Download our FREE ebook: The Diabetes Remission Framework: Your Guide to Achieving and Maintaining Diabetes Reversal

2020 Top 21 Gifts for Your Vegan Foodie Friends and Family

What gifts do you give your foodie, plant-based, eco-minded friends and family? As we prepare for the holiday season and the big Amazon Prime Days, it’s time to get organized! If you don’t eat a plant-centric diet or you’re not a serious food lover, you may not know the kinds of gifts we yearn for. Here's your inside guide to the heart of your foodie friends! May it save you time stress.

How do we know what we're talking about? Over the decades we’ve been gifted and purchased MANY kitchen items. As Your Vegan Family, we’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing family meals for 30 years with two young boys still at home, and we’ve traveled and cooked in 65+ countries. We appreciate fine quality tools but prefer to own as few of them as necessary to get the job done efficiently and well.

This week we went through our kitchen with our professional vegan chefs hats on and evaluated the tools we love and use regularly. Most of them we use at once per week, and many every day. If we were to stock our kitchen all over again, these would be the first items on our list after the basic pots, pans, and cooking utensils.

Each of these tools scores high on:

  1. frequency of use
  2. quality of craftsmanship
  3. ease of use and clean up
  4. the happiness factor: how much time it frees up

All in all, they’re the tried and true kitchen helpers we rely on. We recommend them because we use them.

Some of these items are bigger-ticket items. They’re very high quality, make life in the kitchen significantly better, and should be reliable for 10+ years. They have robust warranties too. (Vitamix blender, Greenstar Juicer, fine knives…)

Some items are stocking stuffers. They’re the little items that make life better. (citrus zester, sprouting lids, citrus hand juicer…)

Some are specialty items for wine, coffee, and tea drinking. (Wine aerator, wine coaster, tea infuser tumbler, hand-held “milk” frother…)

Others are great mid-price range tools we appreciate. (Hand-held immersion blender, electric coffee/spice grinder, electric griddle/Panini grill) 

Nothing on this list is gimmicky. They're all useful kitchen tools that will last for years. Your vegan foodie, health-nut friends and family will love these gifts and you might get invited to some delicious meals! 

*If you use the links in this article we may receive a small compensation. It won't cost you a penny more, but it will help us keep doing what we do best: support vegan families to thrive with science -based articles and plant-based recipes. Thank you!!!


2020 Top 21 Gifts for Your Vegan Foodie

Friends and Family

As a plant-based family, we spend a lot of time chopping and preparing vegetables and fruits. We spend more time chopping, slicing, and grating than anything else we do in the kitchen! Having the right equipment that makes this job easy, fast, and pleasant is a key to maintaining a healthy, whole-foods, vegan diet long term.

It all starts with a proper knife set.

We like Wüstof knives because they’re ergonomically well-balanced and comfortable, and the high carbon stainless steel blades are incredibly sharp and maintain their edge well. Wüstof is a 200year old family-owned German company. They are relatively expensive, but worth every penny when you eat a plant-based diet. 

There are 4 knives we use all the time.

  1. An 8” classic all-purpose Chef’s Knife. We use this every day for every meal. Without it we’d be daunted by the mounds of vegetables we chop in a week!

 

  1. A serrated bread knife. A must-have if you make home-made bread or use unsliced artisan bread.

 

    1. A small paring knife. Perfect for mincing onions, garlic, and herbs, as well as slicing fruit and small amounts of vegetables.

 

    1. A small serrated paring knife. This 3.5" knife is so helpful when slicing produce that has a tough skin like tomatoes and peppers, and softer fruits that you want to slice without compressing.

 

There is one other item we use to chop and slice our produce and that’s a hand-held mandoline.

 

  1. The Swissmar Borner Mandoline we like uses surgical grade steel, and it’s also German made. A mandoline is a magical tool that slices with precision. It lets you cut each vegetable with uniform thickness. It also juliennes perfectly, and this model shreds as well. We use ours for root vegetable salad, sushi roll and fresh roll-ups, and fries.

 

What else do you need to chop produce? Cutting boards!!

