This is the second part in a series of Gift Guide posts, each of which contain gift suggestions of a different category. Today’s category is “Kitchen Things”!
As mentioned in the first part, the “Clothing and Accessories” Gift Guide, although these lists are geared toward vegans and vegetarians, most of these gifts could be suitable for anyone. This post contains items that any home chef will love.
Since vegans obviously don’t own a monopoly on cooking (many vegans don’t even like to cook), this post especially is not very veg-specific. But whether the person that you are buying for loves to cook or thinks of it as a hassle, these items will help make time in the kitchen more efficient and enjoyable.
As I mentioned in my first Gift Guide post, the prices quoted below are estimates, based on prices I have found on various online shops. Prices will, of course, vary from store to store, and may be a little off here because some sites automatically convert to Canadian dollars when they see I’m in Canada while others do not. Also, none of the companies below are sponsoring me or have given me anything in return for including them on this list and saying nice things about them (to be clear, I wish they were, but they are not).
1. Citrus Juicer
This inexpensive little Crate & Barrel citrus juicer ($8.95) is one of the most used items in my kitchen. It’s such a simple little tool and not the least bit fancy, but it perfectly juices lemons and limes with minimal effort, is easy to clean and store, and it catches the seeds so that they don’t fall into your lemon juice. Perfect.
2. A Microplane Zester
Sticking with the citrus theme for a moment, consider a Microplane zester. In addition to making beautiful, fluffy zest, it can also be used to grate ginger and garlic. This item is more likely applicable to the avid rather than the casual cook, but I love mine so much, I just had to include it here. Prices range from approximately $20 to $40, depending on the model.
3. A Nutribullet or a Vitamix
The price point for a Vitamix is clearly a bit high for a holiday gift guide (prices range from about $300 - $700 depending on the blender), but I’m including it here anyway because it’s just such a fantastic kitchen tool. I use my Vitamix daily for smoothies, weekly for soups and sauces and often for making nut cheese. This high-speed blender creates an incomparably smooth consistency and is every home chef’s dream.
My suggestion for a slightly more affordable blender option is the NutriBullet, which retails for about $80 - $100. The NutriBullet is a smaller high-speed blender that works great for smoothies, dressings and sauces. It allows me to blend fresh garlic and raw nuts into salad dressings, which is pretty great, but it doesn’t produce quite the same smooth consistency of a Vitamix. Still, I use my NutriBullet almost as often as I use my Vitamix. And I love them both. We do a lot of blending in my house.
4. An Apron
Aprons are a great gift for anyone that does a lot of cooking. And these days, aprons are more than just a way to protect your clothing from splashes in the kitchen. They can also be really fun and stylish! I mean, they’re still not for wearing out of the house or anything, but even though aprons are kitchen-only attire, I still love having nice ones, especially when I host, because I’m usually still running around in my apron finishing up in the kitchen when my guests begin to arrive!
I love Jesse Steele aprons, which range from classic vintage to floral and frilly to standard and sturdy. Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: the brown and white polka dot apron ($32 or $19 if purchased with matching oven mitts), the floral blue vintage Antoinette apron ($24), the burlap men’s BBQ apron ($42) and the seed packets farmers market apron ($17) with the removable towel. Check out the website for many more styles as well as some adorable children’s aprons.
I also love the tan pig Words to Live By apron ($21) in Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s Joyful Vegan Messagewear.
And these pretty ones from Anthropologie, from left to right: Botonaist Knoll Apron ($28), Anbauer Half Apron ($38), and Cuisine Couture Apron ($32).
5. A Beautiful Cheese Board
Vegan charcuterie is all the rage these days. Or, at least it is in my house. And what vegan wouldn’t love a beautiful board on which to display their nut cheese, veggie pate, smoked tofu, pickles, preserves and other deliciousness? You can often find lovely natural wood cheese boards at artisan and crafters markets. Or, you could get a more modern style, for instance, these absolutely gorgeous marble and wood boards from The Drake General Store ($62 and $68), which I’ve been coveting for some time. While you’re there, you may want to also pick up this beautiful pinch bowl and gold spoon ($28).
Also, this slate cheese board from Brooklyn Slate Co. ($52, includes a wooden knife, food grade mineral oil and a soap stone pencil so that you can identify the contents right on the board).
6. Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle is a timeless kitchen tool that I’ve only recently discovered is incredibly useful. Spices are so delightfully fragrant and flavourful when freshly ground with a mortar and pestle! Plus, this is typically an attractive item and in addition to enhancing the flavour of many dishes, can sit out on display rather than hide away in a cupboard when not in use.
The Bay has a standard granite mortar and pestle for $30.
Also, this marble one from Anthropologie is stunning ($98).
7. The Entire Kitchen And Dining Department at Anthropologie
You may have noticed that Anthropologie has popped up a couple of times already in this post. This is because the Kitchen and Dining area at Anthropologie is like a magical wonderland of beauty! If your vegan likes pretty things, anything from here will go over well.
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left: Dreambirds Bowl ($32), Hammered Copper Collection ($42), Sketched Silhouette Pitcher ($68), Raised Bloom Whisk ($16), Fox’s Thicket Dish Towel ($20), Raised Bloom Measuring Cups ($38), and Mooreland Dessert Plates ($16).
I could list so many more items, but I hope this is enough to get you started. Happy shopping! Don’t forget to check out Your Vegan Holiday Gift Guide Part I: Clothing and Accessories for more veg-friendly gift ideas!