Catherine Winter-Hébert

DIY Gift Idea: Make 10 Epicurean Vegan Treats in Beautiful Recycled Glass Jars

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 White Bean Spread with Sumac

Similar to hummus, only a bit thicker and without the tahini, this gets a great lemony kick from the ground sumac. If you can’t get your hands on sumac (it’s normally found in Middle Eastern grocery stores), you can substitute a bit of grated lemon rind and a pinch of smoked paprika.

  • 1 1/4 cups canned white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Pinch of powdered cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac (or substitute)
  • Salt to taste

Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Adjust lemon and salt to taste, and transfer into your decorative jars. If desired, top with a sprig of parsley and a sprinkle of sumac or paprika before fastening the lid.

Decorated Jars

How to Decorate Your Jars

Now that you’ve determined which comely comestible(s) you’ll be filling them with, it’s time to pay a bit of attention to the containers themselves. Jars with interesting shapes or textures are fun to use, so whenever you buy fancy jams, artichoke hearts, etc., be sure to keep that jar once you’ve finished with its contents.

One of the easiest ways to “pretty up” a jar is to decorate the lid. Some people like to paint theirs, but my favorite technique is to just cover it with a lovely piece of fabric and tie that in place with jute or other twine. You can find pre-cut squares of cotton quilting fabric at just about any craft or fabric shop, or you can recycle fabrics that you already have at home. If you have pinking shears, use those to create an interesting texture around the cut edge, if you like. Just cut the fabric so its diameter is about 2 inches greater than your lid, so you can tie it into place without worrying about slippage.

For the labels, you can buy some adhesive labels (or even full sheets of adhesive paper) at any place that sells office supplies, and then download some decorative templates online. You can find many free ones to play with, but there are also some gorgeous ones on Etsy and such that only cost a few dollars to download. Then, just write down the contents on the front label, and if you like, add another label with the “use by” date on the bottom of the jar, as mentioned earlier.

All images via Shutterstock

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