‘Tis the season for holiday gift-giving! While we all certainly want to give gifts that are thoughtful, heartfelt, and deeply appreciated, there is no need to “break the bank” or spend countless hours searching the internet online shopping. In fact, oftentimes, you have all the resources and materials needed to make a beautiful gift right in your own home!
Holiday gift-giving season is one of our favorite times of year because it inspires us to get creative and resourceful with what we have on hand, including herbs! We wanted to share some of our favorite DIY herbal gift ideas and recipes with you in this article. We hope it inspires you to get a little crafty this season and share some of your herbal kitchen creations with loved ones near and far.
If you make any of these herbal recipes, we would love to see them! Share your photo on Instagram and be sure to tag us @alpine_botanicals
Rosemary Sea Salt
An herbal-infused sea salt is incredibly easy to make and makes a beautiful gift when packaged in a clear glass jar to see the flecks of herbs inside. You can choose just one single herb, like rosemary which we use in the recipe here, or get creative and mix multiple herbs together. (We are happy to help you create a simple, flavorful herbal blend to add into your salt at our apothecary!) You can also get creative, and as fancy as you like, with the type of sea salt you choose to infuse your herbs into. Fleur de Sel is one of our favorites not just for flavor, but also for its high mineral content.
1 part Sea Salt
1/4 to 1/2 part dried Rosemary (or dried herbs of your choice)
- Add dried Rosemary (or mixed dried herbs) in a clean coffee grinder, small food processor, or mortar and pestle. Grind well.
- Combine ground dried herb(s) with the sea salt in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Pour your herbal-infused sea salt into a container of your choosing using a funnel.
- Sprinkle onto your favorite culinary dishes and enjoy!
Seasonal Spice Sprinkle
This recipe creates a super yummy, spicy-sweet herbal blend to sprinkle on top of frothy herbal elixirs, hot chocolate, coffee drinks, and more. It can also be sprinkled onto oatmeal or baked goods. A beautiful gift when jarred (and maybe paired with a favorite herbal elixir mix or the Hot Cocoa recipe below) or as a tasty holiday treat for yourself.
1 part cinnamon powder
1 part vanilla powder
1 part maple sugar
1/2 part cardamom
1/2 part ginger
1/8 - 1/4 part nutmeg to taste
- Combine all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.
- Pour into a glass jar using a funnel.
- Sprinkle on top of your favorite warming drinks, oatmeal, baked goods, or other treats.
Hot Cocoa Blend
Kate is officially addicted to this Hot Cocoa blend right now, especially since having to quit coffee during her pregnancy. Kate formulated this special Hot Cocoa blend to be totally dairy-free and with the option to be sugar-free too (just omit the maple sugar!). This blend is super easy to make, beautiful to gift, and the perfect nightcap the whole family can enjoy.
1 part cocoa/cacao powder (raw, organic, fair trade, etc)
1 part unsweetened Coconut creamer (Laird's works great but there are other good organic brands out there too)
1/4 part Vanilla powder
1/4 part Cinnamon powder
1/4 part to 1/2 part Maple Sugar (optional)
1/8 part Cardamom powder
1/8 part Ginger powder
Dash of Nutmeg powder or 1/16th part
- Whisk all ingredients together until combined and smooth (no clumps of coconut creamer).
- Spoon into jars of your choosing for storage or gifting.
- Add 1-2 heaping teaspoons to 8-10 oz of hot water and mix until dissolved (option to add frothed milk or cream on top, or substitute some of the hot water for your favorite milk to make an extra creamy and more rich hot cocoa).
- Enjoy as-is or add your favorite toppings! Some fun options include: the Seasonal Spice Sprinkle (follow the recipe above), a dollop of coconut whipped cream, a candy cane (or a dropperful of Peppermint Spirits herbal extract), marshmallows (vegan and organic options do exist!!), or a cinnamon stick.
