Last year, when my husband Max and I took off on an extended road trip, we rented our house to another family. Which meant we had to empty everything out of our kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets and drawers, the office desk drawers — all of it.
Take a moment to reflect on what that would be like in your home. What did I learn from the experience? We had way too much!
Shoving the last of our stuff into basement storage, I made a vow: Every gift I give from now on will be edible, or an experience (e.g., gift certificate for a massage). No more “stuff-giving” for me.
Most of my friends are flexitarians, not vegan. Yet, no one has complained nor suffered when I’ve served plant-based pepperoni, ice cream, cake, or cookies at a dinner party. The response is always the same: Wow. This is way better than I thought it would be. Yum.
This year, send your friends and family — flexitarians, pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans, and everyone in between — an edible gift. They’ll thank you for it. I promise.
Gift Ideas for the Health-Conscious
Nussli 118: Plant-powered, organic, gluten-free, and delicious. The perfect gift for the healthiest person in your life. Or really, just about anyone who wants a yummy, only-good-stuff-in-it snack or dessert.
Happy Cow: This is the Yelp for restaurants that serve healthy meals. Use it to find a vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian-friendly restaurant in any city in the world (!), then buy your gift-ee a gift certificate.
Gift Ideas for the Aspiring Chef
Curio Spice: I‘m fortunate to live down the block from this awesome spice store. Their mission is to improve the lives of spice farmers, by sourcing from small, sustainable farms. Everything is fresh, fresh, fresh. Their gift boxes will bring a smile to anyone on your list.
Cozymeal: During COVID lockdown I took more Zoom Cozymeal cooking classes than I can remember. Now, the company teaches both in person (across the U.S.) and on-line. Some classes are plant-based, most are not. And yet. I learned a ton about cooking by taking non-plant-based classes and asking the chef-teacher how to veganize the recipes. Every chef was willing and able to teach me how to do this. A Cozymeal gift certificate is the perfect gift for anyone itching to experiment with plant-based cooking.
NoPigNeva: Have a blast creating your own plant-based gift box. No Pig Neva (if you’re from Boston you’ll get the name) is a vegan online grocery store that delivers everywhere. My favorite product — an indulgence, for sure — is Bartleby’s Seitan Nuggets. You’ll never eat (nor serve) another chicken nugget again.
VegNews: This isn’t a food gift, per se, but the magazine provides some of the easiest, and often hard-to-get (think Celebrity Chefs) plant-based recipes in my dinner repertoire. News on new vegan products, hot celebrity vegans, and new restaurants. Opt for an on-line (or print, if you must) subscription, and make a vegan or aspiring vegan happy at least once a month.
Gift Ideas for a Sweet Tooth
Jeni’s Ice Cream: This ice cream is so good it should be illegal. Last night I finished off a pint of my beloved banana cream pie, and vowed not to buy it again. For a while. It tests my self-control. You can buy Jeni’s on-line and ship it, but stores typically carry more vegan flavors than are available by mail. Check the website frequently, because the vegan options change often.
Schmilk Chocolate: A running argument in my family for years has been milk vs. dark chocolate. My husband Max eats dark – nothing under 85%. He considers my preference for milk chocolate a sign that I lack maturity. So when one of his colleagues sent him a gift basket of Schmilk, I stuck my tongue out at him, and gloated, Ha, Ha, Ha! It’s all for me!
Gift Ideas for a Snack Lover
Zingerman’s: What started out as a deli (!) has morphed into my go-to site for plant-based gifts. The quality of everything this store sells is A+, from the $14 fig almond cake to the $100 Vegan Snack Attack Box. Note: New parents LOVE their Midnight Feeding Gift Box, which they will vegan-ize.
Harry & David: Yes, you read that correctly. The decades-old mail order gift giant has changed with the times. The company now offers dozens of vegan gift baskets including, plant-based charcuterie, salami and cookies.
So there you have it – my curated list of the best vegan-friendly food gifts you can order online. Whether for a birthday, holiday, or just because, these gifts are sure to delight anyone looking to explore the delicious world of plant-based eating.
Check out all the Good Recipes , added weekly to mix up your menu with yummy plant-based dishes like, Wonton Soup with Dumpling in under 30 minutes or a decadent and warming Pasta with Creamy Chickpea Sauce.