We’re not talking your grandma’s dry fruit cake. If you want your friends and family to continue to invite you to their home, you’re going to have to get more creative than that. Here are two great recipes that are sure to make a lasting impression. These treats are a great way to save money and touch someone’s heart through their stomach.

Fruit Compote:

Use your favorite frozen berries to make a delicious spread or desert topper. The basic recipe for compote is 1lb fruit, zest and juice from 1 lemon, 2/3 cup red wine and 2/3 cup xylitol or stevia (to replace processed sugar). Combine all these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly reduce heat and let simmer while stirring and mashing fruit slightly until mixture becomes like syrup; this process should take about 30 minutes; let cool and then add to jars and seal by immersing jars in simmering water for 15 minutes. Dry jars and decorate.

Popcorn Treats:

Place popcorn and whole roasted almonds in a stainless-steel bowl. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of natural cane sugar, ½ cup xylitol sugar, and ½ cup of water. Cook over a medium heat until sugar turns deep brown. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ sea salt, ¾ tsp of seasoning like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or sweet-hot paprika. Pour this caramel spice blend over the popcorn, stirring to cover all popcorn. Let cool then place popcorn in decorative bags or tins.

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