We’re not even into December yet, but already the supermarket shelves are overflowing with edible Christmas gifts and more chocolate than even the most hardcore chocoholic could ever want!

Everyone loves a tasty treat at Christmas time, but as these items find their way into every stocking across the country, one small treat can all too easily turn into Xmas over-indulgence on a big scale. So with this is mind, we’ve put together our favourite recipes for festive foodie gifts that won’t put you in a food coma…

HOMEMADE AND HEALTHY

While it’s easy to walk into any high-street store during your Christmas shopping trip and pick up armfuls of indulgent gifts for your friends and family, taking some time to create homemade foodie treats is a great way to show how much you care. And it can also be an ideal opportunity to provide some much-needed goodness (and a bit of a break!) in these times of festive excess. Rest assured that there are plenty of delicious AND nutritious gift options out there: you just need to think a little bit outside the (Christmas) box.

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Why not have a go at making these Raw Energy Balls by the Happy Pear. They’re packed full of nutritious, high-fibre seeds and oats, and are sweetened only with dried fruit. Children love getting stuck in to making these, too. Roll them in desiccated coconut and they’ll look just like snowballs! Or how about making a big batch of Jools’ Gorgeous Granola and giving it to your friends in pretty, ribbon-clad jars?

KEEP IT SAVOURY

As sweet treats tend to dominate supermarket shelves and kitchen cupboards at this time of year, it can be hard to avoid overdoing it on the sugar front. But instead of overloading your family and friends with even more sweet stuff, gifts such as homemade pickles and chutneys make a great change, plus there’s an infinite number of flavour combinations you can get creative with. They’ll also help to jazz up the mountain of leftovers we’ll all be working our way through come Boxing Day! Have a look at this video on how to sterilise jars before you get started.

GIFTS FOR SPECIAL DIETS

With food allergies and intolerances on the rise, there are ever more products around for those on dairy- and gluten-free diets, but in terms of edible Christmas gifts, these kind of diets are often overlooked. We hate the thought of people missing out just because of an allergy, but with a little bit of thought you can easily create a lovely homemade gift that is suitable for your dairy- or gluten-free friends and family, and is much more exciting than anything you’ll find in the shops. How about homemade Dairy-free chocolate truffles, Gluten-free biscotti or Gluten-free mince pies? Many of our pickles and chutneys are also suitable for those on special diets if you want to steer clear of sweet treats.

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By adding extra nuts, seeds and dried fruit to gluten-free (or non-gluten free, for that matter) cookies, flapjacks or granola bars you can also really up the nutrition content, adding in extra fibre, vitamins and minerals. Simply present them in a pretty box or a cellophane bag tied with some festive ribbon for a beautiful homemade treat.

So why not give the chocolate selection boxes a miss this year and get creative in the kitchen instead? See our gallery below for some more inspiration for not-so-naughty (but still nice!) homemade Christmas gifts…