Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope you all had an absolutely spectacular Thanksgiving, and if you chose to brave the stores this morning, I hope you were able to get exactly what you wanted without too much hassle. You couldn’t get me to go Black Friday shopping is they were literally paying you to take TVs, so I’m happily at home this morning enjoying some down time with the family.
Since we are now officially into the holiday shopping season, I figured it was time for me to show off some of my picks for the best gifts for healthy cooks. These are some of my absolute favorite kitchen tools I own, and I can recommend each and every one of them!
Stuff Those Stockings (under $20)
Every kitchen needs a microplane! It’s the only way to get delicate, flowly shreds of parmesan cheese, or get every last, delicious morsel of zest from the skin of a lemon. I like these bright-colored handled microplanes because they’re easy to pick out of my utensil drawer.
These dish cloths come in adorable patterns, and they are great for cleaning up the kitchen because they’re part cloth and part sponge—making them really great for scrubbing. They also dry flat for easy storage! Skip using paper towels and stock up on these instead. Oh, and did I mention they’re adorable?[/three_fourth_last]
You might be thinking that I put these in here as a gag gift, but I so didn’t. We use our onion goggles all the time! They really do help cut back on the tear production while chopping onions. The only issue is they don’t fit over glasses, so you’ll either need to wear them with contacts, or cut blind (not recommended, but I do it).
These are probably the best stocking stuffer on the entire list. We use our Freakers constantly. They are so much more than just a way to keep your beer cold. They stretch to fit over any size bottle or can (literally, we’ve used them on champagne and wine bottles). I keep one on my one-liter water bottle all the time to help keep it insulated and absorb condensation.
I think a set of appetizer spoons is must-have for any kitchen—but definitely a healthy kitchen! They are great for taking small tastes of food while you’re cooking, and also great for taking small tastes when you just want a little bit of a treat (just a tiny spoonful of peanut butter, anyone?).
These are my absolute favorite whisks! I love that I can use them without any worries of scratching my non-stick or enamel cookware. The tines are nice and smooth, so food doesn’t get lodged or stuck in the head of the whisk. And the small one is perfect for whisking a couple of eggs or a small amount of sauce.
I’m not sure ceramic measuring spoons are the most accurate of ways to measure things, but man, they sure are cute! I have a set of these in vegetable form (tomato, eggplant, onion, etc.), and they make me so happy everytime I see them!
Okay, it might be a struggle to wedge this into a stocking, but it’s a must for every healthy kitchen. If you aren’t making your own sprouts, you are missing such a great opportunity to produce your own super affordable, super healthy veggie in your own kitchen. It is SO easy!
If you’ve never grated your own fresh nutmeg or cinnamon for holiday treats, you’re really missing out. The flavor is so much more complex and interesting than the stuff you get pre-ground in the jar! I love my mini spice grater. It’s a grater and a shaker, plus you can easily store the whole spices inside.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a Christmas gift, because it comes out January 5th, but did you really think I would make a gift guide without plugging a book of mine? You can preorder it now, and deliver it after the holidays to extend the fun!
Make this holiday season really about giving, and gift your loved one a donation to Feeding America in their name. For $10, Feeding America can provide 100 meals to people in need. 100 meals!
Spread Holiday Cheer ($20-$50)
I don’t want to work in a kitchen without an immersion blender! It makes pureeing soups and sauces a breeze, and it’s absolutely the best tool for making your own mayo (in my opinion). It’s great for a healthy kitchen because it can help you get that smooth and creamy texture in foods without adding cream or butter.
A good salad spinner is a must for every healthy cook! I recommend getting the largest you can find—that way you can make big ole healthy salads quickly and easily.
I’ve sung the praises of this lunch box many times on this blog, and I’m going to do it again. I love my LunchBots Cinco! It’s the perfect size for packing a filling and healthy lunch, and the dividers are a nice way to make sure you’re getting a variety of foods. It isn’t water tight, so I wouldn’t recommend tossing it into your Kindergartener’s backpack, but it’s perfect for an adult who packs not-so-wet foods.