 

  1. Juice Groove Organic Bamboo Cutting Boards.

We like these bamboo cutting boards because they’re made from organically and sustainably grown bamboo, have a lifetime warranty, and are naturally ant-microbial and toxin-free. They also have that little groove around the edges to catch juice so it doesn’t run all over the counter when you slice juice fruits!


Gifts We Rarely Give Ourselves

There are 3 "health-investment" priced tools we use in our kitchen ALL the time: our Green Star juicer, Vitamix blender, and Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Our Instant Pot is new this year, replacing a different model of lower quality that sprouted an electrical problem.

We’ve had our juicer and Vitamix for over 10 years and they’re still going strong. Because of their cost and longevity, we consider them an investment in our health and find the cost per year to be less than $50. If we were to purchase the smoothies, pesto, and fresh juices we make at home with our blender and juicer, we’d spend more than $100 each month!

 

  1. Greenstar Juicer.

Fresh, nutrient-rich juices are an elixir of health for most people. As a health care provider for 25 years, I’ve seen how beneficial they can be when balanced with a whole-foods diet. This juicer is at the top of the list for its balance between cost, efficiency, and quality. Some reviews claim it takes too long to clean, but I find it quick and simple.

Cost: It’s in the middle-of-the road for cost. There are more expensive press-style juicers, but their clean up is extensive and not worth it for an individual or family. The less expensive centrifugal juicers (they spin really fast and the juice slips through tiny holes) are inefficient, produce a low-quality juice that degrades quickly, and waste produce. Consider that one glass of juice from a juice bar can cost $10 and this juicer will save you heaps!

Efficiency: A friend of mine had the highest quality centrifugal juicer. We ran some comparative tests with equal amounts of produce and found that my Greenstar juicer used 30% less produce to make the same amount of juice. There were years when I made several gallons of fresh vegetable juice per week. Given the price of produce, this is significant!

Quality: Because of the magnetic, slow-motion twin gears used to squeeze out the juice, the juice is more stable, preserving live enzymes and nutrients much longer than other juicers. It’s also a high-quality piece of equipment. When you look at the cost per nutrient, it’s also a winner. Here’s a compelling nutritional quote from Greenstar: “Concentrations of essential minerals like calcium, iron, zinc are 50%-200% higher in juice from the Greenstar than from other name brand juicers.” Less produce---more juice and nutrients.

  1. Vitamix blender.

This is my all-time favorite blender. I’ve burned out so many lesser quality blenders after a year or two of use and been frustrated when I’ve been unable to blend thicker pastes like our BEST Vegan Pesto and hummus.

The Vitamix makes flours, grinds almost anything, is a wonder for blending thicker pastes and slathers, blends nuts for nut milk and creamy vegan sauces, and actually makes smoothies smooth. Just today I needed powdered sugar for a recipe so blended 2 tablespoons of raw cane sugar on high for 15 seconds and had the perfect powdered sugar! You can even make soups with it when you blend for several minutes at high speed! We use our Vitamix almost every day. No other blender is as powerful and versatile. We almost couldn’t live without it!

  1. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer.

This beautiful machine has made cooking beans quick and easy as there’s no need to soak them! I can decide I want black bean soup at 5:00 and be eating a home-made bowl of it at 6:00. It sautees the vegetables, pressure cooks the beans, and keeps it all warm. We chose the air-fryer option and appreciate it for making crackers, fries, and items we would otherwise need to deep fry. We use it at least once per week for recipes like Egyptian Inspired Bean Soup, Re-fried Latin American Black Beans, and Vegan Instant Pot Three Lentil Dahl

As a vegan family that relies on legumes and dried peas as a healthy source of protein, we’re so grateful for this easy-to-use Instant Pot. It roasts, simmers, sautees, pressure cooks, slow cooks, steams, dehydrates, bakes, and broils.


 Kitchen Tools Your Friends and Family Will Love

Here is a handful of kitchen equipment that costs under the $100 mark and makes meal prep so much easier. You would be surprised how many people limp along without these!

