Raw Food Gift Buying Guide for the Holidays

If you eat lots of raw food, or know of someone who does then this list will help you pick the perfect gift this holiday season. This easy to follow raw food gift buying guide will come in handy this Christmas season.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that people who eat more raw food or are into environmental causes prefer to tread lightly on the earth. So only buy them something if you know they will appreciate the gesture. :)

Raw Food Books & Stocking Stuffers

Great Raw Food Books that make great Gifts

sweet-gratitude-raw-food-books

Alright, so I’m a huge book worm. If you’ve watched any of my more recent videos you know what my bookcase looks like. I personally love looking through raw recipe books for inspiration and to spice up my kitchen routines.

That being said, always check to make sure the person you are buying a gift for doesn’t already have the book you’re getting them. :)

Here are a bunch of great raw themed books that will be a sure hit this Christmas!

Dry Skin Body Brush

dry-skin-brush

If you’ve read my post on the benefits of dry skin brushing then you’ll know that most raw food lovers will enjoy this gift.

Here’s the gist of it: dry skin brushing is great for removing toxins from the skin, allowing for lymph circulation, reversing cellulite, and getting smoother skin.

I recommend the Purest Palm Body Brush, it’s the one I use every day.

Salad On the Go Containers

chill-and-go

This makes a great gift for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have kids. It’s a great container that you can bring with you whenever you travel, or even if you’re out and about for the day.

The lid allows you to store a salad dressing, and you can pack a delicious salad in the main compartment. Never worry about leakage or soggy salads again! Get the Aladdin Chill & Go for yourself, or for the health conscious friend who is often on the go.

A Case of Larabars

cashew-cookie-larabars

When I asked what makes a good gift for fellow raw foodies on Twitter, @LuvSchweetHeart recommended a case of Larabars. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and with so many flavors to choose from you can’t go wrong.

My favorite type of Larabar is the Cashew Cookie. It’s just got the best balance of chewiness and the flavor isn’t too overpowering. You can buy a whole case of Cashew Cookie Larabars online and have them shipped before Christmas!

Handmade Raw Chocolate Treats

Gnosis Chocolate offers a variety of handmade raw chocolate bars. You can order online, and have mouth watering chocolate in time for the holidays!

Shazzie’s Chocolate bars are full of superfood goodness, and are perfect if you live in the UK. There’s a flavor for the goddess in you and for the goddess in your raw food friend or partner.

One lucky duck treats are great if you live in New York City, but they also offer shipping. Why not treat your raw foodie with some delectable desserts and hand made cookies.

Nut Milk Bags & Sprouting Bags

I’m a big fan of making your own nut milks, and sprouting your own sprouts. If the raw foodie in your life has yet to explore these new ways to “cooking” then getting them a nut milk bag is the way to go!

You can buy the kind of Nut Milk Bag that I buy here, they are handmade in Vermont. I met the lovely lady who makes them, and it really made my day to know I’m helping local people every time I make some nut milk or sprout some mung beans.

Raw Food Appliances Make Very Generous Gifts

When I surveyed Twitter, @NaomiNiles recommended kitchen appliances and tools, and I totally agree! Some of my kitchen appliances came as gifts and I couldn’t have been a happier little witch. :)

The Cadillac of Blenders: The Vitamix

Vitamix

The Vita-Mix or sometimes known as the Vitamixer is definitely a top of the line blender. I know several people who are asking for one from Santa, too.

I got my first brand new vitamix this year and I cannot see myself going back to my old blender.

Yes, it’s expensive. But if you’re spending money anyway, you might as well get something that will last. The vitamix comes with a crazy 7 year warranty, a 30 day no risk money back guarantee, and they’re even offering a 3 payment plan.

The best thing about my vitamix is that I can make green smoothies for skeptical people and they love them. The secret: no chunks!

The greens go down smooth, and I know I’m contributing to someone’s health without forcing them to gulp something down uncomfortably.

