or 2 (12-ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach)
2 Sweet Onions, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted in a 300º oven
In a large pan, cook the spinach in the water that clings to the leaves until it wilts. Drain, rinse under cold water and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop finely and reserve.
In a medium pan, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until well caramelized and golden brown. Cool and then mix with the spinach, yogurt, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and serve as an appetizer or as a dip for pita bread and crudités (colored pepper wedges, Belgian endive and/or Treviso spears, celery lengths, cucumber boats, snow peas, sweet onions cut into single layer wedges, scooped out plum tomato wedges, and any colorful vegetable that is more or less boat shaped to hold a chunky dip).
If you’ve had one too many spinach salads try using this power-packed vegetable in a festive dip this weekend. Recipe taken from KYV.
1¼ cups pecans
10 dried dates, pitted
2 tablespoons cacao powder (unsweetened)
pinch of sea salt (regular salt OK to use)
Green food coloring
Put pecans into a food processor and chop for 15-30 seconds or until nuts are in tiny pieces, but not powder. Add the dates, food coloring and the cacao powder and blend another 15-30 seconds. Roll into balls and serve. Makes 12-18 pieces
Chocolate Covered Apples Jack o’ lanterns
1 cup dark-chocolate baking discs or chips
Remove the apple stems and insert the sticks into the top of the apples. Melt a cup of dark chocolate baking discs or chips in a double boiler (or just insert metal bowl into a pot of boiling water). When the chocolate has melted, slowly rotate each apple until all sides are covered in chocolate. Place on a tray lined with parchment or wax paper and set in the fridge to cool.
Once cooled, take a tooth pick and carve out a jack o’lantern face into the apple.