healthy holiday gift guide: 10 of my favorite natural + food-focused finds

Tis the season – to shower your nearest and dearest with tokens of affection. We all know it can be stressful to find the perfect gift, so I thought I’d save you time and tension by checking a few people off your list. If you have a health nut or natural food chef-in-training in your life, be sure to check out my tried and true favorite things that are sure to indulge them.

[Click on the title of each gift to see the product – and in some cases order it directly]


1.  IKEA Apron – $8

Every cook needs an apron to keep them clean and make them feel like a pro. I value function as much as fashion and really love the aprons from IKEA. They are super comfortable around the neck, a great length, and wash up really well. They are also available in really fun prints and nice quality fabrics. And for 8 bucks, you can’t go wrong!

2.  Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Candle – $10

Everyone loves a candle, right? This soy-based candle made from naturally derived ingredients and essential oils will surely be adored. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day has clean, fresh scents that aren’t cloying our artificial. I usually have a few scattered around my apartment. I love the geranium and lavender scents – and they have a seasonal Iowa Pine scent that makes you feel like you’re on a Christmas tree farm. It’s a great stocking stuffer – or pair it with their amazing dish and hand soaps in coordinating scents for a well rounded present.

3.  California Olive Ranch Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $17

I was tempted to try this oil when Food & Wine claimed this brand made, “a $10 olive oil that tastes like a $50 one.” The article mentions the Everyday Oil, which I love for general cooking – but the Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil is really above and beyond. It is wonderful in salad dressing, pestos, or drizzled on food just before serving. You can find it at Whole Foods (and as an FYI – it’s priced at $10.99 and frequently on sale for $7.99). Would be a great host/ess gift.

4.  Weleda Skin Food – $19

The unfortunate part about cooking a lot is all the dishes that come with it. I probably wash more dishes than the average gal, and it really takes a toll on my hands. Skin Food to the rescue! It’s rich without being heavy, absorbs well into skin, and smells heavenly. It can also be used all over the body – so rough skin on elbows, knees, and heels will be a thing of the past.

5.  Francois et Mimi French Coffee + Tea Press – $19

This French press adds a little luxury to my morning ritual. I fill mine up with Eco Teas Yerba Mate to ease into my day – but you can use with any tea or course ground coffee of your choosing. A love the sleek, modern design of this beautiful press. It’s list price is $50 – and it definitely looks much more expensive than it under $20 price tag.

6.  Takeya Classic Glass Water Bottle – $20

I received this as a gift a few years ago – and now this bottle accompanies me nearly everywhere. Not only am I doing my part to save the planet from plastic bottles – I’m also staying hydrated and limiting my exposure to BPA. The glass makes the water taste crisp and clean – and it stays cool really well. I’ve dropped this bottle quite a few times, and the plastic sleeve keeps it well protected. Perfect for a fitness junky, yogi – or anyone trying to drink more H20.

7.  Jerusalem Cookbook – $21

My dad bought me this book last Christmas – and not only has it been my favorite cookbook of this past year – it’s one of my favorites ever. I really loved the Plenty (also by Ottolenghi) so I had high hopes for his take on the diverse cuisine of his home city. This book features meat, fish, and sweet recipes – but vegetables are really the star of the show. I turn to this book when I am searching for an inspired, vibrant salad or veggie dish. [PSSST! Check out some of my other favorite books HERE]

8.  Shun Classic Chef’s Knife – $120

If there is one essential tool every cook needs – it’s a great chef’s knife. It makes cutting and chopping so much easier. The Shun chef’s knife is my personal fave. It’s light, comfortable, and streamlined. It slices and dices with ease and efficiency. If you’re going to splurge on a knife, it’s best to already have some rudimentary knife skills under your belt. Pair this gift with a certificate to a hands-on knife skills class. Every good knife also needs a good cutting board – I like the bamboo varieties available through the Epicurion brand. They’re dishwasher safe, and won’t dull your knives.

9.  Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor – $179

High-powered blenders like the Vitamix maybe be on a lot of people’s wish lists – but the truth is – they’re not super versatile. They make a great smoothie, super smooth soups, and sauces – but for the average person they can be a one-trick pony. The real work horse in the kitchen is a great food processor. Unlike a blender, you have more control over texture and consistency. You can make crusts, pestos, salsas, textures, healthy ice cream , and more. You can also use the grating attachments for perfectly shredded or sliced cabbage, brussles sprouts, carrots, or cheeses. Slaws and carrot cakes just became a cinch.

10. Certificate to Work with Me! – $100 – 500

So, it’s not technically one of my favorite things to receive – but I sure love being given! So many ‘things’ are exchanged at this time of year, and it’s nice to gift a truly memorable experience that can have effects that last for years to come. Whether a consultation, personal chef service, a private cooking class, or one-day intensive – this ‘gift of health’ will truly be cherished.


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the perfect make-ahead summer dish – chickpeas with roasted eggplant, peppers + basil

Stock up on eggplant, peppers, and fresh basil and make this staple salad all summer long. It will become a go-to for bringing to a picnic or BBQ – or simply keeping on hand in your fridge when hunger strikes. I love make ahead recipes that get better and better the longer they sit – and this chickpea dish fits the bill.


moringa is the new matcha – try it in this mint lemonade recipe

I first heard about it probably a year and a half ago or so when watching a documentary that claimed moringa was a ‘miracle’ food that has incredible high, bioavailable nutrient, minerals, and amino acids. On top of that, it is an excellent supplement to our diets, as the nutrient content in our food supply becomes increasingly diminished.