This one is a little cart before the horse (I list the mixer itself below in my $50+ category), but if your gift recipient already has a KitchenAid, this scraper beater is a must buy! As amazing as KitchenAid stand mixers are, the beaters that come with them don’t do a great job of getting all the bits around the bowl, meaning you have to stop and scrape frequently. Not with this beater!
If I could only pick two kitchen items to take with me out into the wilderness, it would be a really good knife and this skillet. It’s perfect for cooking everything! It also adds iron to all the food that you cook into it, which is great for those folks (like me) who struggle with chronic anemia.
These handmade bamboo spoons from my dear friend Melissa (from Bless this Mess), are a sweet and adorable gift for any cook. Every healthy kitchen absolutely needs a great set of wooden utensils! And Melissa is offering Wholefully readers a discount of 15% off through December 6th by using the coupon code “roots15”.
This is a must have for any beer fan. Did you know that by drinking beer out of the bottle, you’re only getting approximately 20% of the possible flavor? Pour those beers, kids! And you need the right glass for each brew. This set doesn’t have all the beer styles (it’s missing a good IPA glass), but it’s a great start.
I get asked all the time how I make perfect poached eggs. Easy—my egg poaching pan! I tend to hate kitchen unitaskers, but my egg poaching pan is one place where I’ll make an exception. I use it constantly! We’re due for an upgrade (the one we have is an old aluminum one I inherited from my grandparents), and I want to upgrade to this six-egg version.
A healthy cook is a well-hydrated cook. You absolutely cannot go wrong with Klean Kanteens! I have a 40 ounce pink Klean Kanteen that I absolutely love. I try to drink at least three of them a day.
I know there are a lot more expensive rice cookers on the market with more bells and whistles, but I love the simplicity (and price) of my rice cooker. I use it all the time! The 8-cup version will make enough rice for most family meals, but I really like the 20-cup version because it is also a small slow-cooker, perfect for 3-4 people!
Need a gift for someone who has everything? A $25 donation to Feeding America in their name is a thoughtful, kind gift that won’t clutter up their closet. Feeding America serves 45.6 million people each year through their network of food pantries and soup kitchens. Your $25 will buy 250 meals!
Splurge A Little ($50 and up)
There are some mixed reviews on these mini Keurigs, but let me tell you, we LOVE ours. We’re not big coffee or tea drinkers, and this machine is perfect for the amount we drink. I love that it doesn’t take up much counter space and comes in adorable colors. It’d be perfect for an office, too!
There are a lot of expensive high-powered blenders on the market (some that cost 3-4 times what this one costs), but I love my Ninja! It blends wonderfully and can handle pretty much anything I put in it. It is mega loud, which is a bit of an issue with a baby in the house, but definitely not a deal breaker.
Shoes? On a kitchen gift guide? I know, but bear with me. If the cook your buying for does marathon cooking sessions like I do, then they absolutely need a pair of Danskos. There’s a reason that Danskos are the only shoe you see on nurses, doctors, and chefs—they are great for when you’re on your feet an extended period of time.
It wouldn’t be a kitchen guide without a KitchenAid stand mixer on the list! I got my cherry apple red stand mixer as a gift from my parents for m 21st birthday, and I still use it almost daily 10 years later. It’s pricey, but a must for every kitchen!
I know. Almost $100 for a thermometer, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through a half dozen of $15-$20 thermometers that never really worked well. A ThermaPen would be an awesome gift for any serious cook. I absolutely love my ThermaPen!
There are a lot of cast iron Dutch ovens out there (including the much lusted after, and mega expensive Le Creuset), but if you aren’t ready to drop a ton of money on one yet, these beautiful versions from Lodge are a great place to start. And they come in six colors so you can customize your gift for your loved one.
I would be lost in my kitchen without my iPad Mini! All my cookbooks have been packed away, and instead, I access all my recipes, food blogs, and food magazines on my iPad. Of course, an iPad would be a great gift for just about anyone—foodie or not.
If you’re feeling extra generous this year, a $75 donation to Feeding America is a great way to show someone you love them. Last year, Feeding America handed out 3 billion (with a ‘B’) meals to those in need in this country. Your $75 would pay for 750 meals!