I think this will make someone very happy – me
For the past month I’ve been feverishly scouring the web to bring you my round-up of some of the best affordable gift ideas for food lovers. I’ve narrowed it down to a list of twenty of my favourite foodie treats, so read on to learn more.
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Good luck! Now, on with the roundup…
These newly released chocolate bars from the Eden Project are handmade in Cornwall using cocoa and sugar from Fair Trade co-operatives in Central and Latin America, as well as West Africa. The baobab powder – a nutrient-rich ‘super fruit’ – is sustainably harvested and bought from rural harvesters in Malawi. Oh, and all the flavours (White Chocolate with Baobab and Madagascan Vanilla, Milk Chocolate with Baobab and Mango, Dark Chocolate with Baobab and Watermelon) are genuinely delicious, creamy and moreish. RRP £2.50 per bar.
Limited Edition Festive Lyle’s Golden Syrup
Lyle has released a festively decorated tin of its famous golden syrup (£1.19 per tin). The contents of the tin is no different but if, like me, you keep the tin afterwards for storing odds and ends, it’s a rather nice treat to find in your Christmas stocking. And why not use the contents to make these white choc chewy cookies, with added cranberries for a festive twist?
Fragata Olives stuffed with anchovy
I’m a newly converted fan of Fragata olives, which come out of the tin tasting fresh and bursting with flavour. These extra large green Manzanilla olives are picked by hand from the Fragata olive groves in Andalucia, Spain. Every juicy olive is then stuffed with a smooth anchovy purée to capture that unique flavour of Spain. This variety is perfect for cooking with or serving as a pre-dinner snack. They have even won a gold star from the Great Taste Awards. There’ll be two tins (£1.55 each) in the winner’s hamper.
VonShef defrost tray – Designer Habitat
A brilliantly different and practical gift idea for home chefs, the VonShef Defrost Tray (£9.98) uses technology slightly beyond my understanding to defrost frozen food at room temperature in a fraction of the time without the need for power, heat or chemicals. It really does work! Very clever and in stylish charcoal grey, it should look good in any kitchen.
Blue Nun Sparkling Gold
Ah, good old Blue Nun. Not an obvious gift choice, but at this time of year, you can buy Blue Nun Sparkling Gold (11%), which has little gold flecks floating in it. Very pretty and super festive! A mini 200ml bottle is just £2.25 and available in ASDA nationwide.
You can’t have festive celebrations without nuts, right? Wonderful Pistachios are available at most supermarkets and come in four flavours; Sweet Chili, Roasted Salted, Salt & Pepper and Roasted Unsalted. With three calories per nut, they’re not unhealthy unless you get carried away (easily done) and taste great. RRP £3.19 per pack. The winner will find two packs in their hamper.
Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
Suitable for diabetics, vegetarians, coeliacs and vegans, Sweet Freedom Choc Shot is a liquid chocolate sweetened with fruit syrup and it tastes great. Drizzle it over desserts, spread it on toast, whizz it in a shake or stir it into hot milk – it really is delicious, and only 14 kcals per teaspoon and £3.59 per bottle.
3 miniature recipe books – Frank’s and French’s
Small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking, these three miniature recipe books from Frank’s and French’s offer recipe ideas themed around three of their most loved sauces: mustard, BBQ sauce and hot sauce. At £2.99 each and 30 recipes per title, they’re affordable treats for any budding chef.
The Famous Names Whisky Collection box
The Famous Names Whisky Collection box from Elizabeth Shaw Luxury Chocolates is the perfect treat for foodies partial to a drop of whisky, offering rich dark chocolate laced with liqueur centres made from some of the world’s best known whisky brands. And at £5 a box, or three for £10 in ASDA, it’s an affordable option too.
Bird & Wild coffee
Bird & Wild coffee is, I’m told, the first UK coffee brand to be certified as Bird Friendly, which means the coffee is organic and grown in the shade of natural forest, preserving habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife. It was recently awarded a 2 Star Gold Great Taste Award and smells gorgeous when brewing. Buy it from the Bird and Wild website in packs of 2 x 227g for £10.90.
