Edible Gift Ideas from Suzy Spoon

There’s no need to settle for store-bought gifts; share these quick, easy, healthy and tasty recipes from Suzy Spoon with friends and family.

Give the gift of compassion with a truly vegan homemade gift.

Gingerbread people
This is a great recipe to make with kids - they can do every step with minimal help and they really enjoy the decorating. Of course, best of all is the eating. Do you bite the arms off first? Or the head? Start at the knees please. Before you start, just make sure you have a gingerbread person cookie cutter.

Serves 12

Ingredients:
• 125 g dairy-free spread
• 60 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
• 90 g (¼ cup) molasses
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 450 g (2½ cups) wholemeal flour
• ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• pinch of salt
• 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• pinch of ground cloves

Method:
Beat the dairy-free spread and sugar in a large mixing bowl usinga wooden spoon or an electric mixer until creamy. Add the molasses, 3 tablespoons of water and vanilla, and mix. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix to form a rough dough.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces so it’s easier to handle. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Place the first piece of dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and roll out to a thickness of 2 cm. Use a cookie cutter to cut people shapes, arranging them on the baking trays.

Add any leftover dough to the second dough piece and roll it out between the 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. Continue cutting out people until all the dough is used.

Bake for 9–12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool. The people should be ready for munching or packing up for gifts after about 20 minutes.

Store gingerbread people in an airtight container.

Sunflower and paprika brittle
These gorgeous-looking sweet treats remind me of stained glass window fragments. You’ll need a metal spatula and some cooking oil spray to make them. I use mild olive oil spray oil, but canola oil spray is also good.

Makes 230 g

Ingredients:
• 125 g (1 cup) sunflower seeds
• 3 teaspoons paprika
• pinch of salt
• 275 g (1¼ cups) sugar
• 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

Method:
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spray the paper with cooking oil spray. Spray a metal spatula with cooking oil spray and set aside for later.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the sunflower seeds and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until toasted and aromatic. Transfer the seeds to a large bowl and set aside.

Clean the frying pan with paper towel and return it to the heat. Add the paprika and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir the paprika so it doesn’t burn but is aromatic. Transfer the paprika to the bowl of sunflower seeds, sprinkle with salt and mix well.

Place the sugar, rice malt syrup and 140 ml of water in a saucepan over a medium–high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until you smell a hint of caramel.

Remove from the heat, quickly add the sunflower kernels and mix well. Use the oiled spatula to quickly spread the mixture onto the lined baking tray to a thickness of 3–4 mm.

Place in the fridge for 2 hours, or until completely cool. Peel the greaseproof paper away from the brittle (it should come away easily) and break the brittle into small pieces. Store in an airtight container (it will last for 2–3 weeks in the fridge).




Pickled okra

Okra is a nutritious little veggie. It’s high in vitamin C, fibre, folate and minerals, and has a taste somewhere between asparagus and eggplant. It also becomes gelatinous when you slice it or cook it(I love the texture!) and is used as a thickening agent in just about every cuisine (African, Middle Eastern, South Asian and South American). Pickled okra is great in sandwiches and salads. Just slice it and useit as you would gherkins. These make a lovely gift, especially if you have nice preserving jars.

Makes 4 x 200 g jars

Ingredients:
• 12 garlic cloves, sliced
• 4 whole red chillies
• 1 white onion, sliced into rings
• 2 tablespoons dill leaves
• 1 kg okra
• 1 litre (4 cups) white vinegar
• 90 g (1/3 cup) salt

Method:
To sterilise your jars, preheat the oven to 160°C. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in warm, soapy water and rinse. Place the still-wet jars (not the lids) on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray and cover with a clean tea towel. Place the lids in a small saucepan of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to use.

Decoratively pack the jars with equal amounts of garlic, chilli, onion, dill and okra.



Pour the vinegar into a large saucepan and place over a medium–high heat. Add the salt and 500 ml (2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Carefully pour the boiled liquid into the jars. Remove the lids from the sterilising water with tongs and dry with the clean tea towel. Place the lids on the jars (the heat from the pickling liquid will help seal the jars tight).



Allow the jars to cool completely then pop them in the fridge. (They need to stay in the fridge for 1 month before eating.) They will last for up to 4 months unopened. Once opened consume within 3–4 weeks.

Hot Chilli Jam
This delicious condiment is my absolute favourite, and makes a lovely gift. The jam will last a few months when refrigerated, but would never last that long in my house! Wear disposable gloves while chopping the chillies as there are so many of them and we’re keeping the seeds. You’ll need to simmer the jam for 12 hours, so make sure you allow plenty of time. You will need about five 250 ml jars with lids to store the jam.

Makes 1.5 kg (about 5 cups)

Ingredients:
• 1.2 kg long red chillies, roughly chopped
• 6 onions, roughly chopped
• 10 garlic cloves, peeled
• 750 ml (3 cups) olive oil
• zest of 2 limes
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 6 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
• 1 kg tomatoes, diced
• juice of 5 limes
• 200 g (1 cup) brown sugar

Method:
Place the chilli, onions, garlic, oil and lime zest in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

Pour the chilli and onion puree into a heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, apples, tomatoes and 200 ml of water.

Cover and cook at a low simmer for 10 hours, stirring regularly.

Add the lime juice and sugar and simmer for a further 2 hours.



Meanwhile, to sterilise the jars, preheat the oven to 160°C.

Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in warm, soapy water and rinse. Place the still-wet jars (not the lids) on a baking tray and heat in the oven for10 minutes. Remove the tray and cover with a clean tea-towel. Place the lids in a small saucepan of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to use.



Spoon the jam into the sterilised jars. Use tongs to remove the lids from the pan and dry them with the clean tea-towel. Seal the jars. Turn the jars upside down so the hot sticky jam seals the lid as it cools.

Chunky tomato relish
This is a delectable relish that goes well with just about any savoury meal! It makes a lovely Christmas gift, and is a great way to use up that summer abundance of tomatoes. You’ll need a couple of sterilised jars to store the relish (it will last for 3 to 4 months sealed in the fridge). Feel free to buy new jars, but it’s equally fine to re-use old jars as long as the rubber seal in the lids is in good nick. (I explain how to sterilise the jars below.)

Makes about 840 g or 3 cups

Ingredients:
• 2 red onions, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 kg tomatoes, diced
• 125 ml (½cup) apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 400 g (2 cups) brown sugar

Method:
Place all the ingredients (except the sugar) in a large saucepanor stockpot over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring regularly, until the liquid thickens and darkens. Add the sugar and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in warm, soapy water and rinse. Place the still-wet jars (not the lids) on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the tray and cover with a clean tea-towel. Place the lids in a small saucepan of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover until ready to use.

Spoon the relish into the sterilised jars. Remove the lids from the pan with tongs and dry with the clean tea-towel before sealing the jars. Serve this relish with mung bean cakes, seitan kebabs, tofu nuggets, burger patties or any savoury dish.

These recipes are an extract from Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Kitchen (Pan Macmillan, $45) is inspired by recipes that she cooks in her Sydney-based store that is Australia’s first vegetarian butcher.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 
 
(c) nextmedia Pty Ltd | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement | Green Lifestyle website