I am a huge fan of consumable gifts. The older I get the less ‘stuff’ I need or want, so I try take that into consideration when giving gifts to friends and family through-out the year. My favorite gifts to give are typically food related, but since our family switch to the whole-food, plant-based lifestyle, I’ve taken a more thoughtful stance, focusing on edible plant-based gift ideas. Animal-based products being off limits can be challenging, but there are still tons of food-based presents that your vegetarian and vegan friends and family will love.
‘Meat’ and ‘Cheese’
Although I don’t make the consumption of meat and cheese substitutes a part of our regular diet, they are tasty treats for special occasions. Here in the Twin Cities, we are lucky enough to have The Herbivorous Butcher, an amazing vegan butcher shop with delicious meats and cheeses that can be packaged up for gift giving. Their cheese is so good, and if you didn’t know it was vegan, you’d never guess. Every time we are in North East Minneapolis, we stop by for a sandwich. You might have even tasted some of their meats or cheeses as their products are used at lots of restaurants around the U.S. If you don’t have a vegan butcher in your area, Herbivorous Butcher has of packages that would make perfect gifts and they ship to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
I myself am less of a stickler for my chocolate being vegan, mainly because I don’t eat a lot of it, but most chocolates have milk as one of the main ingredients, which means it’s off the list for vegans. However, there are lots of great options out there for non-dairy chocolates if you do a quick search. Etsy is a great source for pre-packaged vegan candy chocolates. But if plan on doing some baking, PETA, has a list of recommendations of vegan chocolates to use. Speaking of vegan baking, the internet is filled with great vegan cookie recipes, but any recipe can be veganized.
Wine, Beer, Liquor
Wine is one of those things that I think most people don’t realize isn’t automatically vegan. For me, just like with chocolate, I’m not a strict worrier of weather or not my wine is vegan, but for those more strict vegans, Barnivore can help you determine if the wine you’ve picked is vegan-friendly. This is also true for beer some liquors, although overall these kind of drinks tend to be mostly vegan-friendly.
I am not much of a baker myself. Sophia, has always loved to bake though and has experimented with some of the aforementioned vegan cookies and cakes. I find the easiest way for my baking to turn out is to use a kit. Plus, everything you need is typically in the kit, pre-measured and ready to go. We had the opportunity to try some of the results from a Minnesota based baking kit company called Coconut Whisk at the Minneapolis Veg Fest this year. Although we have not tried out a kit yet (it’s on the list!)…the samples they had at Veg Fest were scrumptious. I also want to try Cake in a Crate, another plant-based cake baking kit company that ships to the 48 contiguous states.
Eating a whole-food plant-based diet requires cooking. There are lots of products out there that are plant-based, but the closer you eat to the whole food, the better. When we first went wfpb, I struggled with meal composition. I mean, I grew up in a meat-veg-starch type of environment, losing the meat was challenging at first. In addition to the plethora of knowledge on the internet, I bought and have religiously used my plant-based vegan cookbooks. It’s not only about the recipes, but meal inspiration and techniques, too. Here are my favorites:
- Thug Kitchen: 101
- Thug Kitchen: eat like you give a f*ck
- How Not to Die Cookbook
- Big Vegan
- Minimalist Baker: Everyday Cooking
- Indian Light Cooking (although not vegan, lots of great veg based recipes)
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, our list of edible plant-based gift ideas. We hope you find it useful and if anyone has any other recommendations for gifts or companies that provide plant-based consumables that would be great gifts, we’d love to hear about them. Please leave a comment with your recommendation!
Kelly (& Steffan)