How to make your own Christmas hamper

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A food hamper is a traditional gift to give at Christmas. As I have changed my diet, many of my friends have too, so finding a hamper that is right for them has been tricky, so I decided to make my own whole food Christmas hamper.  As I chose to make some homemade items it took me sometime to make, but I love how it has come together and cannot wait to give it to my friend!

Tips on how to make your own Christmas hamper

Once you make your first hamper, you will wonder why you ever bought one before! Making a Christmas hamper for someone is a chance to show that you have put considerable thought into their gift, choosing items that you know they will like. Follow these tips to help you pull together a hamper you will want to keep for yourself!

  • Decide on a theme for your hamper. As you can see by my photos below, I have chosen a whole food theme, but some other theme ideas could be – coffee, chocolate, wine, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, nuts and dried fruit etc. Choosing a theme gives some cohesion to the hamper.
  • Add homemade items to give it a personalised touch.
  • Make sure items you add to the hamper are non perishable. If you are going to include items like chocolate, make sure you have somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight to store it.
  • Add recipe cards with ideas for recipes they can make with the ingredients.
  • Use a good quality basket – I look for lined baskets. These can then be used by the recipient afterwards as a storage container.
  • Use cellophane/shredded paper/tissue paper to pad out the bottom and even out the height of the items in the hamper.
  • Use cellophane to wrap the hamper. Start working from the bottom and attach the cellophane to the basket with some tape – make sure it is taut from the bottom before bringing the top piece up.
  • Use ribbon to give it a Christmassy feel.

What to include in a whole food hamper

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When I decided on a whole food theme for my hamper, I had in mind a friend who has recently made changes and is now eating gluten free and cane sugar free.

A first inclusion for me was some liquid sweeteners. Using alternative sweeteners in slices and cakes etc, still means they are sweet treats and should be eaten in moderation, but it is great to have some options for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays etc. Pureharvest have an excellent post on their blog about how to use liquid sweeteners as a replacement for refined sugars, which you can read by clicking here.
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Next was some homemade spice blends/seasonings. When I first changed my diet, I was eating many plain meat and veg meals. Then I realised it was very easy to spice things up a little and make them tastier if I had some blends on hand.
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For the hamper I made up four of the blends I use most frequently:
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Taco seasoningCajun spice blendSouvlaki seasoningYellow curry blend
4 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp Himalayan pink salt
½ - 1 tbsp ground chili
1 tsp cracked pepper
½ cup paprika
¼ cup Himalayan pink salt
¼ cup garlic powder
3 tbsp onion flakes
1 tbsp cracked pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
6 ¼ tbsp dried oregano
5 tsp garlic powder
2 ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
2 ½ tsp cracked pepper
4 tbsp ground coriander
4 tbsp ground cumin
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp garlic powder

Good quality and flavoursome oils are a must. I use olive oil in dressings and condiments I make like this garlic aioli and this salad dressing. I use coconut oil for cooking and adding into smoothies and baking.
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I made my chilli and almond dukkah for the hamper and added some Pink Himalayan salt. Both are great for adding a little something to steamed veggies.
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Tamari is super addition to a Christmas hamper for those who eat gluten free. Apple cider vinegar is also great for adding flavour to dishes like my Honey roasted lamb shoulder.
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And some afternoon tea! Rice cakes with nut butters  are a staple for afternoon tea in our house. I included a fresh batch of my homemade almond butter to go with the rice cakes. This Peppermint and Licorice tea from Pukka is my current favourite tea. It has this lovely sweetness to it, making it a perfect pick me up in the afternoon.
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Wrapping isn’t my speciality, but by making the hamper as evenly shaped as possible, pulling the cellophane taut I was able to give it a reasonable finish.
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