Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Chanukah And Christmas Gift Ideas
For Health-Conscious Cooks
Many Gifts Under $20 And $35

Gift ideas for health-conscious cooks.

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Meaningful and Useful Gifts
I love giving people gifts that involve cooking - gifts that inspire a person to create a delicious meal and enjoy it with family and friends. It's fun to help a young person stock their first kitchen or to give an experienced cook a new innovative kitchen tool. So here's my list of new things I've discovered or enjoyed this year that I think would make great gifts. 

Lots of people enjoyed my 2013 Great Christmas Gifts for Healthy Cooking so make sure you check out that list also. 

Things for the Kitchen that Make Wonderful Gifts - 2014
Gifts Under $20
I fell in love with Silpat mats this year. They line your pans and are perfect for making Garlicky Rosemary Roasted Potatoes or Vegan Italian Pignoli cookies. NOTHING sticks to these mats and they allow you to cook without using oil to grease the pans.

Making cookies is a snap on these Silpat sheets,
especially sticky ones like pignolis or macaroons.

You can buy Silpat mats in different sizes to fit half sheet pans, 14 3/8-inch x 9 1/2-inch pans, even toaster oven pans. These all run under $15 each.

Bean, Rice, and Grains make a beautiful and inexpensive gift, especially if you buy unusual heirloom varieties in pretty one-pound packages. You can find a huge variety of conventionally grown and organic beans, rice, corn, and corn flour at Purcell Mountain Farms. Rancho Gordo also has a very nice selection of similar products. 

Jubilee Rice, Marrow Beans, Black Beans,
and Anasazi Beans from Purcell Farms.

See my recipe for Marrow Beans with Lemon and Rosemary. I bought these lovely, creamy beans online from Purcell Mountain Farms. But purchase as many as you will need at one time to defray shipping costs.

Measuring Spoons are a great gift for any young chef, or experienced chef who needs new ones. You can pick them up anywhere and you can definitely find some for under $20. I like the ones that have a rounded spoon on one side and an oblong shape on the other. The oblong side allows you to fit the spoon into narrow spice jars.

Prepworks stainless steel magnetic measuring spoons
from Progressive International are under $15

Cookbooks are always a great gift. Just stroll through your local bookstore and find something with lots of beautiful pictures that would inspire someone to cook. I'm sure you will find lots of great cookbooks for under $20.

If the person you are buying a gift for has a reader, like a Kindle or IPad, you can send them my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen, available on Amazon and iTunes for only $9.99. You'll enjoy the 145 mouth-watering photographs and the 160 vegan recipes (most are gluten free.) And it's also packed with critical nutritional information, menus for entertaining, a Seasonal Food Plan as well as information and recipes to do a Raw Food Cleanse.

Thanks to all who have bought the book this year and who have supported my vision to teach people how to cook simple, delicious, and healthy plant-based meals. 

Gifts under $35
This year I bought my first Ceramic Knife and I love it! They are incredibly sharp and stay that way for a long time. The one I have is the Kyocera Revolution 5 1/2-inch Santoku Knife with a white blade. It's a good size for chopping veggies. The perfect gift for those friends with dull knives!

Kyocera Ceramic Knife

An Immersion Blender is an amazing kitchen tool. Instead of having to blend those creamy soups in your blender (and often in batches), you just immerse this hand blender into your soup pot and voila, you've got blended soup.

Here's one that's a little nicer than mine because it has 2 speeds. It's the Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender in brushed chrome.  To see how I use this tool, read my post on how to make Creamy Celeriac, Potato and Pear Soup.

Immersion hand blender

Another great gift is Wine! Recently I wrote about why it's important to know What is in Your Wine. The Pinot Noir we grow in our vineyard here in Sebastopol is not only delicious but it's vegan and gluten free. Check out our Turtle Vines Pinot Noir which is one of the wines featured in the Modvive Ultimate Gift Guide.  

Gifts over $50
Spice up someones life with a collection of spices. I particularly like using and gifting Organic Spices. Go to a local spice store and buy what you think a person would use. If it's a spice that the person hasn't yet tried, it would be nice to include a sample recipe that includes the spice. It the person you are buying for is just setting up their kitchen (a newly married couple, for example), buy them a spice set.

This Simply Organic Gourmet Starter 12 Spices Gift Set looks really nice. I like to use organic spices because they are dried and concentrated and any toxins or pesticides on the leaves will also be concentrated. These spices are certified organic, kosher, and gluten free. They include: All purpose seasoning, basil, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder, oregano, paprika, and thyme. 

A very nice selection of spices from Simply Organic. 

Now for my favorite gift which I will happily give to anyone on my Christmas list who wants one. The Amazing Electric Instant Pot. I blogged about it in October and I still LOVE this pot and use it every day. Read about how this pot has changed my life! When I wrote about it, I only focused on its use as a pressure cooker, which is perfect for cooking beans, grains, stuffed artichokes, stews and other dishes that usually take a long time to cook. But it does a lot more. It's also a slow cooker, pressure steamer, and a rice cooker. I look forward to using every function of this pot!

Amazing Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and more.

Don't forget to check out my 2013 Gift Recommendations,
Happy Shopping!

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