A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, “It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!” This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.
Pickled Cranberries: Nothing says, “It's Christmas!” quite like cranberries, and thanks to the magic of canning, you can bottle that holiday spirit up and enjoy it all year long. Pickled cranberries go great as a garnish on roasted meats, and can also transform a fresh salad.
Homemade Apple Butter: Sure, apple butter doesn't look very appealing, but if you've tasted it, you know it's pure heaven in a jar! Apple butter can be made on a stovetop, or cooked down in a slow-cooker. It tastes great on toast, pancakes, with cheese, or my personal favorite, by the spoonful.
Sweet Zucchini Relish: This relish differs from the traditional cucumber variety, and instead gets its sweet and savory flavor from a mixture of picked zucchini and peppers. The author of this recipe, Ted from Man Made DIY, claims it'll change the way you think about relish.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread: About this spread, the recipe's creator has this to say: “It's everything wonderful about summer encapsulated in one little jar.The silky smooth, thick red pepper spread with the full taste – courtesy of tomatoes, garlic, onion, and red wine vinegar- is at home dolloped on fried eggs, spread on toast, as a pizza sauce, or as a dip (either alone or stirred into mayonnaise or softened cream cheese.)” Um, yum!
Spiced Apple Pie Filling: Give the gift that keeps on giving. Canned apple pie filling is the perfect way to say, “I want to give you a pie, but on your time.” All the recipient has to do is throw the filling in a frozen crust, and bake! Make sure to include a cute recipe card along with this canned gift.
Papaya-Grapefruit Preserves: Maybe you want to gift canned spreads, but you don't feel confident enough to make jelly. Enter preserves. Just as good on toast, without the issue of needing to be firm.
Pickled Okra: If you've never had the fortune of biting into a crispy piece of pickled okra, you're missing out. The tangy taste of pickled okra pairs well with soft cheeses, fried foods, and any type of southern cuisine.
Fire-Roasted Salsa: Grab what tomatoes you can, and grill up a bushel before the weather prohibits! Turn those roasted tomatoes into a warm, fiery salsa your recipents are sure to enjoy.
Caramel Pear Butter: Fruit butters are a sure bet when it comes to making bulk gifts. As for this recipe, I was on board at just the mention of caramel!
Rhubarb Chutney: Lucky are those with access to affordable rhubarb. If you live in the north, you know it grows like a weed! For those in the south, however, it's a rare delicacy. Send some of your friends and family below the Mason-Dixon line this delicious canned chutney.
Blood Orange Marmalade: This recipe (which comes in three varieties) is a little more advanced than the others on this list of canned gift ideas, but oh! How delicious!
Pumpkin Ale Mustard: Pumpkin beer season is in full swing, and what better time to make this seasonal mustard?
Grape Catsup: Someone please try this recipe and send me a jar. Catsup made from grapes? The idea alone makes a great gift in a jar.
Would you give canned gifts to friends and family? I think a basket full of pickles and marmalades would make a delightful gift for a teacher, work friend, or relative. Happy canning!