10 Affordable, NO-Bake Christmas and Holiday Gifts

christmas 5I LOVE Christmas time!  It’s not about the gifts received, but the time I get to spend with my family. This time is extra special, because for the past 10 years I have lived over 600 miles away from my family, but we always make it home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I am looking forward going home so that my family can spend time with my boys. For most of them, it will be their first time meeting Connor.

Growing up, my dad always made Christmas special.  We didn’t have much money, but that didn’t matter. He would always bring home some mistletoe he shot out of a tree (yeah, he was a country boy), bring home HUGE burlap stockings, or some sort of special candy that he considered a treat. I always made Jelly Cookies and Corn Flake Clusters which my dad LOVED (I am happy to say I have recreated both recipes… they are in the Satisfying Eats Cookbook). He would wrap our presents with so much tape that it would take 30 minutes to get it unwrapped, or he would fool us by putting a brick in the same box as our gift to trick us.  Reflecting back on the wonderful 21 years with my dad, if I could only have one more Christmas with him, I wouldn’t want anything but to talk to him and give him the biggest hug!  Now it’s my turn to make Christmas special for my boys…to teach them it is not about receiving, but giving…giving of your time, talents and love.

Holiday Indulging

In my family, Christmas time has also been symbolic for eating as much candy, cookies and food as possible. With some hesitation,  I stopped this bingeing tradition three Thanksgivings ago, and I am so thankful I did.  Eating tradition treats left me lethargic with a bloated belly. I personally didn’t have self-control to eat just one Christmas Cookie, I wanted the entire TIN of cookies! I have always enjoyed baking for my family and friends during the holidays and this hasn’t changed since going grain and sugar-free. I just created grain-free and low-carb alternatives so that I could still make people happy with my gifts of food and so that I could feel “normal” and not deprived.

Spreading the “2nd Gospel”

The best way to spread the gospel of a Grain-Free lifestyle is to allow your friends, family and coworkers to sample the yummy food and treats that you get to enjoy.  Yes, you could make them grain-free Satsuma-Cranberry Breakfast Cookies or Chocolate Cupcakes, but how ’bout no baking at all?? I have baked so much these past 2 years producing 2 cookbooks (Satisfying Eats & Comforting Eats) and over 400 recipes… I needed a break from the oven this holiday season!

Giving these pre-made jars of seasonings and mixes is a great way to spread the Holiday cheer and give gifts of real food with no sugar, grains, corn syrup, artificial ingredients or colors. This small gesture also makes a great gift for someone who has been interested in either improving their health or losing weight. These simple gifts could be great conversation starters with your curious friends and family about your new way of eating. Being able to make yummy cookies from scratch or their own taco seasoning could help push them in the right direction. This also prevents them from having to buy unfamiliar ingredients such as almond and coconut flour before they become familiar with this new lifestyle.

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Make a Gift in a Jar

Gifts in a jar make the PERFECT token of love and appreciation. Give them to your child’s teachers, neighbors, your co-workers, family and friends. This is actually a gift they will use. You can use this same concept with any recipe. Simply measure out the dry ingredients and on a label, list the remaining ingredients needed, then give detailed instructions of how the recipe is to be completed.

Other Great Gifts

Do you have a citrus tree or a local farmer’s market with local citrus? You can purchase cheap baskets or brown gift bags and stuff them full of yummy citrus. If you feel like baking, go ahead and make the full recipe! When you deliver a tin of Better than Red Lobster Biscuits or a batch of Happy House Chocolate Chip Cookies to someone, they are going to be happy for sure!  I hope these simple gifts help make your holidays special. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Consider this blog post my gift to you… if I could send you each a gift of seasonings, I would! ;-)

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10 Affordable & No-Bake Christmas and Holiday Gifts

  1. Taco Seasoning
  2. Chili Seasoning
  3. Cajun House Seasoning
  4. Extra Zesty Dry Ranch Seasoning
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  6. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  7. Better Than Red Lobster Biscuit Mix
  8. Homemade Vanilla Extract
  9. New-tella Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
  10. “Candied” Pecans

The dry mix recipes for 1-7 are listed below. The corresponding label with remaining ingredients and instructions is located at the bottom of the post. To print the labels, click on the label  or link provided (it should open in a separate window in your browser), right-click, and select print. Just click on the links for the Vanilla, New-tella, and “Candied”Pecan recipes. It’s that easy.

