Thursday, December 24, 2009

Homemade presents in jars: soup mix and nuts

Homemade presents in jars: soup mix and nuts
I had grandiose ideas of making all kinds of homemade Christmas gifts for my family and friends, but a lot of last-minute traveling foiled my plans.  Luckily, I had already acquired most of the necessary ingredients for a few of my ideas, and I quickly threw together several batches of two soup mixes and two kinds of nuts in the 11 hours that I was home between one trip and the trek to Florida for the holidays.  I had something more elaborate in mind, but it worked out ok, and will be a more useful present than anything else that I could imagine.  If you're in need of a last-minute Christmas gift, I have just the answer.  And if you only have time to make one thing, I highly recommend the sweet and spicy nuts that I adapted from David Lebovitz.  I ate quite a few as they were cooling, and had to keep them in my trunk for the drive to Florida so that I would resist eating the presents.  The other nuts are very tasty, too, and the soup mixes are always nice to have on hand, so you really can't go wrong with any of these.

Mixed bean soup mix (adapted from Gnowfglins)
(Printable version)

For each jar:
1 pint jar
total of 1 3/4 cups beans and peas of your choice (I used 1/4 cup each of black beans, pinto beans, cranberry beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, green split peas, and brown lentils)
1 small ziploc bag
1 1/2 Tbsp dried, chopped onion
2 tsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano

Layer the beans/peas in the jar.  Place the remaining ingredients in the ziploc bag and place on top of the beans.  Include the following directions:

bean mix
spice mix
1 1/2 quarts water or stock
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight in a large pot.  Drain beans, and add spice mix, water or stock, and tomatoes.  Bring this to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender (about an hour and a half).  Season with salt and pepper.


Split pea soup mix (adapted from Nikibone)
(Printable version)

For each jar:
1 pint jar
1/2 cup green split peas
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils
1 small ziploc bag
3 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper

Layer peas, rice, and lentils into the jar.  Combine remaining ingredients in the ziploc bag and place on top of the lentils.  Include the following directions:

pea and rice mix
spice mix
6 cups water or stock
2 cups chopped chicken or ham (optional)
salt to taste

Place pea mix, spice mix, water or stock, and meat in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until peas are tender (45-60 min).  Season with salt.


Sweet and spicy mixed nuts (adapted from David Lebovitz)
(Printable version)

6 cups mixed raw nuts (I used equal parts peanuts, almonds, and pecans)
1 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for 10 minutes, stirring once.  Combine the remaining ingredients, pour this mixture over the nuts, and stir well.  Bake for about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool and place in jars.  Makes enough for 3 pint jars.


Tamari roasted nuts (adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen)
(Printable version)

6 cups mixed raw nuts (I used equal parts peanuts, almonds, and pecans)
2 Tbsp wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tsp paprika

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for 12 minutes, stirring once.  Pour the tamari and paprika over the nuts, stir well, and continue to bake for 5 more min.  Let cool and place in jars.  Makes enough for 3 pint jars.

2 comments:

Kalyn said...

I had my eye on those nuts of David's too. They sound divine. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday!

Katie said...

Kalyn - You should try them! He definitely knows what he's doing :)