Also, I get this question a lot – the Blendtec and the Vitamix are very comparable blenders, and I definitely recommend you get whichever one you personally prefer. Either way, you’re getting a high end blender that’s going to last you for years to come.

Food Processors That Make Tasty Meals

I happen to have a Magic Bullet, but to be honest since I got my vitamix I haven’t used another type of food processor. It’s enough to handle my blending and processing needs.

That being said, after getting a blender, I think it’s a good investment to have a food processor. If you are shopping for a new raw foodie who doesn’t yet have a food processor, I recommend the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus Food Processor.

Raw Food Dehydrator for Crunchy Treats

excalibur-dehydrator

This is the cadillac of food dehydrators, it’s the Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator. I’ve had mine for a few years now and I love having it to make raw crackers, cookies, breads, kale chips, and other dehydrated snacks.

You can also buy them second hand, or opt for a cheaper smaller version. Most dehydrators don’t come with a temperature setting though, but the Excalibur does.

breville-juicer-gift

Fresh Juicer for The Juice Loving Raw Foodie

I picked up a Breville Juice Fountain about a year ago and I love how quickly it juices and how easy it is to clean. One of the benefits is that it’s a good quality juicer, for a pretty fair price.

It also has a wider opening, so you don’t need to cut fruits or vegetables as small to get them juiced. It’s also super quick, so you don’t need to spend 20 minutes a day juicing, and it’s also easy to clean and assemble.

omega-juicer-gift

The juicer I own is the Omega J8005 Nutrition Center Single-Gear Commercial Masticating Juicer. What I like about it is that you can use it to make green juice, and other treats like nut butters, raw fruit sorbets and ice creams, and baby food.

It’s got a heftier price tag, but because it uses a mastication system you’re actually getting more juice for your buck. Before I got this blender I always cringed when I saw how much juice was left in the pulp. Now the pulp is totally dry.

Pasta Making Spiralizer & Spiral Slicer

raw-spiral-slicer

One of the easy and delicious raw recipes that gets a lot of raw foodies excited is raw pasta! This type of pasta is usually made from spiral sliced vegetables like zucchinis or spaghetti squash.

After using a spiralizer, you get angel hair pasta! Or at least something that imitates the texture and look of pasta, but tastes light and delicious.

If the raw food lover in your circle doesn’t have a spiral slicer yet, you can go with a basic Saladacco Spiral Slicer or a more advanced Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.

The Homemade Icecream Maker

raw-ice-cream-maker

Okay, so you can make raw ice cream using a vitamix, an omega juicer, and a food processor. Why do you need a specialized icecream maker you ask? Well apparently, we raw inclined folks like to collect kitchen gadgets… Just kidding!

With a specialized ice cream maker you can blend up the raw ingredients you like, then add them to the ice cream maker to get fluffed up. This is very different from soft serve ice creams you can make with the vitamix, the juicers, and the food processors.

I rest my case. This is the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker.

(And no, this is in no way a hint to my boyfriend or family members. Ahem. Seriously, though.)

Raw Ingredients or Superfoods

organic-raw-maca-powder

Most raw folks love to create in the kitchen and these ingredients are so much fun to experiment with! If you’re not familiar with what types of raw ingredients or superfoods you should get the raw foodist in your family or friends circle, here’s a quick run down.

Gift Certificates to Raw Food Restaurants

If you live near a raw restaurant, or are planning to travel near one then gift certificates make a great gift! What better way then to try some fun new raw dishes than by eating out at a raw restaurant.

There are tons of other raw restaurants out there too, so do a google search or look at Happy Cow to find ones in your area!

Gifts for Raw Moms with Kids

Raw Recipe Book for Kids

Kid Friendly Raw Recipe Book

This is the perfect gift for busy moms who want to include more raw foods into their kids’ diet. It’s hard enough being a mom, let alone trying to come up with raw recipes your kids will love.

With this ebook you’ll get your kids to join in the raw fun, and get recipes like Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, Froggy Delight Green Smoothie, and Alien Slime Smoothie. Yum!