What You Will Need

You will likely already have many (if not all) of these items in your pantry, which makes these little gifts not only practical, but very inexpensive. I have linked to a few items that I thought were a good deal if you must order them online. If you have the time, check out your local Dollar Store to find some of these items.

  • Pint jars (I LOVE these vintage blue jars), 1/2 pint jars, baby food jars or any food storage device (the size will depend on how much you want to give as gifts). I also found these pint jars with handles. You can also just use whatever jars you have lying around the house (just be sure to wash them first).
  • Thin curling ribbon for tying on the label. You could also use this great hemp twine as well.
  • Rubber bands for holding fabric in place.
  • Construction or a thick paper for printing labels (see bottom of post for printable). You could also print these labels on actual sticky label paper and affix to the jar.
  • “Fabric” for top (I actually used a plastic disposable table-cloth and cut it into 6 X 6 squares for Mason jars and 5 X 5 inch squares for baby food jars.)
  • Hole Punchers (this is the kind I used but I paid $1 for them at Dollar General. You could use scissors to make a tiny hole or slit to run the ribbon through the label.)
  • Recipe Cards: Consider writing down the full recipe on recipe card and giving it along with the gift. Please, if you use one of my recipes, will you put my blog address, www.satisfyingeats.com, on the card so that they know where the recipe came from.
  • Attach a cheap set of measuring spoons. You can get them for $1 at the Dollar Store (or Dollar General).

The key to getting the most out of your money is buying bulk seasonings.  You can pay over $4 for a less than 1 once bottle of dried dill weed (used to make the ranch seasoning) or you can pay $17 for 16 oz of dill weed.  This may seem like a large quantity, but once you start making your own seasonings, you are going to need it and at that price, it’s a steal! The ingredients I link to are great prices I found online for bulk quantities. For certain spices, like red pepper flakes and cayenne, I linked to a smaller bottle since very small quantities are used.

Quality of Ingredients

You can purchase whatever quality ingredients you can afford or desire. My motto with making these gifts is that anything I make is, hands down, going to be better quality than any seasoning mix or cookie mix I could buy in the store. You can choose all organic ingredients if you prefer.

Dairy, Nut & Egg Free Modifications

Of course, the seasoning blends are dairy and nut-free. To make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (or if you decide to bake the actual cookies), grind raw and unsalted sunflower seeds and us in the place of almond flour. I have done this with quiet a few recipes and it works great. The dough will taste a little bit more “nutty”, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Also, I omitted the egg white, first for the cookie dough. Then I decided to bake it and it worked beautifully! I only wish I had discovered this a while back. Now my yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is even easier!!

Also, if you know the recipient must be dairy free and love coconut flavor, substitute virgin coconut oil instead of the butter in the Cookie Dough.

A few more notes…

In the pictures for some of the mixes, I didn’t combine the ingredients because I wanted to show the layers of different spices. If you do this, you will want to shake it before giving it as a gift, or tell the recipient to shake before using.

Have Fun & Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

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Taco Seasoning

Makes about 3/4 cup (Use 1/2 pint jars)

¼ cup chili powder
2 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried oregano

Blend all ingredients in medium bowl, then transfer to jars.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

This amount of Taco seasoning is perfect for an individual gift, so be sure adjust the recipe as needed for larger amounts.

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Homemade Chili Seasoning

Makes 1 cup plus 3 tbsp.

5 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2-4 servings KAL® Pure Stevia or small amount of grandular sweetener (optional)

Blend all ingredients in medium bowl then transfer to jars.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

This amount of Chili seasoning is perfect for an individual gift, so be sure to double or adjust the recipe as needed for larger amounts.

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Cajun House Seasoning

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup. Garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup dried oregano
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)

Blend all ingredients in medium bowl then transfer to jars.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

This recipe makes a lot, enough for 2-4 gifts, depending on how much you would like to give each person.

