Homemade soups, snacks and treats are some of my favorite Christmas gifts to give and receive. To me, a homemade mix means that someone took the time to make something special for me. That makes it more personal and more thoughtful.
But, if the homemade items aren’t packaged correctly, your mixes may not last very long – and a pretty gift is just nicer, let’s face it. That’s why its important to package your products carefully and correctly. Today, we’re going to talk about properly packaging your homemade edible Christmas gifts.
Packaging Dried Soup Mixes
I love dried/dehydrated soup mixes. They make throwing together a meal so quick and simple. If you’re planning to mix us some dried soup mixes from your stockpile, you need to make sure that your container is completely clean and dry. Mason jars are typically used for this type of gift and are easy to come by. Fill the appropriate amount of mix in the container and add a lid and band. Seal the lid tightly and your soup should last up to 12 months according to ThePrepared.com. If you want to really extend the life of your mix, consider using a vacuum sealer to package your mixes. Make sure to label your mix clearly and provide directions for using the mix for your gift recipients as well as a general life span.
Packaging Dried or Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
If you’ve taken the time to dry or dehydrate your own carrots, zucchini, onions, bell peppers and other garden fruits and vegetables and you’re wanting to share this holiday season, you know that packaging is extremely important to the longevity of the dried products. Vacuum sealing is the best method of storing dried vegetables, but I know its not the most attractive packaging. However, tools like this jar adapter from FoodSaver will help you package your dried vegetables safely and for long-term storage.
Packaging Dried Cranberries
Dried cranberries are so easy to make! This holiday season, give the prepper in your life some homemade cranberries to enjoy the rest of the year! After you’ve made your dried cranberries, package them in a glass jar and share them with your loved ones. Be sure your tag tells them that dried cranberries will last a few weeks in the pantry but will last up to a year in the freezer! If you’re giving cranberries for freezer storage, use a plastic container for safer storage (less worry about the glass being broken in the freezer).
Packaging Jerky as an Edible Gift
If you’ve made a batch of jerky or turkey jerky, the best long-term packaging is going to be vacuum sealing. Sucking out all the air will help keep your jerky from going bad. My family stores jerky in the freezer until it’s opened, and then in the refrigerator until its gone (which is pretty quick around here).
Use Your Christmas Gifts to Introduce Your Loved One to Prepping
Packaging food items from your stockpile or preservation efforts does take a little tweaking and planning. But, sharing these gifts with your family and friends is a wonderful way to introduce those you care about to the preparedness movement. Once they taste your fantastic dried soup mix, they’ll want to know how to make their own! Once they bite into homemade jerky, they’ll realize what the store bought over processed stuff really tastes like. And by using reusable packaging like mason jars where you can, you’re also reducing the amount of waste that we Americans generate each year at Christmas. Wins all around.