home cook holiday gift guide

Happy Black Friday Weekend/Cyber Monday Eve! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I spent the day in Minnesota with my parents and Jackson, our sweet 5-pound yorkie. This was my third paleo Thanksgiving and I’m happy with how it all turned out. For appetizers, we enjoyed shrimp cocktail and these adorable festive beet and avocado deviled eggs. Dinner included my favorite paleo stuffing, a delicious roasted veggie medley with a walnut vinaigrette, sweet potato bacon biscuits, mashed potatoes and of course, turkey! For dessert, I made a chocolate pecan pie and a pumpkin pie (I am finally starting to nail down paleo pies!).

Given my love for cooking, I thought I would put together a home cook holiday gift guide (see part 2 here) including some of my favorite products for seasoning food. ‘Tis the season to season!

  1. Olive Oil – Every home cook should have a good olive oil on hand. In case you aren’t aware, more than half of what is sold in the U.S. as pure olive oil contains a mix of olive oil and lots of cheap filler oil. I use California Ranch Olive Oil because it is grown locally, tastes amazing and is 100% pure olive juice. Also consider an olive oil subscription box (currently 25% off!) or this dipping oil gift set.
  2. Truffle Oil I think quality truffle oil is just about as important as olive oil. Truffle oil enhances the flavor of so many foods – I especially enjoy it drizzled on eggs, pizza and popcorn. Also consider an infused olive oil set with truffle oil, like this one.
  3. Truffle Zest – On Oprah’s Favorite Things list for numerous years, I’ve been dying to try this stuff. Since I love truffle oil, I’m positive I’ll love this zest as much as Oprah (she even carries it in her purse!). Everything on their website is 30% off through November 28th.
  4. Himalayan Pink Salt Not all salts are alike. Like olive oil, using top quality salt is key for any home chef. Himalayan pink salt is not only better for seasoning food, but better for your health as it contains 84 natural elements and minerals vital to our health. It also regulates blood pressure, balances the body’s pH, regulates healthy sleeping patterns, and so much more. My yoga studio even leaves a jar by the water station for “‘salt shots” after exercise to help replenish the body with nutrients. This Himalayan Salt Plate with Salt Plate Book would also be an excellent gift idea!
  5. Vinegars Set – This set (currently 15% off) includes organic champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar and sherry vinegar. I use these organic vinegars almost everyday – my favorite is the champagne vinegar for salad dressings! This citrus champagne vinegar is also delicious.
  6. Bragg’s Nutritional Variety Set – This combo includes Apple Cider Vinegar, Liquid Amino Acids, Nutritional Yeast Seasoning and Sea Kelp Seasoning – a perfect gift for the health-conscious cook.
  7. Spices Set – Using organic spices is really important (I talk more about this here). Any amateur or experienced cook will appreciate a high quality spices set. Also consider specialized spices sets, like this Primal Palate Taste of Asia 3-bottle gift set.
  8. Gluten-Free Flour – Giving the gift of flour may sound ridiculous to you, but for those of us with food intolerances/allergies, buying speciality gluten-free flour and ingredients becomes very expensive. There are so many kinds to pick from, but you’ll really impress friends and family by gifting Cassava Flour, TigerNut Flour, Pumpkin Flour, Sweet Potato Flour and Almond Flour (all of these are paleo-friendly). This Gluten-Free Sampler and Tote Sampler is also something I would enjoy and certainly put to good use!
  9. Food Storage Containers  – Airtight containers are great for keeping dry food fresh (perfect for flour!) and keeping your pantry organized. I really need these!
  10. Salad Dressing Container – I like to make my own salad dressing and marinades (with all of my spices, oils and vinegars), but I never know how to store them for easy use. This shaker container looks like the perfect solution!
  11. Herb Garden – Fresh herbs can make all the difference in a dish. My mom owns this brand and loves it (and is currently over 50% OFF!). A hanging herb dryer rack is also a great way to save your herbs for future use (my mom owns this one and loves it!).
  12. Produce Keeper – Keep all those fresh herbs and produce from going bad with these produce keeper containers! My fridge doesn’t tend to keep my fresh food very long (a problem I know many people struggle with) so this would be a very useful gift.
  13. Magazine Subscription – Although I like to browse Pinterest for recipe inspiration, I always look forward to getting food magazines in the mail. I highly suggest Food Network Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, Paleo Magazine (50% off with code PMBF-17), Bon Appetit and Cook’s Illustrated for their cooking tips, stories and recipes.
  14. Gift Cards – Gift cards have gotten a bad rep over the years as they often go unused. However, for anyone who loves to cook, I can guarantee that gift cards to specialty grocery stores or home/kitchen stores will most definitely be used. Some of my suggestions are: Whole Foods, New Seasons, Amazon Fresh, Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Also, a subscription to Thrive Market, which offers over 5,000 popular organic products for up to 50% off retail, is at the top of my wish list. A one-year subscription is only $59.95 and they are currently offering 30% off through Cyber Monday. When you join, you are also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family.

I hope these ’tis the season seasoning gift ideas help! Check out Part 2 of my Home Cook Holiday Gift Guide, featuring kitchen tools. Let me know your favorite cooking products in the comments below!

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