Holiday
Gift Guide

Product Guide

We carefully select products of high quality at a good price; the kind of stuff that's too good to find at the local store.

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Disclaimer: We are not doctors nor nutritionists (but we are great at research!), so please don't consider what you read on this page to be medical advice.

Disclosure: The products recommended on this page are affiliate links, allowing us to earn a commission on each purchase. (So we can keep the lights on!)


Table of Contents

Spices

bay leaves

Drop a few bay leaves in your soup or stew and you won't regret it. Enjoy its flavor and medicinal benefits but remove it from your dish when done cooking, so it doesn't scratch your insides. The Greeks made wreaths out of this herb to crown their heroes. The West Indian bay leaf is made into a cologne called "bay rum". Some people use it to repel moths and other insects. Bay leaf oil is used in cosmetics, soaps and detergents.

Our Recommendation

Whole Certified Organic Bay Leaf by Frontier

cinnamon powder

Cinnamon was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god.

Cinnamon has a long history of use in traditional medicine, but there is no evidence that it is useful to treat any medical condition. It is used in many dessert recipes, such as apple pie, doughnuts, and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs, as well as as an alcohol flavorant.

Our Recommendation

Certified Organic Ground Cinnamon by Simply Organic

garlic

This stinky super herb is nothing but awesome. Your friends might hate it, but your heart will absolutely love you for eating it. Sautee it in oil to release the flavor. The benefits of garlic are endless and often scientifically proven. In one study, it even showed to boost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet. Finish your garlicky meal with a sip of milk to reduce bad breath, or cook it with mushrooms and basil and your friends will thank you. In Europe, many cultures have used garlic for protection or white magic. It is recommended that people with vampire problems should always have garlic on hand.

Our Recommendation

Minced Organic Garlic by Whole Spice

paprika powder

Paprika is a Hungarian staple which makes goulash irresistible and is also widely used around the globe to flavor and color many dishes. When combined with various herbs, it makes for an excellent spice mix. The capsicum in paprika is used to treat many digestive and blood circulation problems, as well as relief for toothache, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria and fever. If applied directly to skin, it helps alleviate nerve and arthritis pain. If mixed with henna, it gives hair a reddish tint when coloring it. Paprika has more vitamin C by weight than lemon juice.

Our Recommendation

Organic Ground Paprika by Frontier

red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes are sauteed garlic and onion's best friend. They can be used for pickling, pizza, pasta sauces, soups and to spice up any of your favorite dishes. Peppers, in general, may be linked to weight loss and pain reduction and they even contain some vitamins and many phytochemicals with antioxidant abilities.

Our Recommendation

Crushed Red Pepper by Simply Organic

basil

We haven't filled this in yet. Stay tuned.
Our Recommendation

Frontier Basil Leaf, Sweet-domestic, C/s Certified Organic by Frontier

chili powder

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Our Recommendation

Organic Chili Powder Blend by Frontier

chives

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Our Recommendation

Organic Chives by Frontier

cumin powder

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Our Recommendation

Organic Cumin Seeds Powder by Indus Organics

dill

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Our Recommendation

Organic Cut and Sifted Dill Weed by Starwest Botanicals

Italian seasoning

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Our Recommendation

Salt-Free Organic Italian Seasoning by Starwest Botanicals

oregano flakes

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Our Recommendation

Organic Mediterranean Oregano by Frontier

chili pepper flakes

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Our Recommendation

Cayenne Pepper Flakes by Indus Organics

black pepper

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Our Recommendation

Organic Black Peppercorns by Starwest Botanicals

mixed peppercorns

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Our Recommendation

Pepper Rainbow by India Tree

salt

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Our Recommendation

Fine Ground Himalayan Pink Salt by The Spice Lab

turmeric powder

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Our Recommendation

Organic Turmeric Powder by Idus Organics

Nuts

walnuts

Compared to other tree nuts and ground nuts, walnuts (particularly in their raw form) contain the highest level and potency of antioxidants, including free antioxidants and antioxidants bound to fiber. Walnuts are a nutrient-dense food, but you can also use the husks to dye your t-shirt or your hair, as they did in Europe a long time ago.

Our Recommendation

Raw, No Shell Walnuts by Food to Live

Vegetables

carrots

Cut carrots lengthwise and use them to scoop up hummus and other yummy dips. Carrots are full of vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene, but eat too many of them and you'll turn into one -- your skin will become slightly orange. Carrots make soups delicious and salads colorful. Grill them with a pinch of salt for a nice crunchy side to your dish.

Our Recommendation

We haven't found any particular product to recommend, yet.

celery

Celery is often used as an aid to weight-loss and is full of fiber. It barely has any calories and its crunchy texture is best for adding to soups, salads and stuffings, or for dipping your favorite sauces. The ancient Greeks used celery to make wine.

Our Recommendation

We haven't found any particular product to recommend, yet.

lentils

Lentils are your super-healthy legume friends. Soak the lentils for about 2 hours to make them easier to cook and digest. Lentils, when combined with rice or pasta make for a complete protein. Lentils can be sprouted and added to salads and veggie stir fries. Lentils may help lower your cholesterol levels and manage blood sugar levels. They are also full of minerals, two B-vitamins and contain almost no fat.

Our Recommendation

GMO-Free Spanish Brown Pardina Lentils by Palouse Brand

onion

While onions will make your eyes tear, your body will thank you for eating them. Digestion, high blood pressure, sore throat -- you name it. Like a superhero, onions are everywhere, and with every dish they help your body destroy the little villians in your gut. Rub onion on your insect bite to stop it from itching. The ancient Egyptians worshipped it, believing its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternal life. We say, why not?

