Edible DIY Gifts


Need last-minute holiday gifts that don’t break the bank, are personal, and will be appreciated?

Try these DIY preserves and pickles made with seasonal fruit and veggies and presented in pretty glass jars you may already have. While small mason jars work well for these goodies, why not upcycle empty glass jars from other foods and make them gift-worthy by covering the lids with pieces of fabric or paper held in place with a bow. 


Pickled Veggies

These quick-pickled vegetables need to be stored in the refrigerator but can be used like store-bought pickles in sandwiches, salads, as side dishes or snacks. 

Yields approximately 2 pint-sized jars 

5–6 cups fresh, crunchy, raw winter vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, radishes, and beets
2 cups vinegar: white, red wine, rice wine, or apple cider (or a combination)
6–10 cloves garlic
2 cups water
Salt and sugar
Whole spices such as coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, etc., to taste

Click here for the full recipe.



Apple Sauce

Flavored with a hint of cinnamon and dressed up in a pretty jar, applesauce makes a great holiday gift and helps you use up end-of-season apples.

Yields approximately 3 cups

6 medium apples (roughly 3 pounds) 
1 cup water
1/4 cup turbinado or packed golden-brown sugar (or less, depending on desired sweetness)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Click here for the full recipe.



Dried Fruit

Gift your loved ones a delicious yet healthy treat! Dried apples make a great on-the-go snack and can be made in a regular oven. Persimmons and pears work, too.

5 apples
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 quart water
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Click here for the full recipe.



Preserved Lemons

A staple in Moroccan cooking, preserved lemons add a tart, salty, floral flavor to many dishes from roasted chicken to salads, dips, and condiments. 

Tip: If you have a lemon tree, this is a great way to use up extra fruit. Bonus: Unless you sprayed your lemons, you know they’re organic, which is important since you’ll be using the peel.

Yields approximately 2 pint-sized jars

6–8 whole lemons
4–5 tablespoons salt
Whole spices, such as black pepper, coriander, or cumin seeds, chili peppers, bay leaves, etc., to taste (optional)

Click here for the full recipe. 


To find more tips and recipes to make the most of your food, visit stopfoodwaste.org.