Small-Batch Food Gifts for Each Meal of the Day

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I used to think food gifts were for special occasions. You know, the pie you bake for the summer potluck, or the holiday cookies you package up for far-away family. I remember painstakingly crafting a heart-shaped box out of cardboard, construction paper, and masking tape in which to send homemade baklava across the country to my ninth-grade boyfriend.

Thankfully, I’ve learned since then that food gifts don’t always have to involve a three-hour crafting project and a pound of butter. In fact, the art of food gifting means finding that little something to simultaneously delight and inspire, like all-natural energy bars for the yogi in your life, or a selection of artfully-crafted jams for the morning person who takes breakfast seriously.

From the first cup of coffee to the last spoonful of dessert, we’ve created the perfect food gift for every time of day.

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BREAKFAST

Breakfast is my daily ritual. The thought of a steaming cup of tea in my favorite Morning Moon Café mug and a thick layer of butter and jam on a warm croissant is what gets me out of bed in the morning. The real question at hand is always which flavor of jam. I’ll deliberate at the refrigerator door, trying to decide between something citrusy or full of berries. Thankfully, I no longer have to choose. The one-of-a-kind Blue Chair Jam Collection includes all the most crave-worthy flavors for my favorite meal of the day.

Blue Chair Jam Collection

What’s Included:

  • Dry-Farmed Tomato Jam (6 oz. jar)
  • Blackberry Greengage Jam (6 oz. jar)
  • Lemon Pink Grapefruit Marmalade (6 oz. jar)
  • Black Mission Fig Jam (6 oz. jar)

About the Maker: Rachel Saunders founded the company in 2008, after nearly 10 years of painstakingly-loving research on fruit preserving techniques. Today, the small Oakland Kitchen makes all of its jams and marmalades entirely by hand using traditional French copper jam kettles.

Why We Love It: Using organic and sustainably-grown fruit from local growers, Blue Chair Fruit Company is truly “jam-packed with flavor.” You can read about how to cook with jam in our interview with Rachel.

Where It’s Made: Oakland, CA

Buy it now for toast lovers, fruit fanatics, cheese pros, sweet & savory cooks and bakers

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LUNCH

Lunch is the meal that always stumps me. I want something quick and convenient, yet satisfying at the same time. I know I should make some beautifully-creative salad, but let’s be honest; a salad just doesn’t always cut it. Enter a thin, ever-so-crisp, gluten-free cracker: the perfect vehicle for hummus, roasted red pepper dip, or even homemade nut butter. East Hampton Lentil Crispbreads are ideal for the lunchtime cravings that have me rustling through the produce drawer or whipping up last minute hummus. The only hard part? Deciding which flavor to choose for my midday crunch.

East Hampton Gourmet Food Lentil Crispbreads Collection

What’s Included:

  • Sesame Pink Salt (7 crisps)
  • Rosemary Parmesan (7 crisps)
  • Pecorino (7 crisps)
  • Everything (7 crisps)

About the Maker: Kate and Michel worked as head chefs for years before opening up East Hampton Gourmet Food, where they conjure up delicious and internationally inspired food with a focus on whole ingredients.

Why We Love It: These lentil crispbreads get rave reviews for their crispness, crunchy texture, and bold flavors. Serve alongside dips, as the base for crostinis or small bites, or with an elegant cheeseboard. An incredibly thoughtful gift for friends and family with a gluten allergy!

Where It’s Made: East Hampton, NY

Buy it now for wheat-free eaters, health nuts, cheese lovers, hors d’oeuvres fans

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AFTERNOON SNACK

Everyone knows that afternoon lull, when eyelids begin to droop despite our best efforts. It used to hit me in the middle of my 2:00PM college classes (I’d leave on the pretense of a bathroom break and do jumping jacks and sprints up and down the hallway). These days, it comes over me when I’m sitting in traffic, on the train after a yoga class, or at my desk staring at my screen. What I need is an energy bar, but not the kind that looks like a brick and glues your teeth together. How about something fresh, flavorful, and actually nutritious, like these freshly baked, deliciously flavorful and guilt-free treats?

Kate Bakes Bars Collection

What’s Included:

12 2-ounce bars, featuring

  • Banana Cinnamon
  • Oatmeal
  • Chocolate Coffee
  • Cardamom Date
  • Cherry Cordial

About the Maker: Kate’s scrumptious bars were born when Kate wanted a healthy but yummy snack for when she was on the go, that could also work as a meal replacement (each bar is 2 ounces, larger than a regular protein bar).

Why We Love It: The ingredients are simple, organic when possible, and the bars happen to be gluten-free and vegan, so they can truly be enjoyed by all.

Where It’s Made: Washington, DC

Buy it now for on-the-go parents, health-conscious snackers, vegan and gluten-free friends

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DINNER

Beans and rice have been my favorite meal since I was 5 years old, usually accompanied by a quesadilla; its sides oozing with melted ever-so-crispy cheese, and several fat slices of ripe green avocado. My preferences haven’t matured much since then, except for maybe a dash or two of robustly spicy hot sauce. Rancho Gordo’s Heirloom Beans and Hot Sauce Collection is the grown-up answer to my childhood beans & rice dreams.

What’s Included:

Beans (16 oz. bags)

  • Santa Maria Pinquinto: very small, meaty, chili-type beans from California.
  • Midnight Black: classic black beans with an earthy flavor.
  • Royal Corona: fat white runner beans.
  • Classic Cranberry: the original cranberries from South America.
  • Yellow Eye: creamy, dense beans to take the place of Navy beans. (16 oz. bag)

Hot Sauces (5 oz. bottles)

  • La Paloma: mild and flavorful sauce.
  • Rio Fuego: hot, hot, hot, and thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Felicidad: a fruity vinegar sauce with chipotle chiles

About the Maker: Steve Sando started with heirloom tomatoes, and couldn’t stop there. Now he travels the Americas looking for heirloom bean varieties and working with small family farms to grow them.

Why We Love It: We’ve loved watching heirloom vegetables like tomatoes and squash make a comeback in farmers markets and on plates, and Rancho Gordo beans are the next logical step.

Where It’s Made: Napa Valley, CA

Buy it now for serious foodies, experimental cooks, veggie-centric friends

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SWEET TREAT

I wish I could say I was one of those disciplined types who never eat past 9:00PM, but the fact is, my evening is not complete without a little bite of something sweet. My preference? A single, creamy Shotwell caramel, wrapped in paper from a little brown box. And when I say ‘a single one,’ I actually mean 4 or 5… The Shotwell Caramels Collection fulfills my every late night craving with smooth textures and soul-soothing flavors like Sea Salt and Bourbon Maple Pecan.

Shotwell Caramels Collection

What’s Included:

Six boxes, each with 11-12 individually wrapped caramels

  • Original Salted Caramels
  • Craft Beer & Pretzel Caramels
  • Hand-Crushed Espresso Caramels
  • Bourbon & Maple Pecan Caramels
  • “Old Fashioned” Cocktail Caramels
  • Seasonal/Limited Edition Flavor

About the Maker: Shotwell is dedicated to great ingredients and small-batch caramelization of their pure cane sugar. The results are buttery, and so soft, and utterly delicious.

Why We Love It: We love the packaging almost as much as the product (each box looks just like a tiny present). These candies are worthy of the true caramel aficionado.

Where It’s Made: Memphis, TN

Buy it now for the hard-to-shop for friend, the birthday guy or gal, the bold flavor seeker, and caramel connoisseurs

Feeling inspired? Head over to our shop to browse our full range of exclusive every day food gifts!

Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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