If you are like me, you work for Santa. And as an employee of the big man, you take stocking stuffing seriously. You keep your eye open all year for small novelties that won’t break “Santa’s” bank. And when it comes to your own stocking…well someone has to fill it! So here is a list of healthy and novel Christmas ideas for the health nut in your house. And if you do have to buy your own stocking stuffers, then hey, cite the Santa Self-Help Clause if you need to…it’s totally legal.
Chicken Poop lip balm: made with all natural ingredients, this is a great conversation starter. Does not contain poop (says so on the package!) I sometimes pick this up at the register at Cal Ranch when I am buying feed as a way to treat myself to something soft and quirky.
Sprouting Lids: These turn a modest mason jar into a sprout house! I use them all the time. For an even cheaper alternative (I mean for homespun charm) trace Mason jar lids and cut fine mesh screen into circles that will fit the canning rings. Who wouldn’t swoon for homemade sprouting lids?
Flavor to go: These little containers are perfect to pack in lunch sacks, bento boxes, picnic baskets, or even just in your purse. They allow you to tote your favorite healthy sauce or dressing anywhere. I have attended luncheons at salad bars and brought one along so I knew my salad wouldn’t be ruined by a processed mystery dressing. Perfect when packing a meal that would absolutely light up with a touch of tamari or some lemon juice. Or hey, maybe fill it with chocolate syrup when you need a shot of “therapy” on the road! Won’t leak, reusable, and they come in fun shapes and sizes.
Pineapple Jerky: What? You heard me. Yummy, all natural, super sweet. Perfect to tuck away in your secret treat stash. You know you have one. And no, you don’t have to share. While we are at it, if you are a jerky fan with exotic tastes, check out jerky.com for more unique stocking stuffer ideas.
silicone Ice Pop Maker set: think homemade frozen Gogurts or real fruit slushies. Less mess than popsicles, you can even fill them with yogurt and pack them in lunches! These are versatile, reusable, and just plain awesome.
Bitchin’ Kitchen soap: I hate when you have permanent garlic smelling hands. This soap is guaranteed to get rid of any kitchen smells on your fingertips. Plus, it is all natural and comes in a reusable tin. Once again, quirky and functional…you can see my appeal.
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual This book by Michael Pollan is like a whole foodist’s articles of faith. Everyone should own a copy. It is a quick read and great to have on hand for motivational reference. Simple and straightforward, it just makes sense. If you want to get fancy, you can shell out a little extra for this adorable illustrated version.
Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar: A full year of gardening advice, with the country charm and wit of Old Farmers. Helpful and good-looking? I’ll bite. (incidentally, you can order the 2012 calendar much cheaper. heh heh)
Herb Snippers: Sharp, easy to use, clean. These are great to have in the kitchen, the garden, or even on foraging walks. As with any scissors, don’t run unless wearing the appropriate safety gear. 😉
Sleep Mask with Cool Pack: I know these aren’t for the kitchen, but what chef/domestic goddess couldn’t use some extra pampering when it’s time to sleep off the vegan baby shower she just catered? The cooling pack is removable but feels heavenly after a hot steamy day in the kitchen. For a little extra, get the green one with aloe. Why? Because it sounds cool.
Handheld Peeler and Slicer: I can’t tell you how often I use this! I don’t have a spiralizer, so this is my go-to tool for zucchini noodles. It cuts veggies into thin ribbons…perfect for healthy pasta alternatives! I will admit, the slicer is a pain to clean. But overall, you can’t beat the value of this handheld wonder.
Create your own Cookbook: though I do most of my recipe compiling on the computer, I still like the idea of a tangible book to collect my favorites in. As another fun alternative, you can visit zazzle.com and get a book personalized with your name on it. Of course, to save money you could also create one with a binder and pages that fit notecards. How fun for the recipe collector on your list! Great gift for a daughter/son just learning to cook, or for a mom/dad trying out healthy recipes after a lifetime of not so healthy ones. Hmmm…that doesn’t describe anyone I know!
Make it a Movie Night: Fresh is one of my favorite food documentaries and would be a great gift for any whole food enthusiast, or anyone who needs to learn what whole food is. (umm, that is everyone!) More great films: Food Matters, Food Inc, Hungry for Change, and others. As an even cheaper alternative, check out the wide selection of food documentaries on Netflix. Print a “Coupon” for a healthy movie night, with one of these movies and the promise of healthy snacks. I would LOVE a note like that in my stocking!
Silicone Ice cube trays: Versatile for the healthy chef. Use these to freeze and save perfect portions of fresh herbs, pestos, baby food, citrus juice…anything you can think of! Silicone makes the ice cubes easier to remove. Simply repackage the cubes in freezer bags and refill trays with your next must-have ingredient. These come in all shapes and sizes, but I recommend you avoid the heart-shaped or novelty ones, they are a pain in the butt.
