Tasty Gifts for Health and Cancer Prevention

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Some of my favorite gifts to give and receive are delicious – and often homemade – treats that are also healthful and cancer protective.

It’s time to start if you want to do some cooking and baking. I’ve selected a few favorites from the AICR Test Kitchen that I’ll be cooking up over the next couple of weeks, so check these out for something healthy, homemade and pretty.

Walnut Chai Tea Loaf

This elegant bread offers the spicy warmth of Indian Chai tea with subtle sweetness, a perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea. And the fiber rich whole-wheat flour helps lower risk for colorectal cancer. All ingredients are easy to find and you can mix this up and have it ready to bake in just a few minutes. Tie a festive ribbon on a wrapped loaf or place with a colorful linen napkin in a beautiful bread basket to present as a gift.

Sweet ‘n Crunchy Raisin Granola

This is an AICR favorite – what a delicious start to the day. And eating breakfast is important for getting to and staying a healthy weight. You can dress up this granola with different dried fruit or adjust spices to suit your taste. A jar of this crunchy, fresh cereal makes a great gift for college students or for co-workers who enjoy morning snacks.

Cranberry Chutney

This chutney uses seasonal fruits, including cancer-fighting cranberries. It’s a great recipe that requires just a little chopping before the stovetop cooking. Look for pretty jars that you can seal well. Attach the recipe if your giftee enjoys cooking. You could also package it with some whole grain crostini and a wedge of sharp cheese.

Specialty Teas and Coffees

Don’t have time or inclination to cook? Look for stores specializing in locally roasted coffees or specialty loose teas for friends and family that enjoy their daily cuppa. My niche is finding fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate. You may want to focus on organic products or a food from a country that is special to you or the recipient.

Local Foods or Community Support Agriculture (CSA) Membership

Support a local farmer or producer and give something from your home locale. If you want to delight a locavore (this would be a substantial gift), give them a membership in a CSA. CSAs work in different ways, but basically a membership is usually a one-year “investment” in a local farm. The farmer gets the money up front and you receive products from the farm during that growing season. You can find information about CSAs here.

Do you have favorite healthy gifts? If so, please share.


    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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