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Extra Zesty Dry Ranch Seasoning

Makes about 1/2 cup (I used pint size or 6 oz baby food jars)

2 tbsp. dried dill weed
2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. garlic powder
Scant 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Blend all ingredients in medium bowl then transfer to jars.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

This amount of Ranch seasoning is perfect for an individual gift, so be sure to adjust the recipe as needed for larger amounts.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dry Mix

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp plus 2 servings KAL® Pure Stevia or granular sweetener of choice (to taste)
1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup Chocolate Chunks or chocolate chips

Mix flours, baking powder and granular sweetener well with whisk. Add to pint jar. Top flour mixture with nuts then chocolate chips. Press chips down so that the mix will fit into the pint jar.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp plus 2 servings KAL® Pure Stevia or granular sweetener of choice (to taste)
1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup Chocolate Chunks or chocolate chips
5 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Blend ingredients well until dough forms. Package into a 12 oz or larger food storage container with lid. Keep refrigerated.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar. This dough can be eaten raw or baked as cookies.

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Better Than Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit Mix

1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt

Blend ingredients in bowl.  Transfer to a 1/2 pint or 6 oz baby food jar.

Print label (at end of post) and attach to jar.

Vanilla

Homemade Double-Strength Vanilla Extract

Follow directions as listed in this blog post.  Use 1 vanilla bean pod in a small, 4 oz. jar for individual gifts.

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New-tella

Follow directions in this blog post to make this yummy and actually HEALTHY hazelnut-chocolate butter!

Last Step… Print Labels

Check out these fun, pre-made labels.  To print, click on image so that the labels appear in a separate tab, then right-click and choose print. For the Chocolate Chip Cookie and Better than Red Lobster Biscuit label, click on the link provided, which will take you to the PDF version.

labels ranchChocolate Chip Cookies (for dry mix) Printable Tags

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Printable Tags

Better than Red Lobster Dry Mix Printable Tags

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about the author

Have you enjoyed this blog post?? I hope you have!  If you love my site and have enjoyed all of my recipes and content, please consider supporting me through my affiliate links. This is at NO cost to you.  I simply receive a VERY small commission on purchases made through links on my site or by using THIS link through Amazon. Thanks so much for your continued support!

Also be sure to check out my two cookbooks, Satisfying Eats & Comforting Eats, NOW available in eBook format through Amazon the spiral bound versions are available here on by blog.

15 thoughts on “10 Affordable, NO-Bake Christmas and Holiday Gifts

  1. Great post, comes at a good time. I’m making my list now. Love your books, have both of them. Merry Christmas to you & your family.

  2. Melissa, you are AWESOME!!! I had planned to make some jars of Grain free pancake mix to give to a few friends for the exact same reasons as you state…it is the easiest way for them to try a new way of eating and not buy all the specialty ingredients. I ordered a 5# pkg of almond flour from Honeyville, have plenty of coconut flour from Tropical Traditions, stevia, chocolate/cacao, etc. You have now made it simple as PIE to put these together with the tags and instructions. You even have tons of links to things I need like the mason jars. I love you!!! Thank you soooo much and Merry Christmas to you and your family! Take a break, we are good with recipes for awhile, lol!

  3. I love that you have done all this work for us. Thank you and enjoy your holidays. Mine will be better now thanks to you. I have friends that I know will love these !!!

  4. Thank you for all of your ideas. Also I was reading a post last night about what you take on a trip and now I cannot find it. Could you tell me how to find it.

  5. Melissa, Santa is going to bring me your cookbook for Christmas. SO excited. :-) Was watching John B. I think it was on PBS awhile ago cooking New Orleans style and he had a jambalaya recipe on there and I was wondering IF your cookbook has that in it?

  6. Love your fabulous posts! I have made quite a few of the recipes myself and love the simplicity and downright goodness of them all! I noticed a typo, I think, with your cookie dough post further up. ( This dough can be eating raw or baked as cookies) Maybe it should be ‘eaten’ instead? Keep up the great work! Much appreciated!

  7. Thank you so much for this beautiful page and all the great Christmas recipes. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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