Gourmet Gift Baskets

By: Karen Ilhardt, Home Economist, Kroger Customer Connect

Oh, the joy of giving! Throughout the year, we’re given many opportunities to express our creativity and give personally selected gifts to the people we love. I enjoy creating themed gift collections, especially if I can include some of my homemade items. Homemade jams and jellies are great additions. Gift baskets are not just reserved for the winter holidays. Be creative. Be resourceful. Be personable. Give thought about the recipient.

Many gift baskets can relate to food. The theme, number of items, size and value are choices you will get to determine. A neighbor may find a soup bowl with a ready-to-make jar of lentil soup a great way to warm up from a blustery day. A “Grill Master” friend will delight with an assortment of Simple Truth® spices and fresh Simple Truth® herbs. Neatly arrange the items on a nice cutting board or serving platter to enhance the theme. Cover with clear or colored plastic wrap, tie together with a ribbon, and then add a personal note. You’ve just created a masterpiece!

Gift baskets don’t even need to be a traditional basket. Let your creativity roam. Select a container that accents the theme of the items. Some possible non-basket options might be a skillet, baking pan, cookie sheet, cutting board, large soup bowl, serving or mixing bowl, ice bucket, hat box, party top hat, flower pot or planter, cooler or lunch tote, tin pail, reusable shopping bag or even a picnic basket.

Now to explore some gourmet foodie basket ideas:

  • Bountiful Breakfast: Load an adjustable bed tray with an assortment of Simple Truth® cereals, including Cranberry Apple Cinnamon, Organic Toasted O’s, Natural Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, Organic Natural Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. Be sure to include hot beverage options such as Simple Truth Organic™ Ground Coffee, Simple Truth™ Columbian Single Serve Coffee Pods and Simple Truth Organic™ Chamomile with Lemon Tea. A bottle of Simple Truth Organic™ 100% Apple Juice would be a great addition for cold beverage lovers.
  • Crazy for Cookies: Start with a cookie sheet or baking pan (for bar cookie recipes). Pile it with Simple Truth® products, including the Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, Organic Sugar, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Vanilla Extract and Organic Canola Oil Cooking Spray. Add a few favorite recipes that use Simple Truth Organic™ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, dried cranberries or the Candy-Coated Milk Chocolate Drops.
  • Back to Nature: Pack a backpack with sweet and nutty trail mix packages and some bottles of natural soda. Simple Truth® offers several nut and fruit combinations, raw seeds, roasted seeds, jerky, soy nuts, dried fruits, protein and energy bars. Prefer some crunch? There are some natural root vegetable chips that are air-baked to save fat calories but retain great flavor. Of course, all that snacking will create a thirst. Simple Truth® offers not only bottles of fruit juices, but also varieties of natural sparkling beverages.
  • Taste of Italy: Fill a colander with a combination of pastas and sauces. Who could resist a fresh plate of Simple Truth Organic™ Angel Hair Pasta topped with Simple Truth Organic™ Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce? Garnish with some fresh basil or grated Parmesan cheese. Include some bread sticks (maybe a bottle of wine), and the recipient has a complete meal, thanks to your creative generosity!
  • South of the Border Fiesta: Invert a sombrero, and then pack it with an assortment of salsas and dips. The Simple Truth™ Tortilla Chips and Salsa pack a delicious crunch, What a winning combination! Include as many as your budget permits.

These ideas are only the beginning. None of them require refrigeration. Just think of the possibilities with a cooler! You could create packages for a scrumptious salad bar, a fruit smoothie spectacular or dairy delights. Be creative…be as original as the person for whom you are making it. They’re sure to love it and your thoughtfulness.