There are tons of gift guides floating around, but having just written about my awesome Nutrition Action Health Letter gift, I figured it wasn’t too late to share some other possible gift ideas for those who love to cook.
Those who know me well, know I am an incredibly practical person. I love practical gifts – things I will actually use. There are standard things every kitchen should have (high quality knives [I am partial to my Henckels Santoku knife], sturdy pots, an immersion blender, mixing bowls, food processor, etc). I am usually pretty crafty and could have lived my life without these extras. However, now that I have them, I couldn’t imagine life without them. Hence, why they were perfect as gifts. Perhaps you will find some inspiration for your loved ones.
While I link to specific products, I am not endorsing specific products or brands (unless it is obvious). I actually own the items pictured below, or something that is incredibly similar if I have no clue what the actual brand is. Amazon happens to have easy pictures to steal, which is why I used their links. ;) (FYI, there are no referral links)
Bench Scraper ($5-10). I will admit that a bench scraper seems so simple and plain, but trust me, when you use a large cutting board that’s far away from your stovetop, a bench scraper is a quick and clean way to transfer your chopped veggies into your pot. If you are into baking, it is also a great way to scrape off pieces of dough, divide pieces of dough (perfect for gnocchi) and if it has a ruler on it, you can also measure.
Lemon Squeezer ($10-15). It is a long story, but I learned about lemon squeezers while at a Cocktail Making class. Sure, it is great for anyone needing lemon juice for a Bloody Mary, but also for the multitude of recipes that use fresh lemon juice, lime juice or even orange juice (although they have squeezers for those fruits, too).
Garlic Press ($10-15). I totally would have thought a gizmo to press garlic was a luxury I didn’t need. Chopping garlic doesn’t take that long. However, once I got a garlic press, I haven’t looked back! I recommend a press with a self-cleaner. You can also find ones that don’t require you to peel the garlic, either.
Glass Straw ($10-20). There are many reasons for wanting a non-plastic reusable straw, especially when you are into drinking homemade smoothies. I also find it a great way to remove vanilla from my master stash without worrying about dirtying the top with drips.
Apron ($20-40). As Rob says, he hasn’t really cooked until something falls on the floor. Thankfully you don’t need to worry too much about food on your clothes if you are wearing an apron. Again, great for bakers working with flour, or people like me using immersion blenders! You can go as crazy as you want in the kitchen when you have an apron as cute as this!
Dry Heirloom Beans ($2-10/lb). I adore discovering new ingredients and heirloom beans are healthy, pretty and tasty! If you are in the US, look no further than Rancho Gordo for high quality heirloom beans. Otherwise, scope out whatever specialty beans you can find. Perhaps it is Anasazi beans, or flageolet beans, or even French du Puy or black beluga lentils. Throw them into a glass jar for easy storage, and you have a pretty dust collector for the less bean-inclined. ;)
Nutrition Action Health Letter ($25). Honestly, I hate magazines but I love this publication. Want to know which bean is best? Or oatmeal? What to look for in a multivitamin? Or the evidence for vitamin D supplementation? Grab (a portion) of their archives here, or get your monthly issue delivered straight to you.
Tess’ Cookbooks ($15-25). Tess has three cookbooks: Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, The Two Week Wellness Solution and Radiance 4 Life. I am not kidding when I say they revolutionized my cooking. I adore Tess’ recipes – healthy and full of flavour. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. My favourite cookbooks, hands-down.
Cookbook Holder ($10-35). I have a lot of cookbooks and cook from them often. Having a cookbook holder, with a splatter-guard, is a great idea: saving your cookbook from bits of flying food. I never thought I would need one, but I reach for it every time I use a cookbook in my kitchen. I have the Prop Cookbook Stand from Umbra, which has fit even my biggest cookbook and doubles with some extra storage space.
3-in-1 rice cooker/pressure cooker/slow cooker ($100). This is probably the only thing on this list that I do not personally own. I currently have 2/3s of it: Rob’s rice cooker and a borrowed slow cooker. What better way to save space by combining 3 appliances into one? Tess highly recommends pressure cookers, and Susan has endorsed this one as well.
Mechanical Timer ($5-10). Think mechanical timers are only for your Christmas lights? No way!! Use it for any appliance that can do its own thing unattended- we use it with our dehydrator and slow cooker (which lack an internal timer). Pick one up for cheap from a hardware store.
Electric Knife Sharpener ($150). I went to the Emergency Department twice before I finally bought myself my own knife sharpener. Sharp knives don’t cause accidents; dull knives, do! If you have high-quality knives, keep them in super sharp condition with a knife sharpener. America’s Test Kitchen rated them all, and this one was the winner. The cheaper ones just don’t work and it can be hard to master the technique with a sharpening steel.
Have I missed anything? What is your favourite kitchen item?
Anyways, I hope this helps for those hard-to-buy friends… or even for yourself. :) Happy holidays!