Although I am intentionally moving towards experiential holiday gifts, there are still a few gems I recommend as great physical gifts from which you will be able to make many memories.
For me, it all starts with food and I am often dismayed at the loss of connection with food and cooking that I see all around me. It’s disheartening to go to the grocery store and see carts full of boxes and cans – lacking in real, whole food the way nature intended. The good news is that it’s never too late to turn the tide, to start beautiful traditions of healthful eating. So for those who are neophytes in the kitchen or for others who are trying to figure out how to improve the quality of their food – the three gift ideas below will go a long way! They are staples in my kitchen and are helpful when living my Wildatarian lifestyle.
My hand-me-down pressure cooker is the most used appliance in my kitchen! Who doesn’t love being able to go from frozen to ready in less than an hour? Who would not appreciate being able to cook beans in less than 20 minutes in a way that reduces phytates and lectins – nutrients which make them less digestible. I can honestly say that a week doesn’t go by without me rolling out of bed, throwing some dried beans, water and spices into this wonderful appliance and having the base for my dinner ready by the time I am out of the shower! If I were to consider a pressure cooker today, I would probably opt for the Instant Pot. It’s a combination pressure cooker, rice cooker and slow cooker in one! Imagine only needing one appliance instead of three. These wonderful kitchen helpers come in a variety of sizes and prices – just choose one with a stainless steel container – avoid the toxic chemicals often found on nonstick or ceramic cookware. This gadget can help you prepare a variety of Wildatarian meals – succulent game meats, fibrous seed grains, bone broths rich in collagen, nourishing beans and legumes and healthy veggies! Include a cookbook with your gift and watch those you love create healthful, quick and delicious meals.
A juicer is not likely to be the first thing you think about when contemplating a kitchen-related holiday gift. But there are a multitude of reasons why you should consider it. I hope you know that food is increasingly less nutritious – mostly due to changing farming practices and the great distances our food has to travel to reach us. That apple you’re eating likely grew on demineralized soil and was probably picked weeks before you ate it at some far away country. It’s becoming harder and harder to give our body the nutrients it needs even if we make an effort to eat clean, real and whole food. Enter juice. I think of it as a nutrition IV. The juicer extracts all the micronutrients from a fruit or a vegetable – vitamins, minerals and hundreds of other plant compounds that science may or may not know about. These are the nutrients that help our bodies resist infections, fight cancer, recover from injuries and operate the complex web of functions we need to live. Drinking juice allows your body to get a mega-dose of easily digestible nutrition in a quick and accessible way. While we may not be able to eat 5 cucumbers, drinking their juice is easy and delicious. I make juice twice a week – keeping it in a glass jar in my fridge for up to 3 days. I dilute 3 parts water to 1 part juice and drink it daily. I savor each sip because I know that I am helping my body detoxify and function at a higher level. My body actually craves it. Juice is a key part of my Wildatarian lifestyle – but please be careful to not overdo the fruits – use mostly vegetables and add a minimal amount of fruit for taste. When choosing a juicer to gift, choose a slow masticating model maximizing the nutritional value of the resulting juice. Do some research and explore several of the plentiful juicing resources available online – highlight these in the card which accompanies the juicer or create a shareable doc and email it to the recipient. They will be touched and their bodies will thank you! I like the Omega Vert. It has been my faithful friend for years.
For those of us looking for a more price-conscious gift option, an immersion blender may be just the thing! It’s a great kitchen gadget which can blend anything in seconds – puree a bunch of beans and veggies into a soup. Make baby food from scratch. Create a delicious sauce to go with your Wildatarian meal. Make a healthy milkshake using fresh fruit, avocado and ice. Turn chia seeds into a smooth pudding. Make homemade mayonnaise. Chop nuts for recipes. The possibilities are truly endless. I use mine mostly to turn leftover beans into delicious dips. Or to create a nutritious soup from roasted root vegetables. My Wildatarian recipes* often include convertible options – teaching you how to turn leftovers into a second or third meal and the immersion blender can be a huge help with this. The great thing about this appliance is that it comes in a wide range of prices, is easy to use and a snap to clean – most models are dishwasher-safe!
So this holiday season, I encourage you to consider one of these three kitchen helpers or come up with another one which can be a friend in the kitchen. Living in optimal health and wellness can be made easier by having appropriate appliances at your fingertips. Let those you love understand that you care about their wellbeing by voting with your gift giving to manifest health and vitality. Juicing, cooking and being in the kitchen is one of the best ways to create loving memories that fill the heart – after all, the kitchen is truly the heart of every home!
* Some of the recipes on this site were created before the Wildatarian approach was formalized. They can still be used! Substitute any meat for a wild game to make it Wildatarian.