Holiday Gift Guide (for the PRODUCTIVE home cook)

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The UES Studio 2 - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Are you looking for Christmas gift ideas that count and not create clutter? Being an avid cook and wellness enthusiast, my gift choices stay close to the kitchen and health. I often get asked  by family, friends, and TLC readers on buying the BEST/MOST EFFICIENT kitchen appliance, accessories, and more.  I have created this curated gift guide with my favorite finds. I have personally used most items on the list. These items have passed the TLC litmus test–efficient, high-quality, organic/natural, no artificial ingredients. Best of all, you can find items for any budget.

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Best kitchen gadgets as Christmas gift

Kitchen gadgets that work year after year make a great gift. Your recipient will sure to remember you every time the gadget whips up a great meal.

Cuisinart DFP-14BCNYAMZ Custom 14 Food Processor Brushed Metal Series, , Stainless Steel

Cuisinart 14-cup Food Processor OR Cuisinart 7-Cup Food Processor. Food processor is my go-to gadget to make desserts (Avocado Chocolate Pudding), burgers, energy bars/balls (Sesame & Oat energy balls)  and much more.

Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black

Vitamix Professional Series Blender 740 series (in Black & Heritage Color)

If I had to name two kitchen gadget I can’t do without, one of them would be a good blender. I used to own an Oster Pro, which came with a smoothie glass–a big PLUS. The blender performs really well and is budget-friendly. About a couple of years ago I got a Vitamix as a gift and it has really worked like a PRO– despite the heavy use, the blender blade remains as sharp as it came out of the package. Another, slightly more budget-friendly, Vitamix model I have heard great things about is Vitamix 5200 Professional Series-Black (also available in White Color.)

J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 7-Piece Block Set

J.A. Henckels Knife Set (7-piece) : Knives (and shears) that don’t easily become blunt is a must and my number one kitchen tool. When I was on a student budget long time ago, I bought just one J.A. Henckels knife that lasted me more than a decade. A budget-friendly option is J.A. Henckels Fine Edge Pro (7-piece).  This 12-Pc J. A. Henckels is truly a value for money and Amazon best seller.

Instant pot-3 models

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (6-Qt Duo-middle pic) Whether you follow a  vegetarian or 100% plant-based diet or trying to increase the plant-based food quotient in your diet– beans & lentils are an indispensable part. A good pressure cooker not only saves time and (fuel) energy, it also helps decrease  anti-nutrients such as phytates in beans/lentils. Moreover, cooking beans from scratch at home is much cheaper than buying the canned version. Instant Pot Pressure cooker is truly a magical gadget. It replaces six other appliances–pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, and yogurt maker. I have two of these– the 3-Qt Instant Pot Mini works great for 2-4 people, but for a crowd the 6-Qt size is optimal. I have not tried the new Instant Pot DUO Plus60 model yet, but it also promises to boil eggs and make a cake.

Essential cookware

If you are looking for cookware, choose those made with STEEL or IRON. The Cookware with non-stick coating can be harmful for health as the coating often peels off and is not easy to cook with either (in the long run).

Cuisinart MCP55-30N MultiClad Pro Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Casserole with Cover

Cuisinart Stainless Steel 51/2 Qt Casserole with cover is great for making veggies. I use it practically for cooking everything except soups. For a family of 2-4 the smaller size  Cuisinart Stainless Steel 3 Qt Casserole with cover  might be a better choice.

Cuisinart 755-26GD Chef's Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Multi-Purpose Pot with Glass Cover

Cuisinart Stainless Steel 51/2 Qt multi-purpose pot with cover –This works great for pretty much everything–boiling pasta, making soups, boiling beans/lentils, and much more.

Pans 1024x294 - Holiday Gift Guide 2018Cast iron offers a healthy cooking surface with the added benefit of getting iron from the pan. The only precaution you need to take is to not scrub the pan hard and not leave acidic foods like tomatoes and peppers for long in the pan. My favorite are Lodge Brand Cast Iron Pans as they are pre-seasoned and come in different sizes. Now there is a Lodge pan silicon hot handle holder.

Kitchen accessories sure to “wow” a home cook

Hatrigo Instant Pot Steamer basket 849x1024 - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

If you know your gift recipient has an Instant Pot or two–this nifty 3-Qt Instant Pot Steamer Basket or 6-Qt Instant Pot Steamer Basket is a great gift.

Organic Bamboo Cooking utensil sets  - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Neet Organic Bamboo Cooking Utensils setWooden utensils are the best choice for cooking anything as they don’t transfer heat (to your hands) and scratch the bottom of your pan. I am all for using natural/safe materials; therefore, I have not yet tried the silicon-coated cooking utensils.


Mueller Spiral-Ultra Multi-Blade Spiralizer : a spiralizer is a must in a healthy kitchen. With this in your kitchen you increase energy-enhancing vegetable in your diet in a very creative way. 

Stocking stuffers

614IHuHEO6L. SL1244  823x1024 - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Shortie’s Candle Company-Floral Tealights collection :these all-natural, non-toxic candles are great for creating pleasant floral aromas–I often light these up for aromatherapy effect. There are tons of floral aromas, my favorite are Jasmine and Gardenia.

La Turelle Avocado Oil : This is my everyday oil for cooking. Avocado oil can withstand higher cooking temperatures. I would would recommend any oil from La Turelle, as the brand has high quality products (and is the cheapest on Amazon.)

Ouddy Whisk Set : a good whisk set that promises 100% non-rusting stainless steel is an essential tool in an efficient kitchen.

Spice up your gifts, umm food

Salt and Pepper Spice Box

Himalayan Pink Salt & Pepper Set with Spice HolderThis luxurious professional-style bamboo salt & pepper set comes filled with natural Himalayan Pink Salt.

Indian Spice Box

Indian Masala Dabba (Indian Spice Box): Found in every Indian kitchen, this spice box holds 7 spices in once place.

Indian Spices and Seasoning Collection–Eight authentic, most commonly used spices in India–cumin, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, dry mango powder, black pepper whole, black pepper powder, and chilli powder.

Tea for one, two, or more

Tea gifts 1024x518 - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Numi Organic Tea by Mood makes a great gift for colleagues at work as well. Tea Drops Instant Organic Pressed Tea is a new concept–just add a fun-shape tea drop to a cup of hot water and you have a  new way of drinking tea.

What’s on your Christmas List for 2018?



A Certified health coach,plant-based nutrition expert, and real-food enthusiast. READ MORE


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. Great list! My kitchen favorite is the hand held immersion blender. It makes it so much easier to make soups, curries and sauces! And the lowly mandolin…low tech but super functional!


    1. Amita, Thanks so much for suggestion. I totally forgot about it. My husband is a big fan of immersion blender and I will add it to the list.

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