Give Monkey Mike’s Raw Food Kitchen a Whirl!

snack-catchers

Kid-Engineered Snack Containers

These little Munchkin Snack Catchers are great when you’re on the go with younger kids. You can easily feed your kids munchables like grapes, berries, nuts, and seeds, without making a mess!

Your children can take out as many of the small snacks as they want, and there isn’t as much of a chance of spilling grapes all over the floor.

Giving Goodwill by Adopting a Family in Need

Master J. Begin wrote this short piece about giving to someone in need this holiday season.

This Christmas is going to be a real Christmas for us! Our group has decided to adopt a couple of families that truly are in need and the entire team will pitch in by donating gifts and food so they can have a wonderful Christmas.

The concept is easy: get in touch with a local childcare agency or church and ask if they know of a family that could use help this Christmas. Find out the number of family members and their gender, and voila you have your adopted family.

This concept can be used in your workplace or in any group. It is making this Christmas so exciting and fun for us! Imagine a wave of giving taking place across the nation… And it becomes a blizzard of goodwill!

Green & Eco Friendly Gifts

When I asked about green and eco gifts, @DRumbold had some great suggestions! Here they are. If you’re planning on hosting or would like a lovely eco-friendly bouquet of flowers, then Harmony Hill Gardens is the place to go.

Dorinda also recommended Eco Friendly Apparel from Green Changes. They’ve got some nice t-shirts that I’m sure some raw foodies would enjoy.

And of course you should check out some of Dorinda’s recycled green handmade soap. It’s just gorgeous, and will keep even the most adventurous raw foodies squeaky clean.

Another great gift idea for raw foodies is to buy JoeyFiveCents’ repurposed vintage jewelry. There are also a slew of other great small handmade gifts available on Etsy. I personally need to restrain myself from visiting the Etsy site, since there’s so much goodness there.

Another great place to shop for green and eco products is Carla Rose’s Green & Chic online shop. She’s got a variety of beauty products and other environmentally friendly gifts for the raw foodie in your life.

What Do You Intend to Give This Holiday Season?

Even though this gift guide is all about the material gifts we can give each other, I want to remind us that giving and receiving can take place in other ways too.

Being there for someone through thick and thin, providing love and support, being a good friend or family member, these are all great gifts! These are gifts that cannot be replaced by material things.

So go ahead, let us know what you intend to give this holiday season… no matter what type of gift it is. And feel free to share this list with those who could use some inspiration.

Love, Nathalie

Originally published November 2009.

New to Raw Food? Top Five Blog Posts to Get You Started

If you’re new to raw food and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are my top 5 blog posts to get you started.

Is It Necessary To Go 100% Raw?
In this post I go through the different options for incorporating a raw diet. Explore the best way to bring more a more vibrant raw diet into your life.

13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies Help You Feel Great All In Less Than 13 Minutes
Green Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to incorporate more raw into your world. Find out how and why green smoothies are raw magic!

Go Raw or Die Trying?
Often we feel we need to go all or nothing when trying new things. Find out how to make lasting healthy changes that will keep you going on your raw food journey.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet
Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life
More than helping you to look and feel better, incorporating more raw foods in your diet can have surprising other benefits.

As you step into your raw food journey you might find yourself drawn back to the dark side with those pesky cravings. Check out my online course I’ve put together to help Cure Cravings Forever! And for that love of sweets replace those unhealthy desserts with delicious 30 Healthy Desserts You Can Eat Every Day and rediscover the magic of eating healthy!

Why You Should Eat a Raw Food Diet

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

Maybe the benefits of raw food diet have you raising your eyebrows… The question is, are you ready to start eating a raw food diet and begin enjoying true raw food health?

You don’t have to eat a 100% raw food diet to reap the health benefits that come with it. The benefits of raw food diet run deep. Listen to your body, and do what feels best.

