Holiday Gifts That Will Delight the Foodies in Your Life
By JENNIFER CASSETTA
Don't get me wrong; I love a sale. But sometimes I wind up buying gifts because they were discounted, not because it was really something that my loved one would want. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, we can finally concentrate on thoughtful gifts without all the noise.
This list focuses on gifts for foodies with a healthy twist. There's something for everyone -- whether they're gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, on the Paleo diet or just on a mission to be healthier in 2015. You'll definitely win the holidays with this wish list!
Gifts for Less Than $20
For the Chef: Every foodie who likes to cook would dig an olive oil collection. This gift pack of three Sicilian extra virgin olive oils from Trader Joe's is a great example of an inexpensive gift that's both healthy and useful.
For Your Vegan Friend: For your potty-mouthed vegan friends, grab a copy of the Thug Kitchen cookbook, chock-full of veggie main meals and sides. For the athlete, choose Brendan Brazier's Thrive Energy Cookbook, with 150 plant-based recipes with options to make them all free of allergens (dairy, soy, wheat, sugar).
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For Dairy-Free Friends: Everyone loves chocolate, even people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. Hot chocolate is so average to a foodie, but this delicious drinking chocolate from Nibmor comes in traditional, mint or six spice flavors and is a real treat.
The cacao they use is organic, ethically traded and fair-trade certified. So you'll feel absolutely no guilt while you're sipping on your chocolate in your coziest pajamas.
For the Marital Artist Baker: Hmmm, are there any more of those out there besides me? If so, these Ninjabread Cookie Cutters are the cutest stocking stuffer. Homemade gingerbread can be made with less processed sugar and mostly molasses, which is one of the healthier sweeteners you can use. Cookies may not be exactly healthy, but you can get creative and use them to cut out other foods too.
For Paleo Diet Followers: What about for your CrossFit-loving friend who eats Paleo? Grab a pack or two of Krave's gourmet jerkies to stuff in their stockings. Disclaimer: I don't eat meat, but if I did I would choose products like this that are free of nitrites, gluten, MSG and corn syrup.
Gifts for $20 to $50
For the Gluten-Free: This Craft-a-Brew at-home brewing kit by Williams Sonoma is perfect for that person on your list who loves beer but has a gluten allergy. It comes with enough ingredients for a whole batch of beer (10 12-ounce bottles), so your friend can prepare for New Year's Eve.
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For the Kombucha Lover: Do you know someone who could use some help with his digestion? Kombucha is a drink made from fermented tea leaves that helps balance gut flora, which improves overall digestion and boosts immunity. This kombucha-making kit by Kombucha Brooklyn is a great gift for the foodie hipster in your life.
Gifts for $50 to $100
For the Soda Addict: The Purefizz soda maker is a great gift for soda lovers: Not only will they save money by not buying expensive canned soda, they'll also save inches on their waistlines. Instead of soda that's full of sugar and chemicals, Purefizz allows you to carbonate your own beverages and control how sweet you want them.
For the Juice Lover: Yes, this is so L.A.! But, luckily, Paleta now ships its cold-pressed juices to the rest of the country. Gift your loved one with a one-day juice cleanse to help detox after the holidays. Juice detoxes shouldn't be used for weight loss, but they can be great for resetting your healthy habits after the holidays.
The "milkshakes" are all vegan, nut-based shakes that seriously taste like magic. For $79 plus shipping, you'll get five juices and a milkshake of your choice.
$100 or more
For the Gourmand: It's from France, so it must be good. A Le Creuset French oven is one of the best gifts I've ever gotten for a couple of reasons: 1) Because I wouldn't spend $120 or more on cookware for myself, and 2) because it will last forever! The line comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so you should be able to continue to cook roasts, souffles and mac and cheese for decades to come.
For the Breakfast Skipper: How many people do you know who skip breakfast because they "don't have enough time"? Then they proceed to overeat at lunch and have a huge dinner before heading off to sleep.
A high-speed blender is the easiest way to get a breakfast skipper to break the fast with a protein-packed smoothie. This will help them manage their blood sugar while getting a nutrient-dense meal in a glass by adding raw veggies, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit.
You can spend up to $500 for a blender like a Vitamix (my personal favorite), but the Nutribullet is just over $100 and is extremely powerful and convenient for single-serve smoothies.
Happy holidays, friends!
Readers -- Do you have trouble shopping for the foodies in your life? What are some gifts that were big hits? Is it easier or harder to shop for people who have specific food needs? Leave a comment below and let us know what's on your wish list!
Jennifer Cassetta, M.S., CN, is an author, speaker, third-degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She works with global business leaders traveling the world as their personal health coach. She just co-wrote her first book, Hear Me Roar: How to Defend Your Mind, Body and Heart Against People Who Suck, which empowers women to be strong, safe and sexy through self-confidence, self-defense and nutrition advice. Read more at jennifercassetta.com.