homemade

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

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As we all know, the holidays can be a stressful time with traveling, cooking, gifts, and trying to remain calm through it all. I used to stress about buying gifts for my family and friends, until I realized that gifts don't need to be something expensive or even material. In my opinion, the best gifts are usually good company and sweet memories. That said, of course I still get the urge to gift my loved ones something, but it's different now. Now I gift things that I make myself because I know they will enjoy especially because they're made with love.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite gifts that I've made in the past that will still make your loved ones smile, but won't leave your wallet hurting. Plus, you'll be giving them something nourishing that will support their health.

  • Dark Chocolate Bark - Find my recipe for 5-minute homemade chocolate here. To make into bark, pour mixture onto a flat dish lined with parchment paper and then add any toppings of choice to make it festive. Refrigerate until firm and then break into pieces. Recommended toppings: chopped nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cacao nibs, goji berries.
  • Lavender-scented Coconut Oil Moisturizer (or flavor of choice)
Lavender coconut oil
Lavender coconut oil

Ingredients:

1 cup melted coconut oil

Handful dried or fresh lavender flowers

A few drops of lemon essential oil (optional)

Procedure: Mix lavender flowers into coconut oil and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Drain lavender and mix in a few drops of lemon essential oil if desired. Place in a glass jar with lid and let sit on counter until solid. Use as you would any lotion. If too solid when ready to use, grab a spoonful and let it melt in your hand for a few seconds before applying it.

  • Coconut & Cinnamon Granola - recipe here - Never fails to impress.
  • Creamy Sunflower Seed Butter - recipe here.
  • Prepare a DIY gift for someone with all the ingredients they need - I did this last year and it was a hit. Simply choose a fun recipe and get all the ingredients together in a container along with the recipe for your loved ones to make themselves. Fun examples are chai (picture below), granola, baked goods, or homemade beauty products.
chai gifts
chai gifts
  • Coupon book! -  This one seems silly, but it can be the most fun. Make a coupon book for someone you love with coupons for special gifts they like such as a massage, a picnic, their favorite food/dessert, and day trip somewhere, a movie, or anything else your heart desires to give.

I hope you enjoy making your own loving gifts. Get creative, there are no limits.

Happy Holidays!

Giovanna

Homemade Coconut Milk + Coconut Milk Kefir

coconut kefir featured image

You've probably heard me talk about probiotics already. Perhaps here. In my opinion, most health problems and symptoms are due to poor digestive system (gut) health. Since 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, when one system is compromised, so is the other. This is why I highly recommend eating fermented foods daily that contain probiotics to heal and repair imbalances in the gut. Examples of these foods include: coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, and coconut water kefir.

One way I get my probiotics is from delicious homemade coconut milk kefir. It's tart and perfect to drink by itself, blended in smoothies, or added to a bowl of fresh fruit and seeds.

Here I will show you how to make the coconut milk first, then the kefir using the milk. I hope you enjoy this easy but healing process.

coconut kefir

Homemade Coconut Milk

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3 cups filtered or spring water

Vanilla flavor (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract

Pinch of stevia or raw honey

Procedure

  1. Blend ingredients in blender until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Strain with a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer. Squeeze solids to get all liquid out.
  3. Blend coconut milk with vanilla and sweetener if flavoring.
  4. Place in a glass bottle/jar and store in refrigerator.
Coconut Milk Kefir

Ingredients

3 cups homemade coconut milk (or 2 cans 'Native Forest' full-fat coconut milk - BPA free)

2 probiotic capsules

Procedure

  1. Blend coconut milk to get rid of any solid pieces.
  2. Place in a jar large enough to fit all of the milk and have some space at the top (you may also separate milk into two smaller jars). Mix in probiotics (open capsule and only use powder) with a wooden spoon. Avoid using metal because it kills probiotic bacteria, and avoid blending at high speed.
  3. Cover loosely and place in oven with pilot light on (do not turn on the oven!). Let sit for 24-48 hours, until it has reached your desired tartness. Taste it at 24 hours with a wooden or plastic spoon.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Good for up to 3 weeks.

Makes 3 cups 

I would love to hear in the comments from you about how your coconut milk & kefir turned out.

xo,

Giovanna

 

Homemade Dark Chocolate

IMG_4995

These chocolates are the perfect treat to have at home to avoid the white stuff (refined sugar). They're delicious and ridiculously easy to make. The chocolate base is 3 ingredients, that's it! Then you can add your flavorings and toppings of choice. If you like very dark chocolate, omit the sweetener and just use spices to sweeten. My favorite are turmeric and maca powders.

IngredientsIMG_0190

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2-1 Tablespoon coconut sugar or raw honey

Optional Flavorings and Toppings

Vanilla extract

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Ginger

Maca powder

Mesquite powder

Sea salt

Cacao nibs

Raw nuts and seeds

Shredded coconut

Procedure

  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. If adding flavorings, add them now.
  2. Place mixture in chocolate molds or in a small dish lined with parchment paper. Top with desired toppings and place in freezer until firm (about 20 minutes).
  3. Remove from mold or dish. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Serves 4