Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: Five Items for the Pantry

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For the food lover, cook, or health nut in your family, these gift ideas are sure to be a great addition to their kitchens.

1. Coconut oil

English: Coconut oil in solid state.

Coconut oil in solid state. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coconut oil is a major multi-tasker.  Not only can it be used in nearly any recipe that calls for oil, it also acts as a natural moisturizer during the harsh winter months, healing windburned or chapped skin.  In the summer, it can double as a light sunscreen. Composed of mainly medium-chain-fatty-acids (which are what give coconut oil its unique molecular makeup and healing properties), coconut oil contains lauric, capric and caprylic acids – the acids that give coconut oil its antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties.

2. Almond flour

High in Vitamin E, almond flour is my favorite naturally gluten-free grain-free flour.  It is incredibly versatile and can be used for all regular baked goods (breads, scones, pizza crust, pie crusts, cookies), as a thickener in soups, and as an additional binding agent in meatloaf or burgers. Made from blanched almonds milled into a fine flour, a five pound bag will last for months and add extra nutrition wherever used.

3. Heirloom beans

Besides just being good conversation starters with names like “Eye of the Goat” or “Good Mother Stallard,” heirloom beans are fun to try while supporting a company invested in saving beans from days of yore. Gifting a package of beans full of taste not found on the shelves of a typical grocery store is an easy way to support people and companies trying to make a change from industrialized taste and variety.

Hemp seeds in a small bowl with teaspoon

Hemp seeds in a small bowl with teaspoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. Hemp seed

Hemp seeds are high in protein, and contain important minerals and vitamins (iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus) while providing a good source of dietary fiber. They are an easy addition to most recipes – especially due to their slight nutty taste. Hemp seeds can be stored for up to 12 weeks as long as you refrigerate the package after opening.

5. Holy basil tea

According to Ayurveda, Tulsi Basil or Holy Basil is a natural way to keep your body in harmony. Incorporating Tulsi Basil into your diet can help cure fevers and other ailments associated with the common cold; such as sore throat, respiratory problems, and coughing. It can also aid in treating kidney stones, heart disorder, mouth infections, insect bites, skin disorders, headaches, and stress.

For more ideas, check out Healthy Holiday Gift Guide: Five Books to Buy