Aromatic Steam Blend
While everyone loves receiving tasty and sweet herbal kitchen creations, immune-focused herbal blends can also make wonderful gifts that are equally as gorgeous to gift when jarred (not mention: greatly appreciated during cold & flu season!). With all of the mask-wearing coupled with dry air, herbal steams have become a part of our daily practice to help keep the upper respiratory system moistened, soothed, and supported. A simple DIY herbal gift is packaging little jars of pre-blended herbs for family and friends with instructions on how to make an aromatic steam using them.
There are many wonderful aromatic herbs you can use in steaming (many of which are common kitchen herbs that you might have around the house already or can be easily harvested in your yard!). You have the option to add essential oils right before inhaling your steam, but it is not necessary as the herbs alone have plenty of strong aromatic oils already.
Other herbal suggestions for steaming:
- Pour approximately 2-3 fingers height of water into a pot (measuring from the bottom of the pot you're using with your finger). Bring to a boil.
- While you're waiting for the water to boil, gather 1-2 dish towels and one larger bath towel. Choose a comfortable spot, whether seated on the floor or couch in front of your coffee table, or in a comfortable chair at your dining table.
- Once the water is boiled, remove from heat and mix in 1-2 heaping tablespoons of your aromatic herb blend (or just one single herb of your choice) to the water and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid to retain all the steamy goodness. Allow the herbs to infuse into the water for at least 10 minutes.
- Bring the pot over to whatever area you have picked out to be able to sit comfortably for at least 10 minutes. Place the pot onto a dish towel and take off the lid. Be sure to test whether the steam is too hot still by placing a hand over top of the pot. If you are able to rest your hand in the steam comfortably, without any burning or discomfort, then it is cool enough to use.
- Seat yourself with your head approximately 6-8 inches above the uncovered pot, close enough to inhale the steamy aroma of herbs but not so close that it's uncomfortably hot.
- Drape a towel over your head to help capture the steam and take long deep breaths through your nose and mouth, alternating between nose and mouth inhalations to bring the steam into all of your airways. Feel free to take breaks, covering the pot in between so that the steam doesn't escape. Repeat as needed. (Option to add 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil, but be careful as they add an entirely new level of intense aroma!)
Eco-Friendly & Repurposed Gift Wrapping
Eco-friendly gift wrapping for re-purposed and/or foraged materials doesn’t have to mean using dirty newspaper! There are plenty of beautiful and simple ways you can wrap your gifts using materials you have around the house. The most deeply appreciated gifts are the most sustainable ones after all.
When it comes to gift and greeting cards, the cards we carry from The Bower Studio are embedded with wildflower seeds and are 100% plantable! Your heartfelt words and sentiment can spring forward into a garden that they will remember you by forever.
Here are a couple of simple eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas to draw from this holiday season:
- Using food safe muslin cotton bags as gift bags (these can be washed and reused for steeping tea, storing dried snacks on-the-go, and more!)
- Make gift tags from recycled wrapping paper from years past (remember to save your favorite pieces this year along with tissue)
- Gift your DIY herbal recipes in glass jars so that your friends can reuse them after they finish enjoying their herbal treat. We carry many different styles and sizes of beautiful jars and bottles at the apothecary if you don’t have any on hand.
- Opt for plantable greeting cards like the ones we carry from The Bower Studio.
- Harvest branches of pine, spruce, juniper, or rosemary to tie on top of your gift with reusable twine instead of tinsel or plastic bows. Sprinkling dried aromatic herbs inside of a gift box or greeting card is also a lovely touch (rose petals and lavender blossoms are favorites of ours!)
- Consider wrapping your gifts in pieces of cloth or burlap instead of disposable wrapping pappers.
- Reuse old ribbons or pieces of fabric to tie around gifts and jars.
Wishing you an inspired gifting season!! Don’t forget to tag us @alpine_botanicals if you make any of these DIY Herbal Gift Recipes or if you get creative with some beautiful eco-friendly gift wrapping.