Wednesday, December 24, 2014

14 Creative Gift Ideas for Real Food Lovers

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Do you have a friend who is into food? Are they always in the kitchen? Will they wax philosophical about different kinds of cooking fats? Do they seem to have all the special techniques and gizmo gadgets? Shopping for friends like that can be intimidating but it doesn't have to be! All of these gifts are personal favorites in Casa Green Living and will be sure to be loved by fledgling foodies and experienced gourmands alike.

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(Need a gift for someone else? From four year old boys to dads, I've got a gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for anyone! 
Click here to see all the Creative Green Living gift guides)

Cast Iron Skillet (and accessories)

If they don't yet own cast iron, this is a gift they will surely love. Already have a skillet? Help them add to their collection by getting them a size they don't yet have or one of my favorite accessories (below). My 12" skillet is my go-to for everything from pancakes to bacon. Or pancakes AND bacon. Let me tell you, there is nothing like pancakes that were cooked in a cast iron skillet in bacon grease. YUM!

Do not skimp on quality when shopping for a cast iron pan. Look for cast iron made in the USA or that is lead free. My favorite brand is Lodge, which is both. My favorite size is 12" but also use an 8" pan on a regular basis.


This cookbook has great cast iron use tips and recipes that even meat eaters will love like German Apple Pancake and Skillet Corn Bread.


This is my favorite brand of flap jack (AKA pancake) mix. There are few things in life better than making bacon in your cast iron skillet and then following it up with Power Cake mix. It's like heaven in your mouth! In addition to being super tasty, I'm a big fan of this brand because they don't use junky fillers and they are GMO free. Make a nice gift set of it and include a bottle of real maple syrup, too.

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Exotic & Interesting Flavors

Help your loved ones break away from safe and experiment with a cuisine or technique that is new to them. Unless you live in a super hipster town, finding exotic spices or the equipment you need to pursue some of these cuisines might be hard. Make it easy on them by getting them a kit that has everything they need! 
In addition to all the spices you need to make traditional Indian dishes, this comes with a beautiful full color cookbook that tells you how to make a variety of dishes. It also comes with the pretty steel spice container you see on the front of the box.

This is one of very few items on this list I have not yet had a chance to try personally. I am including it anyway because brewing kombucha is a popular culinary pursuit for DIYers at the moment and this is the kit I would personally buy for myself.


Organic Milk Kefir Starter Kit
This is the only other item on this list I have not yet had a chance to try personally. I am including it anyway because making kefir is a popular culinary pursuit for DIYers at the moment and this is the kit I would personally buy for myself.

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Appliances

Traditional wisdom is to not give appliances as gifts to romantic partners. Each of these appliances is so awesome, though, I bet you won't hear any complaining! Giving to a family member or friend? All the better! Each of these have been used extensively in my home and get the Creative Green Living seal of approval.

This dehydrator does everything from dehydrate food (obviously) to raw food "cooking." It gives you tons of control over everything from tray space to operating temperature to a built in timer. Apple chips and jerky are my favorite things to use this for. The removable cover for the bottom also makes clean up a breeze.

This is the juicer I use at my house. If your loved one has a centrifugal juicer and is ready to upgrade to a "serious" juicer, this is what they need. If they want to start juicing, keep them from needing to upgrade later by getting them this awesome gem. It also makes baby food and extrudes dough -although I use it almost exclusively for juice.


We recently upgraded to this blender and I LOVE it. It blends carrots and other hard veggies seamlessly into smoothies (tip: run the smoothie program twice if blending hard stuff like carrots) and makes an awesome blended coffee as well. It's super easy to clean and while I don't really love the plastic travel cup it comes with, the blade mechanism for the travel cup works with standard size mason jars! So I usually just whip a personal size smoothie up in a mason jar instead. The travel cap is also mason jar compatible so I use that with a stainless steel drinking straw when traveling.

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Stocking Stuffers

If you're looking for something smaller (say, stocking sized?) these gifts are sure to make any real food lover happy.

We've been using our set of these straws for almost four years now and they are still going strong. I love that they come with a cleaning brush although half the time, we just rinse it when we're done and pop it in the dishwasher.

After getting these to try in my home, my only complaint was that I didn't have more of them! These are perfect for everything you would use plastic wrap for - covering bowls, keeping cheese or bread, etc - but without the plastic.


Ball Dissolvable Labels
Even if you don't can, these labels are valuable in the kitchen. They make labeling jars and containers a breeze because they will dissolve off easily later. This makes labeling everything from custom sauces and dressings to leftovers that mush easier to do.
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Carissa's Creativity Space (creativecarissa.com) became Creative Green Living in February 2013. As such the watermarks on many of our old posts may reflect the previous site name.