  1. Cordless Hand-held Immersion Blender.

KitchenAid makes a variable speed, cordless immersion blender that we love. We mostly use it to blend soups and beans. Yes, we can cool soups, blend them in the blender and transfer them back to the pan, but it’s not efficient and it makes a mess.

This hand-held blender lets you easily control how much you blend your soups. You can leave creamy potato soup a little chunky, or make a beautiful cream of broccoli, butternut squash, or mushroom soup. It’s wonderful for refried beans and smoothies too. 

As a bonus, because it’s cordless, you can take it camping, on a picnic, or use it in the back yard. Also, you’re not messing with the cord over a hot stove.

We don’t use this every day, but when we need it, it makes our job so much easier.

 

  1. Griddle/Panini maker.

We love pancakes and French toast on the weekends, and a good Panini sandwich now and then too. Our Cuisinart Griddler helps us produce the volume we need for our family of four in a short amount of time. We can make 6 pieces of French toast, 8 pancakes, or 4 Panini at once which means we can all sit down and enjoy a meal together without trying to keep some of them warm on a plate in the oven, but not getting too crisp or soggy on the bottom.

As for the Panini option, sometimes we just need a fancy sandwich. We don’t want to fry them with oil in a pan, but we do want them crispy and heated through. Panini makes our lunches fun and extra delicious without going to the deli!

 

  1. Glass Olive Oil Dispenser.

This is definitely not a need, but it makes cooking so much more efficient! We keep our olive oil dispenser on the counter so we can splash a bit in a pan or over a salad with a quick flick of the wrist. The stainless steel spout doesn’t drip, keeps the oil fresh, and makes it easy to dispense the amount you want. It’s one of those little kitchen blessings.

 

  1. Electric Spice/Coffee Grinder.

We use a variety of spices when we cook. We try to use whole spices and grind them to flavor our meals and to make our own spice blends like Your Vegan Family Garam Masala and Sambar Masala. This small grinder has 2 removable stainless steel bowls that make it easy to clean without worrying about getting water in the motor. It grinds spices and coffee fine or coarse within about 15 seconds. You can use it for wet or dry grinding. Sometimes I want to make a small bit of salad dressing or make a garlic paste and the Vitamix blender is too big for the job, while our mortar and pestle would take too long. This is just perfect! With two bowls, you can use one for coffee and one for spices!

 

  1. Organic Love Bamboo Tea Tumbler with Strainer and Infuser.

I was overjoyed when I found this tea tumbler. Unlike a coffee travel mug, it has the added advantage of a strainer or infuser that allows your tea to continue to steep as you drink it. It’s double-walled with a vacuum-sealed design that lets you keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for 12-24 hours.

It’s a perfect eco-friendly gift for anyone who drinks…anything! 


Brilliant Foodie Stocking Stuffers and Small Gifts

 

  1. Hand Lemon Squeezer.

We use a lot of fresh citrus in our meals. Lemon, lime, or orange go with nearly all fruits and vegetables, and fresh-squeezed orange juice is just delicious. Add lime juice to Garden Fresh Salsa, lemon juice to a Lemon Raspberry Parfait or Fruit Pizza sauce, or just before serving delicious lentil dahl.

Other manual juicers require that you press and twist your fruit. This one more efficient because the ergonomic design gives you the power to squeeze out the juice with minimal effort and clean up. It’s stainless steel so doesn’t break down, and the silicone handles are durable. Because it’s small it easily fits in a utility drawer.

 

  1. Citrus Hand Zester.

Victorinox, a Swiss company, is known for its quality knives. This zester carries on the quality you would expect with a comfortable wooden handle. This is the best way to remove the zest from citrus peels in long, thin strips. It works so much better than a grater or knife, and it’s a cinch to clean.

  1. Aerolatte Steam-Free Milk Foamer.

This little battery-powered hand tool froths up all kinds of milk and nut milks in 30-60 seconds. We froth warm soy milk before we pour in our morning coffee or hot chocolate. Our boys love what they call a Foamy, a frothed soy milk, as their “mature” morning drink. A quick whirl in warm soapy water cleans it right off. Because of the battery power, you can fancy up a picnic or take it car camping.