But do remember that the more natural foods you eat, the better it will be for your body, mind, and soul.

The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

So why should you start eating a raw food diet? You’re probably thinking about how hard it will be to transition and start getting used to a whole new menu. But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. The benefits of eating more raw foods far outweigh the hassle you have to go through in order to learn a few new tricks and recipes to make it work.

Did you know that most diseases are caused by unhealthy dietary choices?
It’s 100% true.

We don’t think about it when we eat food that isn’t healthy for us, but each time we put something like a candy or ice cream into our body we are hurting it. Our bodies are made for natural foods, because they provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy and vital life. Many who’ve suffered from illnesses and ailments have been cured when they embarked on a healthier diet because they finally allowed their body to start healing.

How to Transition & Enjoy The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

Incorporating raw foods into your diet can feel overwhelming when you don’t know anything about it. In reality, it is simple. Eat the fruits and vegetables that you desire, and eat as much as you want. When you’re new to eating a raw food diet almost anything is allowed, because it is a time of experimentation.

Try new things and see how they work for you. Check out some raw recipes, they are delicious!

Here are 3 simple ways you can get more raw foods into your diet.

1. Add Smoothies – I have always liked smoothies and found them to be an easy way to add more raw foods into my diet. You can start by drinking a smoothie instead of eating your usual snack between meals. Throw some bananas, spinach and berries into your blender and enjoy the ride.

2. Eat Fruit Before Your Meals – Eating fruit before your meals will decrease your appetite for cooked food, so if you’re planning to lose weight, this might be a good option for you. It is also good for reducing cravings. I sometimes get a craving for sweets after I’ve eaten cooked foods. This usually doesn’t happen if I eat fruit before my meal. Try it!

3. Have a Raw Day – One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods cuisine. Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Make it a day of relaxation where you take it easy and try new things.

Raw Foods Cuisine and Achieving Raw Food Health

Raw food health is not about following a strict diet, at least not for me. Like I said above, you don’t have to be 100% raw to get the health benefits raw foods give. Again, listen to your own body, and go at your own pace. Start small and make consistent changes. You will be amazed at where you land in a month or two. There are no rules, you can gain the benefits of raw food diet right now. You can make juices, smoothies, delicious raw brownies, or you can eat everything as they are. It’s completely up to you.

Now get out there and start enjoying the foods that will bring you vibrant health, energy, and joy.

Ingela Johansson is in love with natural skin care. If you want more natural anti aging tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to find an eczema cure to learning how to start removing age spots.

5 Easy Raw Food Meals to Save Time in the Kitchen

This is a guest post by Laura-Jane the Rawtarian.

In North American culture, we are accustomed to eating because it tastes great, rather than eating for nourishment. When the average person hears the words “raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds” they cringe and picture dry carrots sticks and tasteless iceberg lettuce salads. In fact, to most people, the idea that healthy food can actually taste great and satiate sounds like a myth.

But if you’ve tasted any of the raw food recipes here at the this web site, you’ll know that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive!

Here are 5 easy raw food meals that save you time and taste great, too.

1. Raw pate

All raw fooders should have a standyby raw pate recipe in their raw recipe arsenal. And Nathalie’s Indian-inspired pate is one of the greats!

Raw pates are versatile, quick to make and, best of all, they keep well in the refrigerator. I make a batch of raw nut pate on the weekend so that I can easily pull together a raw meal quickly later in the week.

Raw nut pate can be served in collard wraps, in nori rolls, on raw crackers, on cucumber rounds, or, my personal favorite, eaten out of a small bowl with a crisp gala apple on the side.

2. Raw veggie burgers

If you have a dehydrator, raw veggie burgers are a great meal option. Make large batches of veggie burgers and be sure to dehydrate them thoroughly so that they can be kept in your pantry or refrigerator.

Raw veggie burgers are simply made by processing nuts, veggies and a binding agent (such as flax seeds), forming them into patties, and dehydrating them in a dehydrator.

