The holidays are nearly upon us, so now's the perfect time to start scoping out all of those fantastic gift ideas for your loved ones this season.
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
I couldn't possibly make gift-guide recommendations for this year without putting my own baby up-front-and-center, could I?! Whether you are buying for a seasoned Paleo-eater, or hoping to introduce someone to this new lifestyle, my book balances the science of how food works in the body with the practical/how-tos of eating grain-free every day. As a best-selling book, you better believe that the buzz is huge about how many people now recommend Practical Paleo as the go-to, #1 book they recommend for folks interested in learning all about Paleo, and the over 120 recipes are nothing if they're not easy and delicious enough to please even the most stubborn palate!
Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers
Chef Michael Symon's new book focuses on one of my favorite things in the world – meat. While this book isn't exclusively Paleo, the recipes will be easy enough to adapt and will open you up to some new ideas. It's awesome to get Paleo-oriented cookbooks that are being released with new recipes, but don't forget that there are lots of great books out there that will still fall within the realm of real food that aren't necessarily titled as “Paleo.” I know that Chef Symon doesn't eat crap (check out his T-shirt here, courtesy of The Food Lovers Kitchen!), so I can get on board with recommending his new book!
Grab a copy of Carnivore in bookstores or online via Amazon.com.
Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen
Lots of you are taking to the idea of home fermentation, and while this book once again does not have a Paleo focus, you can take the information, techniques, and concepts within it and apply it to foods you eat regularly. I love the idea of being able to make any flavor or kraut, kombucha, or other fermented vegetable you like – this book will help you do just that.
Grab a copy of Real Food Fermentation in bookstores or online via Amazon.com.
You could also DIY and make your friend or loved one some homemade sauerkraut! YUM!
Real Bone Broth
I've been yapping on about the benefits of bone broth (or stock, as the rightly educated call it – though I just like how broth sounds better, so there…) for a long time now. I posted my Mineral-Rich Bone Broth recipe back in April of 2011, and since then it's been one of my busiest blog posts to-date. Most of you have realized how easy it is to make, especially in a slow-cooker, and have taken to the habit of preparing batches of it weekly – or even more often – and love the process and the results. But I know that many of you still wish you had more time to consider it, or had a way of simply ordering it to keep on-hand for an in-a-pinch situation. So, while making broth or stock is about as easy as boiling water, I wanted to pass along this fantastic resource I found while at the 2012 Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference.
Note: I NEVER recommend boxed or canned store-bought stocks/broths, even in a pinch! They are not healing, nourishing foods and are not worth your hard-earned money. The recommendation above is the REAL DEAL!
Honest Potato Chips
Don't say I didn't warn you… these chips are amazing! While some Paleo folks freak out at even the mention of a white potato, I hesitate to believe that they're the cause of metabolic issues for most folks. That said, I tasted these at the Wise Traditions Conference (noticing a trend here?!) and fell in love at first bite. While I wouldn't want these around my house every day because the risk of over consumption would just bee too high, I think they're the best real-food-friendly chip I've found outside of any you can make at home in duck fat, lard, or tallow. Fried up in coconut oil, these lightly salted, crispy chips are a fantastic gift and would also be perfect to plate up for a holiday party along with a home made dip!
Kombucha Starter SCOBY & Glass Jars
If you have the bug (get it, bug?!) to start making your own home-brewed kombucha, here's your chance. Whether you're tired of paying $3-4 a bottle for a store brand, or you just want to play around with science experiments in your kitchen, there are lots of options for getting your own SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). I'm linking to three I found online, but I don't have personal experience with any of them. I don't think it matters much where you get the SCOBY, you just need to follow instructions to keep it alive and brew your tea. I was lucky enough to get the few I've needed as starters from friends, so once yours begins to grow and reproduce (these things are sorta like Grelmins, so watch out!), you will be able to share the SCOBY-love with your friends within just a few weeks!
OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer
Wondering how restaurants get those perfectly thin slices of potato for their house-made chips? Or trying to make waffle fries but can't seem to get it right on a box grater – oops! A mandoline is the tool you need! Don't forget to grab a Metal Mesh Glove (see below) to accompany this bad boy, or you may not end up using it as much as you think for fear you'll slice off your fingerprints!
Metal Mesh Glove
Have you fallen victim to your mandolin slicer's blade one too many times?
Once is enough – or never! Use this handy tool (get it, handy?!) when running that taro or yucca root across the blade for those thin chips you're about to toss in duck fat and bake (or fry!) and keep your digits safe and sound.
Microplane Kitchen Cut-Protection Glove on Amazon.
Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer
Last year one of my top picks was a julienne peeler, which I stand by as a recommendation, however, I think this gadget might really be one-upping the hand-held tool. Make quick work of creating zucchini noodles (fit for recipes out of books like Practical Paleo and Make it Paleo), or noodles/spiral-cut-justaboutanything…! I imagine some of you will grab one of these for your own kitchen, and I invite anyone to bring one to my forthcoming housewarming party, because I need one, too!
Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer on Amazon.
Global 3-Piece Knife Set
Several years ago this knife set was given to me when I started my organic meal delivery business – and what a game-changing day that was! I admired these knives in the hands of chefs like Giada De Laurentiis for years on the Food Network, but somehow managed only to use the random chef's knife I found here or there for some kind of great bargain. Little did I know that a good knife set can last many more years than one that's less expensive if kept well, honed regularly, and sharpened when necessary. Enjoy this set for yourself, or gift it to someone new to cooking – but maybe send them a Metal Mesh Glove as well, for the other hand just in case!
Global 3-Piece Knife Set on Amazon.
Paleo Power Socks
These socks are 75% cotton, 20% polyester, 5% spandex, and 100% awesome. They are thick enough to protect you from the whip of a missed double-under, and have enough staying power to keep themselves up through even the longest chipper of box jumps and toes-to-bar.
Machine washable. Instructions say hang to dry, but I always toss mine in the dryer!’
Made in the USA by Gumball Poodle.
Paleo Power socks are available for ordering for a limited time.
Super Simple Sugar Scrub (DIY)
Check out my recipe for Super Simple Sugar Scrub.