Paleo Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen

If there’s a motto for my blog and cookbooks, it’s this: Preparing quality food is among the most caring things we can do for ourselves and the people we love.

And now an amendment to that motto:

Preparing quality food is among the most caring things we can do for ourselves and the people we love… especially during the holidays.

In the spirit of this statement, here are some of my favorite recipes that feel festive, taste delicious, and won’t send you into the downward spiral of a sugar crash. Because no one wants to wake up on Christmas morning with a food hangover—there’s too much fun to be had! These are great to make for yourself to share with friends and family—or pop ’em into a Mason jar, add a bow, and boom! hostess gift. None of them takes more than about half an hour to make, so they’re great for a leisurely after-dinner activity.

Looking over this list, I’m realizing that “sweet and salty” is a very big thing with me. The heart wants what it wants.

Gingerbread-Spiced Pecans

Marinated & Spiced Olives

Savory Paleo Granola

Sweet & Salty Spiced Nuts

Grain-Free Green-ola

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark with Sea Salt

Grain-Free & AIP Maple Shortbread

Sweet & Salty Fudge Bombs

Other Holiday Treats

These are less easy to give as gifts, but you might want them on your holiday table.

Paleo Ambrosia Salad

Maple-Pumpkin Coconut Macaroons

Spiced-Nut Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

Grain-Free Apple Cake

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Cake with Maple-Vanilla Frosting

Cranberry Waldorf Salad with Coconut Whipped Cream | meljoulwan.comCranberry Waldorf Salad

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  • Vikki H says:


    Thank you for sharing the recipes.

    In the busyness of life I have lost touch with the need to show our love for others through nourishing them body and soul. I needed the reminder! I don’t usually make resolutions, but I have been making a concerted effort to feed myself and my family well. Helps that the 19yo has expressed a desire to learn how to cook more than just the basics.

    Happy Holidays from Virginia!

  • Charity M. Harris says:

    Do you have a paleo recipe for Russia Tea Cakes?

    • I don’t really have a paleo version—there’s way too much sugar to ever make these paleo 🙂 But once a year, I don’t care.

      I follow the standard recipe in the Betty Crocker Cooky Book and use King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure-for-Measure flour. It’s not paleo, but it is gluten-free so once a year, I just go for it (

      I’ve also previously made them with a homemade grain-free flour blend. It’s also not paleo because it includes buckwheat, but this version works pretty well and is gluten-free, too.

      1 cup grass-fed butter, room temperature
      1/2 cup organic powdered sugar (made with tapioca flour, not cornstarch)
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      315 grams grain-free flour blend
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

      In bowl of standing mixer, whip butter. When it’s fluffy, add the sugar and vanilla. Mix on high until blended and creamy, 3-5 minutes.

      In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Add in batches to butter and blend on medium until combined. Stir in nuts.

      Roll dough into ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

      When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge, and using a sharp knife, cut the block into 48 equal-sized pieces. Roll the dough cubes between your palms to make 1-inch balls (balls!) and place on the baking sheet. These cookies don’t spread, so they can be placed fairly close together. Bake 8-11 minutes, but pay attention! You do not want them to brown; these cookies should be set but still pale when taken from the oven.

      Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, about 5-10 minutes. Pour the extra powdered sugar in a large bowl, and when the cookies are firm enough to touch, but still warm, gently roll them a few at a time in the sugar, then set aside on a wire rack to cool completely. When the cookies are 100% cool – cooler than the members of Duran Duran, sipping vodka with supermodels in an ice hotel in Sweden – roll them in the confectioner’s sugar again. Store in a covered container and eat with abandon (once a year).


      Grain-free flour blend

      300 grams buckwheat flour
      200 grams almond flour
      10o grams flaxseed meal
      200 grams potato starch
      200 grams arrowroot powder

      Combine with a fork and bake yourself happy.