I like to serve raw veggie burgers in romaine lettuce wraps. Serve with raw ketchup or raw mayonnaise for extra zip!

3. Your favorite raw salad

Every raw fooder should have a favorite raw salad that tastes great and is easy to prepare. My favorite salad recipe involves mesclun (wild greens) and tomatoes with a basic avocado and nutritional yeast dressing.

The trick to a good salad is to keep it simple. Don’t try to add every vegetable on earth into one salad. Keep it simple and enjoy just two or three flavors per salad.

Watch Nathalie make her Simple Raw Salad Recipe on video here.

4. Raw pasta and sauce

I love creamy tastes, and I absolutely love raw alfredo sauce served with zuchinni or kelp noodles.

Here’s my favorite alfredo sauce recipe:

  • 2 cups unsoaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon thyme spice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Simply combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth! This recipe keeps in the refrigerator very well.

5. Green smoothies

I drink green smoothies for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and dessert! They are one of the quickest and easiest meals to prepare, and they can be altered easily to fit your mood or what you have in your refrigerator.

I usually start my green smoothies with one banana, a heaping cup or two of baby spinach, and then I get creative from there. Lately, I’ve been loving making raspberry lemon green smoothies. They are so tangy! If you’re looking for tips on green smoothie making, check out 13 witchy ways green smoothies make you feel great.

And, of course, any proper raw meal should be followed by a raw vegan dessert! Try pumpkin pie, raw ice cream or a plate of divine, crisp, fresh fruit. Want more raw dessert ideas? Grab Nathalie’s free e-book 28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day.

Laura-Jane the Rawtarian is a raw fooder who loves eating simple, satisfying raw food recipes and inspiring others to change their lives with the raw food lifestyle. Looking for ways to help friends and family go raw, she recently launched a comprehensive raw food diet plan to make going raw easier than ever. Laura-Jane loves eating raw chia pudding, and she always keeps a wide variety of nuts and fruit stashed in her purse!

Back to the Future with Raw Foods

This is a guest post by Liz Longacre.

My husband and I, and a few courageous friends, have spent the month of January on a raw food ‘live-it’. My husband suggested it and it fit perfectly in line with the current evolution of my relationship with food. So with a big fat “I love you”, I quickly agreed. I love a man who can challenge me!

I’ve been on what you could call a spiritual food journey. I’ve been exploring the relationship between eating in a way that’s right for animals, the environment and my own health. More and more I’ve been taking things back to wise old Mama Nature. Our food production system just seems to have strayed so far from what nature intended. The health and environmental consequences being inflicted upon us as a result are clearly screaming “go back”!! In this case, going backward may really be the best way to go forward.

“Nature” has many definitions. The simplest being “the world of living things”. Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated with this world, drawn to it, captivated and comforted by it. Perhaps growing up in New York City helped me to appreciate the times I would get to fully immerse myself in all of nature’s wonders. Walking through the woods by a lake with my dog on family vacations was always my simple version of Utopia.

My fascination with nature first and foremost always included a love of animals. To me, animals are magical. They are the essence of nature, it’s most instinctual creatures, so full of emotion and sixth sense wisdom, so beautiful and so strong, yet so vulnerable…

It’s this love for animals that led me to start a travel business completely dedicated to their welfare. It’s also what led me to be a vegetarian for 12 years and, once I educated myself on our factory farming system, a vegan for the past year. Once I began my vegan journey, I knew I had to be healthy to maintain it properly.

As a woman who spent most of her life, (a) using her stove solely to brew tea, (b) acting like sticking a frozen meal into the microwave was a balanced dinner, (c) pretending that ketchup was a food group, and (d) thinking it’s okay to substitute any meal for desert because the calories would even out and I NEEDED sugar to survive I knew I had some work to do… I needed to respect my own body as much as I respected the animals I hoped to spare.

