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15 Healthy Holiday Food Gifts That Aren’t Fruit Cake

Looking for a tasty gift, but tired of the rock-hard fruit cakes and heavy fudge that traditionally accompanies this season? Your family and friends will love these nutritious and delicious food gifts this year.

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Flavored coated almondsShutterstock / Brent Hofacker

Flavored almonds

The news on nuts is good: There one of the healthiest snacks you can have (Here are some healthy ways to add nuts to your diet). From sweet flavors like caramel latte, snickerdoodle and butter toffee to savory Bloody Mary, balsamic herb, or asiago cheese, California-grown almonds from Stewart and Jasper farms pack a nutrient punch with fiber, calcium, and healthy fats. They even carry almond butters and flours.

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Fruit of the month clubAvdeyukphoto/Shutterstock

Fruit of the month club

Getting good fruit in the offseason can be tricky—though here’s one alternative that can get you through winter. But the food gifts that truly keeps on giving is fruit-of-the-month clubs from The Fruit Company. Choose from the Harvest Club with apples, pears and oranges, or the Exotic Club which includes persimmons, kiwi and star fruit. Organic options and various lengths of packages are available. Fresh fruit delivered to your home? Yes, please!

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Coffee drink, ground and whole beansShutterstock / Tanya Brighidina


For the caffeine lover in your life, there are more and more reasons to indulge guilt-free thanks to news on the emerging health benefits of coffee. So consider a coffee of the month club. Beans from all over the world, including Guatemala, Peru and Honduras are sent whole or ground. Grounds for Change guarantees that their coffee is Fair Trade Certified and organic, making the gift beneficial for the environment and the socioeconomics of the originating country. Decaf varieties are available, too.

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Mild tomato salsaTaste of Home


High in vitamins C and A, fresh homemade salsas make a fabulous and healthy holiday food gift. Looking for authentic and innovative flavors from the southwest? Try the Arizona Spice Company with salsas with fun names such as Arizona Reaper and Magnificent Mango. These award-winning condiments are all-natural; several varieties use the famous Hatch green chilies from New Mexico. Intensities range from mild, medium, hot, habanero and ghost pepper heats, so there’s something for everyone.

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Half pomegranate and raw pomegranates on a white wooden background; Shutterstock ID 228369412OZMedia/Shutterstock


Full of phytonutrients, fiber, folate and vitamins C and K, pomegranates make unique and healthy holiday food gifts. A box of seasonal Crimson Pomegranates is bright and festive in color, which can be used to make some gorgeous pomegranate recipes. Pomegranate juice is extremely high in antioxidants, too.

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Raw Organic Medjool Dates Ready to EatBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Figs and dates

The beauty of high-fiber dried fruit is longevity. They’ll keep for a while, so when the rest of the holidays fade away, this gift reminds of the sweet celebratory season. Figs and dates from are the perfect gift for friends following the Mediterranean diet, and are offered in pretty food gift baskets or trays. Here are 7 tips that will help you master the Mediterranean diet.

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Three herb popcornTaste of Home


Sweet and savory flavored popcorn suits everyone on your shopping list (Do you know the real reason popcorn bags are printed with“this side up”?). Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn features non-GMO corn popped in coconut oil. Choose from jalapeno cheddar, cinnamon bourbon pecan, gingerbread and more. Sold by the bag or decorative tin, popcorn is a fun food gift idea.

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Spice Jar StackHari Kiran Chereddi/Shutterstock


If you want to get more health benefits from your diet, add spices. Help your friends and family explore new international tastes with unique spices from World Spice. Rubs, marinades, whole spices and blends in an impressive variety of flavors. The blends range from Adobo to Za’atar, and everything in between. Some fun finds: shawarma, orange tarragon, jerk, mulled spices, Chinese five spice and 10 different curry blends.

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Bean soup mix

You probably know that soup delivers amazing health benefits. And nothing says comfort food better than a hot bowl of soup in the winter. sells decorative soup mixes including a variety of dried beans (high in fiber, protein, and magnesium). Simply add a few other ingredients, and dinner is done. Mason jars filled with colorful split peas, black-eyed peas and kidney, black, pinto and white beans make attractive holiday food gifts.

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Organic Raw Green Avocados Sliced in HalfBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock


Packed with fiber, folate, healthy fats and B vitamins, avocados are practically a perfect food—unless they’re not yet ripe. Which is why you need to know the trick to ripening an avocado in under 10 minutes. Take a look at the Avocado of the Month Club: farm fresh California avocados delivered to your door? If you’re not sure how your loved one could use so many avocados, just take a look at our top 50 recipes made with avocado.

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Tea leavesShutterstock / In Green


Stash Teas sold as loose tea leaves, K-cups, or in tea bags, allow your recipient to sit back and relax after the hectic holiday season. Herbal, decaffeinated, black, green and more—with over 60 varieties, there is truly something for everyone. Some holiday-inspired flavors include Christmas in Paris and chocolate mint.

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Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, lime)Maria Uspenskaya/Shutterstock


Growing up in Arizona, nothing says winter to me like fresh citrus—and this particular fruit is a citrus superstar. Hale Groves in Florida ships beautiful boxes of pink grapefruit, navel oranges and honeybells. Honeybells are a cross between orange and tangerine, super sweet and bursting with vitamin C. Stick these beauties in stockings for a throw-back gift, or send a box to your relatives stuck in winter snow for a bright treat.

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Planting herbsShutterstock / Maren Winter

Herb garden

Growing herbs indoors works in any climate, providing cooking herbs at your fingertips. Individual herbs or an assortment of herbs in an Aerogarden are both top choices for healthy holiday gift ideas. Choose from small, medium or large units, all with self-watering systems. Keeping fresh herbs is easy with these storage tricks.

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Consider gifting a box of these beautiful veggies straight from the California farm to your loved one’s doorstep. There’s no need to limit their use to a dip, either, just take a look at these 20 dinner recipes that put artichokes to work.

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Olive oilTaste of Home

Olive oil

When investigating the foundation of a healthy diet, you will always find olive oil near the top of the list, primarily because the oil is linked to the prevention of several chronic diseasesOlive Oil Lovers have the answer when it comes to unique healthy holiday gift ideas. Select from olive growing regions (including Tuscany, Sicily and Valencia) or flavored oils (basil, lemon, thyme). Can’t decide? How about an olive-oil-of-the-month club to explore all types throughout the year?

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Jennifer Bowers, PhD, RD
Jennifer is a doctoral-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with nearly 25 years of experience. The majority of her career has focused in health care, disease prevention and nutrition education for all ages - from middle school to graduate school students. She owns a private practice focusing on freelance writing and extracurricular nutrition clubs for children. When she's not working, Dr. Bowers enjoys swimming, running, hiking, biking, camping, cooking, and reading.