Salad Dressing Shaker: Forget shake weights, your loved one will look hot shaking up a sexy salad dressing for dinner. This makes it easy to create, pour, and store. Dishwasher safe and BPA free…bonus! Throw in a few recipes and this is an awesome gift.
Flavored Balsamic Glaze: I love adventures in flavor. My sis in law introduced me to Balsamic Glazes. She was introduced by her sister in Italy. So this must be legit. With so many flavors to pick from–chocolate, blueberry, garlic, raspberry, cinnamon and more–you could really go crazy. All natural ingredients, no added sugars. Glazes are great for grilling or cooking, but surprise everyone and try it over ice cream! (Maybe not the garlic one.) The intense pairing of sweet and tangy will surprise and delight. Wow, I sound like a gelato menu. Sweet!
Forager’s Guide: Another hobbyist suggestion, this is a great book to get you started exploring wild edibles. It’s educational and promotes healthy eating, sustainable practices, and long romantic walks through the woods…or your neighbor’s yard.
Mushroom Kit:May I pause to quote my favorite line from the movie, Dutch “Frankly, I don’t care if you live, die, or grow mushrooms in your crack.” That said, you don’t have to be content to grow mushrooms in your gym shoes…you can cultivate gourmet ‘shrooms in your own pantry! There are many varieties to try, but oyster mushrooms are inexpensive and prolific. This is a fun gift that just keeps on giving. Perfect for the “Fun Guy” on your list! I know, I have some growing in my office as we speak!
Sassy Aprons: This is only one example of an apron, but I have always liked the ideas of aprons I would actually enjoy wearing. Must be functional, easy to wash, and oh…a smart aleck comment doesn’t hurt. This one pays tribute to the ultimate power of the chef: “Be nice to me or I’ll poison your food.” Works for me.
Cheese making kit: Doesn’t it just sound fun to make your own cheese? (And I don’t mean the kind you make accidentally in the back of your fridge or your kid’s unwashed lunchbox!) This gift can lead to a hobby, or a great snack with bragging rights. Either way, it’s fun and novel!
Onigiri rice ball wrappers and mold: I love gifts that introduce me to new foods, methods, and tastes. I will have a post on this later, but trust me…these are fun. A unique alternative to the boring old sandwich. These pack well for the road or a great make-ahead meal. Until I get to writing my post, check out Food Babe’s post on what onigiri actually is. Oh and yes, they are wrapped in seaweed. Sushi lovers will rejoice, picky eaters will not.
Snooty Popcorn: I tried this Cheddar and White Truffel popcorn on a whim one day and soon found myself with my head in the empty bag, huffing the fumes. It was so delicious I didn’t want to let it go. I adore flavors I can’t make on my own. If you have a popcorn lover with refined tastes in your house, this will win them over. Caution, if you have a popper with simpler tastes, don’t bother. Not to name names, but Shea was thoroughly unimpressed. Fine hubby, you eat your microwave cancer corn while I make out with my organic goodness! This would surely be in a cheaper category if I could find it in a single package, but really…why would you only want one?
Onion Goggles. Oh onion goggles, where have you been all my life?!! These are must-haves for any serious chef, or serious mascara maven. I don’t know how I lived without them. Yes I do, I just didn’t chop onions. Sadly, I only have a borrowed pair so I need to buy new ones for my generous friend (Becky, do you want them in pink or tortoise?) Yes, I think they are worth the price. Especially if you are a salsa fan. Coming from a cheapskate like myself, that should mean something. This gift will bring tears to her eyes, or actually, not.
Crio Beans:Super nutrition meets super decadence. I love these things! You get all the super power properties of organic cacao beans dipped in high quality dark chocolate. This is as deep and dark as you get, with just enough sweetness. And hold on, no bitterness!…just a long lingering chocolate afterglow. ahhh….
Kiva: The gift of giving. I love love love giving Kiva loans to loved ones. The micro loan concept just resonates with me. Participating in this program makes the world seem a little smaller, allowing you to reach someone on the other side of the globe and have a powerful impact on their daily life! I have gifted Shea Kiva cards so he could loan to people in his mission field, the Ukraine. I have enjoyed sharing emails with my kids as we receive repayments from people in Central and South America. They see the faces and read the stories and we locate them on maps. Tuck one of these in someone’s stocking and you are truly giving a good gift…empowerment and human connectedness.
These are just a few suggestions. I’d love to hear your ideas for healthy gifts! And as you navigate the holidays, may you enjoy what matters most and strive to spread Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men!
Merry Christmas from the Little Purple Barn!
Just a quick note, if you shop online at Amazon.com this season, think of us and enter their site through ours! You will still shop from your account, and Little Purple Barn makes a tiny commission. Hey, every bale of hay helps! Cheers!