So I started exploring what it means to eat healthy. The more I learned, the more I realized, our food production system has become about endless chemicals and misleading labeling and we’re programmed to devour each bite with every ad that flashes our way. Companies providing our food care only about profits, not health. As a result we have an obesity epidemic like never seen before, increasing health problems (it’s been said that this will be the first time in history that our children’s generation will not live longer than their parent’s generation) and devastating environmental consequences. Our food is becoming a cancer all on its own.

Instead of eating what was given to us by Mother Nature, we’re eating mass produced low quality chemically filled cheap processed foods that are ironically often labeled as “vitamin enriched”. Manufacturers are certainly creative. Perhaps in this instance, creativity has betrayed us.

Our RAW-Donkulous Month!

So, to start off the New Year being the healthiest we can be, off we went into our raw food month. Back to living foods full of healthy enzymes that will keep us younger longer. Back to fruits, vegetables and nuts, straight from the earth. I knew one thing, it was our turn to get creative.

To avoid eating the same old salad everyday, my husband and I have been raw “cooking” up a storm! It’s been new and exciting, and admittedly challenging at times. But I’ve been following Raw Foods Witch ever since I met Nathalie at a conference, so I knew I’d be armed with great information
and recipes!

My favorite part of this experience has been juicing and drinking green smoothies every morning – AMAZING. It’s like kick-starting your day with a green jolt of nutrient filled power fuel! For once, I don’t miss my cafe con soya!

But it hasn’t been all peaches and almond cream and we’ve had a few bumps along our zucchini-bricked road (which admittedly led to a bit of cheating…).

Some of the lessons we’ve learned:

1. Gradual Changes are Easier

Some friends participating in our raw food month went straight from full on meat and/or dairy eating, junk food downing, smoking and/or hardly exercising (I myself needed improvement in the junk food and exercising categories), to nothing but raw foods – not easy. Starting as a vegan made the transition a little less drastic for me. To make a raw food ‘live-it’ work as smoothly as possible, a gradual change might be easier for both your body and your brain to process.

2. Prepare Ahead

Sticking to raw foods at home was easiest because we emptied our fridge of all temptations. When you’re out and about in the world, things get tricky. Plan ahead! Bring snacks and leftovers and find restaurants with raw food options so you’re never wandering around hungry and aimless!

3. Avoid Alcohol

I admit, this was not a no alcohol month. Not surprisingly, the times I struggled the most were the times I went out to dinner with friends and had drinks. My booze tolerance is next to nothing. After two glasses of wine I approach full on deep-fried carb-packed cravings. After 2 dinners like this, I realized that alcohol was not going to be a friend of my raw food challenge. Shocking.

4. Have a Support System

Doing this month with my husband and friends made all the difference. My hubby and I often spent Saturday nights in the aisles of Whole Foods with our recipes in hand. It was fun and even kind of romantic :)

5. Watch Your Ecology

Being healthy and feeling great isn’t just about the foods you eat. It’s also about how much you exercise, your lifestyle and your emotions. To feel good you have to check all your systems and fine tune them. One thing cannot carry all the rest by itself!

6. Get Creative

As mentioned earlier, you simply cannot eat the same thing everyday. A lazy raw food diet could mean salad, a handful of nuts and some fruit, every-single-day; here enters food boredom and stir-crazy cravings. To prevent this, we got creative and constantly tried new things.

We’ve made everything from raw chili, to raw mushroom “calamari”, to raw veggie burgers, to raw spaghetti and tomato sauce, to raw jicama fries, to Nathalie’s raw strawberry shortcake and key lime pie! Not to mention the endless amount of smoothies and juices we’ve concocted. Have fun with it, get good recipe books/websites and get your creative green juices flowing!

Liz Longacre is the founder of Your Time Travels, a travel company for animal lovers. Whether you want to volunteer abroad with animal welfare projects, go on safari adventures, enjoy vegan resorts, or travel with your own adorable pets, her company can get you there! You can keep up with Liz at her blog Yourtimetravels.com/blog and website www.YourTimeTravels.com.