 

  1. Jar tops for sprouting seeds.

Sprouts are expensive at the store but are a low-tech, year-round, easy superfood to grow at home. These jar tops simply screw on Ball or Kerr wide-mouthed canning jars, turning them into fresh sprout machines! You do not need those fancy electric sprouting kits. These also store easily because of their size.

Sprouting seeds like alfalfa, clover, and mung bean are ready to eat in just a few days. All you need to do is soak the seeds in a jar overnight and then rinse them each morning and evening for a few days.

This topper set has 3 different hole sizes. We start with the small size and use the larger size as the seeds sprout. This allows more air into the jar and keeps the sprouts healthy.

We used to find these everywhere, but they’ve disappeared off the store shelves, as have sprouting seeds. Now we order these and sprouting seeds online.

 

For the Wine Drinkers

 

  1. Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer.

Our daughter recently gave us a wine aerator that infused our wine with oxygen as we pour it into our glasses. We were shocked at the improved taste of the wine from this simple device! Vintoirio claims it doubles the value of your wine. We agree!

The rubber stopper end nestles into the neck of the wine bottle. It’s ribbed to eliminate drips and has a slanted pour spout for easy pouring.

 

  1. Wine Coaster.

This hammered silver 5” diameter dish is double-walled and catches any wine that may drip down the sides of your bottle and stain the table or tablecloth. You can also use it to hold light snacks or desserts. It’s double-walled to help maintain the temperature of your wine. Our wine coaster has saved our light-colored countertops!

 

  1. Corkas Executive Corkscrew.

This is a lifetime wine opener. The polished steel and rosewood handle makes it a piece of art and the high quality make it a solid tool. It has a double-hinged fulcrum with a sleek design that easily fits in your drawer or in a picnic basket! (Yes, we’re fond of picnics and dining outdoors!)

 

 Bonus Items!!! We just had to throw these in for our baking friends and our kids! 

   22. Silicone Baking Mats.

A must-have for your baking friends. These silicone mats line the insides of your baking trays, taking the place of parchment paper and oiling your pans. They're non-stick, easy to clean, and unlike some other brands, these are 100% silicone and non-toxic.  Because of their flexibility, it's easy to peel off any baked goods that would normally stick. Cakes pop out of the pan and you just peel the silicone mat off them. Perfect!  They're dishwasher safe too! Silicone is strong and wear-resistant and tolerated very high heat. 

    23. Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box

 This nesting lunch box holds up to 6 cups of food. We've been sending our boys to school with theirs for years and we love them.  The 3 compartments allow for a variety of foods. They wash up easily and still look brand new. They're non-toxic and have a lifetime warranty. 

 

Well, now you have it, the top 23 kitchen gift items we know your plant-based foodie friends and family will love.  These are the fine quality tools we use every day.  They're an investment in health that will last for years. 


Written by Your Vegan Family 

Stacy and Markus live an adventurous vegan lifestyle and write articles about their experiences cooking global vegan cuisine, creating businesses, raising vegan kids, and traveling through more than 65 countries. They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues.

We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to share more with you. Learn more on our About Us page.

Your SUCCESS begins with YOU!

Find the High-Performance Health newsletter in your inbox every week!

Get weekly insights on how to build confidence in your capacity to fulfill your purpose, passions, and profession.

Close

Stop experimenting and subscribe to
The High Performance Health Newsletter: For People Who Want More Out of Life. 

  • Develop¬†high-performance diet and lifestyle¬†habits that¬†fuel your ideal life,
  • ¬†Feel¬†inspired¬†to share more high-quality, active time with family and friends,¬†
  • Never miss a nutrient¬†with high-performance meals to¬†help you and your family¬†generate more energy, focus, and stamina,¬†and
  • Have¬†MORE TIME AND ENERGY to do MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE.

Amplify Energy--Enhance Brain Function--Reduce Stress & Burnout--Proactive Disease Prevention--Slow Aging.