Our Recommendation

We haven't found any particular product to recommend, yet.

canned tomatoes

Some people believe that the lycopene in tomatoes helps prevent many cancers and lowers blood pressure, helps with the common cold and treats digestive disorders. It may also help protect your skin against sunburn and keep it healthy and young-looking. Make it easier for your body to absorb the goodies in this often-mistaken-for-a-veggie fruit, and always cook your tomatoes.

Our Recommendation

Fire Roasted Organic Diced Tomatoes by Muir Glen

black beans

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Our Recommendation

Organic Black Beans by Eden

red kidney beans

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Our Recommendation

Organic Kidney Beans by Eden

chickpeas

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Our Recommendation

GMO-Free Garbanzo Beans by Palouse Brand

macaroni pasta

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Our Recommendation

Quinoa Gluten-Free Organic Elbow Pasta by Ancient Harvest

Basmati rice

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Our Recommendation

Organic Indian Basmati Rice by Village Harvest

Fruits

bananas

Bananas are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but a great source of vitamin B6 and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin c, potassium, and manganese.

Our Recommendation

None by None

figs

The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans. Rich in fiber and the essential mineral, manganese, they were one of the Romans' favorite snacks. Munch on a fig as a healthy alternative to sugary snacks, or bake them into any pastry for some natural sweetness and crunch.

Our Recommendation

Turkish Jumbo Dried Figs (Sulfite Free, No Added Sugar, Freshly Packed, Premium Grade) by Indus Organics

Other

None

cocoa powder

Cocoa powder is one of the richest sources of flavanol antioxidants. How flavanols benefit cardiovascular health is still under debate. It has been suggested that the flavanols may take part in mechanisms such as nitric oxide and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet effects. Benefiting these mechanisms may improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure, and insulin resistance.

Our Recommendation

Fair Trade Organic Raw Cacao Powder by TruVibe Organics

vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is the most common form of vanilla used today. Mexican, Tahitian, Indonesian and Bourbon vanilla are the main varieties. Bourbon vanilla is named for the period when the island of Réunion was ruled by the Bourbon kings of France; it does not contain Bourbon whiskey.

Our Recommendation

Certified Organic Pure Vanilla Extract by Simply Organic

Milk

almond milk

Almond milk is free of cholesterol and lactose, and has a nutty fravor. It can help boost digestive health by increasing the levels of beneficial bacteria in the stomach.

Our Recommendation

Almond Breeze Almond Milk Unsweetened Vanilla by Blue Diamond Almonds

Oil

olive oil

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Our Recommendation

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Zoe

Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

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Our Recommendation

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar by Bragg

None

chia seeds

Chia are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and calcium. Chia seeds may be added to foods as a topping or put into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, granola bars, yogurt, tortillas, bread, made into a gelatin-like substance or consumed raw. You can even make your own chia pet, they are easy to sprout!

Our Recommendation

Raw, Non-GMO, Organic Chia Seeds by Viva Labs

flax seeds

The Latin species name usitatissimum means most useful. Flax is grown for its oil, used as a nutritional supplement, and as an ingredient in many wood-finishing products. Flax is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. Flax fibers are used to make linen.

Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels. One of the main components of flax is lignan, which has plant estrogen as well as antioxidants (flax contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods contain).

Our Recommendation

Organic Flaxseed Meal by Bob's Red Mill

goji berries

Since the early 21st century, interest has increased for goji berries (a.k.a. wolf berries) because of their novelty and nutrient value. They have been termed a superfruit, which has led to a profusion of consumer products. In traditional medicine, the whole fruit or its extracts have numerous implied health effects, which remain scientifically unconfirmed as of 2014. Goji berries are also used to make wine.

Our Recommendation

Certified Organic Goji Berries by HealthWorks

indian gooseberry

This super sour fruit is has undergone preliminary research, demonstrating in vitro antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Experimental preparations of leaves, bark or fruit have shown potential efficacy against laboratory models of disease, such as for inflammation, cancer, age-related renal disease, and diabetes. The fruit is used in traditional Indian medicine, and is also believed to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature gray hair.

Our Recommendation

Terrasoul Superfoods Amla Powder by Terrasoul Superfoods

hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are high in essential fatty acids and protein. They can be consumed raw, ground into a meal, sprouted, made into hemp milk, prepared as tea, and used in baking. And no, hemp seeds will not get you high. Not even a little.

Our Recommendation

Organic Shelled Hempseeds by Nutiva

coconut oil

Coconut oil is a common flavor in many South Asian curries. It's super high in saturated fat, but because much of the saturated fat of coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, coconut oil may be a better alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when solid fats are required. In addition, virgin coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain triglycerides, which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats. It can be used as a skin moisturizer, and to reduce protein loss when used in hair.

Our Recommendation

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil by Viva Labs

stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, and can be 150 times sweeter than sugar. It has zero calories, which makes it a good sugar substitute for the health-conscious.

Our Recommendation

Sweet Drops Vanilla Creme Flavored Liquid Stevia by SweetLeaf

Equipment

blender

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Our Recommendation

The Professional's Choice Total Blender by Blendtec

sauce pan

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Our Recommendation

Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set by Anolon

saucier pan

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Our Recommendation

Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set by Anolon

sauté pan

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Our Recommendation

Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set by Anolon

skillet

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Our Recommendation

Cast-Iron Pre-Seasoned Skillet by Lodge

big pot

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Our Recommendation

Nouvelle Copper 4 Quart Covered Saute Pot by Anolon

stew pot

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Our Recommendation

Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set by Anolon

stock pot

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Our Recommendation

Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set by Anolon