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10 Healthy Ingredients that Make Great Gifts

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Looking for holiday gifts? Here are 10 healthy ingredients that make great gifts, from sweetly satisfying organic vanilla powder, to coconut butter so good you can eat it straight out of the jar, to gourmet olives that will knock your socks off during cocktail hour. These healthy ingredients are fantastic for everyone from folks following a gluten-free diet, to CrossFit friends that have gone full on Paleo, to that special neighbor who simply likes to cook with real food.

During the holidays I’m often asked about good gifts to give friends, family and loved ones. I’m partial to giving things that are useful –so what could be better than ingredients? And when I saw a wonderful post from The Kitchn called 10 Ingredients That Make Great Gifts, I knew I’d have to do one of my own. While their gift ideas are focused on beautiful items to give to the gourmands in your life, the ones you will find here are geared towards those looking into leading a healthy lifestyle.

Whether you are giving a Christmas gift, holiday gift or a birthday present to someone special, these delightful ingredients are quick and easy to find online, order and send so that you can go for a hike this holiday season instead of hiking through crowds at the mall.

  1. Coconut Flour
    If nuts aren’t your thing, or you’re just trying to limit your Omega-6′s, coconut flour is rich in dietary fiber, which helps support your digestion, heart health, immune system, and weight. Here’s a link to my coconut flour recipes which you can print out and give along with the coconut flour.
  2. Almond Flour
    This superfood is a staple in a lot of my gluten-free baked goods. It’s nutritious, easy to use, high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and low in sugars. Give this as a gift in a 32 ounce jar and store it your freezer to keep it fresh. You can bake cookies with only five ingredients when you use almond flour; no more 16 ingredient gluten-free cookie recipes!
  3. Coconut Oil
    Boost your energy, support your heart, and experience other coconut oil benefits by consuming a pure coconut oil like Spectrum Unrefined Coconut Oil.
  4. Coconut Butter
    Enjoy all the benefits of coconut oil, in the form of a buttery treat! DIY tip: You can make your own coconut butter by blending a bag of shredded coconut in a vitamix for 3-5 minutes (or a food processor for about 10 minutes).
  5. Organic Vanilla Extract
    If I had to choose between vanilla and chocolate I’d go with vanilla. I know, surprising, right? Using a high quality vanilla extract can take your recipes to another level. Vanilla makes a wonderful gift for experienced and novice bakers alike.
  6. Vanilla Powder
    My friend Jessica turned me on to Vanilla Bean Powder when she gave it to me for my birthday last summer. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received! Vanilla Bean Powder has taken my cooking game up a notch. I use it in hot drinks and baked good.
  7. Olive Oil
    I think giving a fabulous bottle of olive oil is like giving a fantastic bottle of wine, except it can be enjoyed by the whole family.
  8. Cacao Powder
    Cacao powder (or cocoa powder) is 100% cacao and contains no sugar. Along with its high level of flavonoids (from a powerful group of antioxidants called polyphenols), cacao is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. In addition to these health benefits, cacao may also help with lowering your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels, reduce the risk of blot clots, increase blood flow, lower blood pressure, and boost brain power.
  9. Celtic Sea Salt
    Using a high quality salt in cooking and baking is a must for me and makes a great gift for friends and family. Celtic sea salt contains live minerals and trace elements that provide health benefits for enhanced digestion, resistance to bad bacteria, infections, and increasing your level of alkalinity.
  10. Olives
    I’ve been purchasing these raw organic olives for years, they’re salty and bitter and make a great snack or appetizer for a party.

When I give fun healthy ingredients to local loved ones I often transfer them to a glass jar and attach a pretty piece of ribbon to make the gift even more festive.

What great healthy ingredient gift ideas do have in mind for your special someones this year?


           
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December 15, 2013


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18 comments

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18 comments leave a comment

  1. Nancy

    You forgot to put any of your books on the list!

  2. Susan @ none

    Hi – I am in Canada and sometimes there is an item in your recipe that we know by another name.

    When you say “chocolate chunks” what do you mean. Are they 1 oz. squares.

    Slowly converting to gluten free recipes and using pure products, so thank you.

  3. Ann Sheedy @ na

    Elana—I love your receipts —they have helped me loose weight and feel better all around. Where would you suggest finding your 10 most healthful gifts??? I would so appreciate the answer to that question.thank you for all that you do—-Ann Sheedy

  4. staci

    Elana
    I saw that you have NuNaturals as your preferred Stevia but all the reviews I read said they changed the formula recently and it is now bitter and tasted different. Do you still use it or do you have another stevia you would suggest?

  5. Brooke

    Honey!!! I am giving beautiful jars of local honey. :)

  6. Carey Huyser @ thebutternutbeat.com

    I have never even heard of vanilla powder! The things I learn everyday….thanks for the great ideas!

  7. shirley

    yes, please tell us where to buy the items as it is as hard to find good ingredients as it is to make the recipes. especially interested in the olives. Will be in Denver for Christmas, is there a local store?

  8. Katie McC @ katieskronicles.com

    I love this idea! I would so much rather receive useful gifts like healthy cooking ingredients than items that I would never wear. Food is the way to every ones heart. Especially healthy food. =)

  9. Jennifer L

    THis is a GREAT idea – trying to get my friend to bake GF and this it’s a perfect start with one of your recipes.

  10. Queen Jelly Bean

    Oooh, Brooke – good one! Honey is the perfect gift. I dont even have a holiday this time of year but now that you mention it … I cant wait to find some special local, raw honey to give whenever I can (even though I hear babies can’t eat it). it never goes bad, so buy on sale and give whenever :)

  11. Stacey

    The name of each product is a hyperlink. The word olives will take you to Amazon.

  12. Katie

    Extracts or interesting vinegars are great too!

  13. Theresa

    Thank you so much. I sent my mom a mixer as an early Christmas present and some of these ingredients will make the perfect gift to open at our family gathering.

  14. The Wooden Spoon @ spoonofwood.blogspot.com

    This is a great idea. I always think about making food for people, but I never think about getting people the ingredients for themselves. I love this idea- it’s a gift I would love to get myself.

  15. Lynn Krukowski @ fireagateartstudio.com

    For my 3 sons (each with his own apartment) I am making canning jar meals; where I make them food bases or starters ready to add fresh ingredients to such as bean soup mixes, pancake mix, muffin mix, cookie mixes, brownie mix… Or stuff that I make such as dried apples, granola…
    I bought them all glass storage containers that I plan to bake each of them their favourite cake/cookie/treat to store inside one of the bowls.
    I figure they all need food in their pantry and with a bit of ingenuity (layering the ingredients to look visually appealing such as layers of beans and lentils for bean soup)(small baggies with the spices ready to add) it could look good on their shelves and be a back-up meal.
    I was planning on giving them things like canned tomatoes to go with the soup mix and am putting food stuff/treats/jam in their stockings. Hadn’t thought to add ‘gourmet’ or specialized things like what you are suggesting – yet, that is exactly what they would like as it isn’t something you buy yourself very often when on a limited bachelor budget. I was on the right path but you gave me another avenue to look at. Thank you.
    I plan to make them each one of your almond flour chocolate ‘Cookie Mix in a Jar” too.
    Of course, the kitchen looks like a canning factory with sterilized jars everywhere…