GOOD OIL hemp oil
GOOD Hemp Food produces foods from hemp seeds including oils, shelled seeds and milk alternatives. Their GOOD OIL is a 100% cold-pressed hemp seed oil, made from sustainable produce grown in Devon. It has a delicious nutty flavour and is similar in behaviour to olive oil, but contains higher levels of Omega 3, 6 and 9 and half the saturated fat of olive oil. At £4.49 a bottle, it’s a lovely gift to put into a foodie hamper or a Christmas stocking.
Over Christmas, the point always comes where the desire to cook has left pretty much everyone in the house, but mouths still need feeding. I can’t be the only one who resorts to a takeaway at some point during the festivities, so I reckon a gift voucher for takeaway ordering website, hungryhouse is a brilliant idea. The winner will find a £40 voucher in their hamper. Joy!
Hot to Trot Piggy Truffles from Moonpig
Hot to Trot Piggy Truffles are milk chocs with a spicy kick. Coming in Ginger & Chilli Pig Snouts, Dark Chocolate with Tequila, and Chilli & Lime Pig Tails, these Montezuma’s chocolate truffles are something a little different to give to a foodie friend, and as they’re from Moonpig, you can order then to arrive by post with a free personalised card for just £12 plus p&p.
Butlers Christmas Chocolate selection
The velvety box alone is enough to make this Christmas Chocolate selection from Butlers (£9.00) a great gift. The Irish luxury chocolatier has been making cocoa-based treats for more than 80 years and this box is packed full of delicious, high quality chocolates including milk, dark and white chocolate truffles, pralines and caramels. Highly recommended.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin (£22.50 70cl) is instantly recognisable as a brand and is a favourite of many of my friends – especially the mums! Made with the refreshing juniper, peppery coriander, aromatic angelica and sweet liquorice, its an acquired taste that once acquired, becomes a firm favourite. I reckon this bottle would make a welcome gift for friends if you’re popping round over the festive period.
Divine Chocolate is good, very good and made with the ‘best of the best’ Fairtrade cocoa from Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana, so it’s rather pleasing that they’ve brought out this lovely range of chocolates just perfect for the festive season.
The After Dinner Mint Thins are made from smooth dark chocolate with a deeply flavoured mint cream filling (£3.50), while the Christmas Trees boxes (£4) come in a choice of milk, white or dark and lend a little indulgence that’s perfect for Christmas eve. For fruity chocolate lovers, Divine’s White Chocolate mixed berries (£4.50) contain blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries – all bursting with flavour and smothered in creamy white chocolate.
Red Silicone Whisk
I adore this OXO Good Grips 11” Silicone Balloon Whisk (£10). It has a soft, non-slip, teardrop-shaped handle that’s super comfortable to hold, while the silicon whisk itself can stand heat up to 600oF/315oC. It won’t melt or warp, despite being soft enough to avoid scratching your cookware. For keen cooks, this is a very cool gift, I reckon.
For tea lovers, Dragonfly Teas (£5.99) offer a selection of beautifully presented iridescent tea caddies. I’m very partial to this delicious and fresh-tasting Mao Feng loose green tea, with has slightly fruity, flowery notes and would be the perfect way to round off Christmas dinner, especially if you’ve overindulged!
Whittard Breakfast Blend 100% Arabica Coffee
Whittard Breakfast Blend 100% Arabica Coffee (£4.75) is a full-bodied Ethiopian/Colombian blend with a smooth, chocolatey flavour. Perfect to pop in a Christmas stocking and enjoy for breakfast on Christmas morning.
Bodum Chambord Coffee Maker
Another great gift for coffee lovers, this 8-cup Bodum Chambord Coffee Maker (£39) has an elegant look, with a steel frame, chrome plating, matte polypropylene handle, French press system and a quality of workmanship that should mean it stays in great condition for years to come.
And that’s it! My top picks for foodie gifts this Christmas.
Don’t forget to scroll back up to the top and enter to win the lot. Good luck and merry Christmas!