I’ve always been a person with a penchant for lists. Although generally my lists are full of tasks and reminders, once and awhile I get to write a list that is an itinerary for adventures in Hawaii or an awesome list of gift ideas from my favourite vegan companies and ambassadors. I like to savour those lists and share them with you ( you can take my to-do lists too).
1. Gifts to make life easier
As much as I keep making my new years resolution – simplify life – by the time December rolls around I seem to be right back living in the eye of a hurricane. Swirling, swirling, swirling. So, this year I’m dreaming of some local options that bring great, healthful food to your door.
Donate Naturally is an amazing organization that will deliver organic produce to your door (plus they donate 15% of your purchase to a cause of your choice!). They delivered a huge bin of beautiful, fresh organic produce that kept me happy, healthy and well fed for a week.
Green Zebra Kitchen – which I already swooned over in my review has been on my wishlist ever since I spent a week enjoying every bite of their pre-made meals.
And, Belmonte Raw my number one choice for incredible juices in the city. Each jar will give you the energy you need to take on the daily task tornado (yes, I know that’s a whole new storm in one paragraph). Belmonte Raw delivers juices, raw meals and cleanses to your door. I just want some grapefruit and spirulina right now.
2. Gifts to make life more fun
Surprises are fantastic. Little gifts, picked out by friends can make your day, or your month. My friends over at Vegan Cuts has us all covered (including any of your special friends, deserving of some extra attention this year). You can subscribe to their Snack Box and Beauty Box program and get a specially curated box of vegan awesomeness delivered to your door every month (yes, even in Canada).
3. Gifts to make life more enjoyable
This year I searched and searched for great vegan boots – because winter is tough, but it really sucks when you spend the whole five months with cold, wet feet. Finally with some helpful crowd-sourced advice, I discovered Bogs. They are amazing! Not high fashion, but my new pair keep me comfy and dry even after hours of strolling along Toronto’s snow-covered streets.
Also…Sir Richard’s condoms. (vegan-friendly fun! – between consenting adults, of course)
4. Gifts to make life healthier
Membership to Christy Morgan’s phenomenal on-line Wellness Reboot program would be a perfect gift for the active (or soon to be active) person in your life. Nicole did an amazing review here.
This year Vegan for Her, the quintessential book for being a healthy vegan wonder woman for life hit the shelves. Get it for yourself, the ladies you love or for your vegan nutrition reference library (I like to have sources for those “what if..on a desert island” type questions).
5. Gifts to make life more delicious
Every year there are more and more amazing vegan cookbooks to inspire impressive plant-based meals. This year, my top picks are Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate (you can read Nicole’s review here) and Isa Does It (which I just reviewed last week).
And as you may have heard, Nicole and I just released our second eBook called Edible Gifts. It is filled with 15 fabulous gift ideas that you can share with your friends and family this holiday season (or really anytime of year). You can pick up your copy right here and get gifting.
There is a recipe for this chocolate maple pecan brittle – which has been in high demand with my friends.
Single-serve cherry cheesecakes – a lovely dessert to make ahead for a holiday dinner party.
Unforgettable chai caramel corn. Seriously, unforgettable. And so many more delightful treats like this banana bread biscotti, which would make a lovely afternoon surprise any time of year. In fact, I’d like to share it with you right now.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp raw walnuts
- 1 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a food processor, pulse the almonds into a fine flour.
- Add the flax, banana, dates, maple syrup, baking soda, salt and vanilla extract to the food processor. Blend until a thick dough forms.
- Add the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pulse a couple of times to distribute throughout the dough.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat, form the dough into a rectangular log about 6x4 inches. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until the top has browned.
- Cool until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack (about 8 to 10 minutes). Transfer to the cooling rack and continue to cool until firm enough to slice (another 10 minutes).
- Slice crosswise into 8 biscotti slices.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Return the cookies to the lined baking sheet, cut-side up. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container.
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Happy Holidays! I hope yours are filled with love and laughter.