Dairy and Egg-Free Holiday Gifts
Holidays are all about enjoying food so there is no better time to give a palate pleaser than now. Not everyone is a foodie but most people appreciate holiday cookies, chocolate, nut butters, sweets, pure maple syrup, colossal roasted cashews, award winning crispy potato chips made with extra virgin olive oil, pastries, fresh fruit, and chewy, sweet dates. All of the products are made by small business who make exceptional food. And, best of all none of these products contain dairy or eggs!
Christmas Cookie Tin by L’Artisane Creative Bakery
If traditional European cookies are a favorite, no one makes better cookies than L’Artisane Bakery in Coral Gables, Florida. Carolina Molea is the genius pastry chef behind this operation and she has done what no one else has been able to do: create delicious vegan desserts that taste like the real thing.
The European Style Cookie Tin contains a variety of 20 cookies including Hazelnut Praline, Chocolate Diamond, Walnuts and Lemon Glaze, Vanilla with Cherry, Chocolate and Orange, and Vanilla with Strawberry Jam and Chocolate Glaze. Each tin is $30 plus shipping. Order right away. These tins sell out very quickly. www.lartisanebakeryshop.com
Chocolate by EH Chocolatier
EH Chocolatier has some of the finest dairy-free chocolate on the market. Consider the Tart Cherry Bites, Maple Pecan Bites, Dark Chocolate Granola, the Meltaway Collection, or my personal favorites: the Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bark and Dark Chocolate Single Origin Tasting Bars.
Truly scrumptious and setting a new high standard for dairy-free chocolate. Available in bags, packets, and beautiful gift boxes. www.ehchocolatier.com
Rainbow Cookie by Sweet Maresa’s Bakery
Sweet Maresa’s Bakery in Kingston, New York is one of the first all vegan bakeries in the country. During the holidays, the bakery makes a 1-pound Rainbow Cookie which is really more like a cake than a cookie. An Italian-American creation, the Rainbow Cookie is a moist almond-based cookie that cuts and tastes like cake (note: the small bite size are included in their Italian Cookie Tin (12 cookies including Anisette Biscotti, Pignolli Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookies, and Rainbow Cookies) for $38 plus shipping.
The 1-pound Rainbow Cookie is $38 plus shipping. Again, order early as these ship on specific dates (Dec 6,13 and 20) to guarantee freshness. www.sweetmaresas.com
Pastries by Layla’s Delicacies
For fans of middle-eastern pastries (baklava and more), Layla’s Delicacies – a New Jersey-based company offers 4 vegan options that are nut-based with superior ingredients. One of the most deletable treats is called the Samsa: a triangle-shaped little gem with a crispy outer layer made out of thin brik filo sheets and a moist filling made out of a mix of crunchy almonds and hazelnuts, with pistachios sprinkled on top. An 18-piece box is $35 or an 8-piece box is $19. For a selection, try the Vegan Limited Edition Box: 30 bite sized treats for $64 with $4.95 shipping.
Nut Butters by Big Spoon Roasters
Some of the most delicious handcrafted nut butters are made by Big Spoon Roasters in Durham, North Carolina. Consider the Pistachio Crunch Almond Butter made with heirloom mission almonds, pistachios, organic maple syrup, and Jacobsen sea salt ($14.95 for a 13-ounce jar) or choose a 4-jar (7.5 ounces each) variety pack for $24.95 plus shipping or a custom 2 jar (13-oounces each) for $27.95 plus shipping. www.bigspoonroasters.com
Maple Syrup by Escuminac
There’s nothing quite like warm maple syrup poured over a fresh stack of pancakes or waffles, especially on a cold winter day. Escuminac makes some of the most delicious maple syrup on the market and appeals to so many people because they make three types: light golden, amber, and dark harvest. All three are delicious and vary in maple intensity from light (light golden) to intense (dark harvest). Gift pack samplers (three 200 ml or 6.8 ounce bottles for $39.95 or three 500 ml or 16.9 ounce bottles for $63) for a beautiful and delicious gift sure to please everyone. www.amazon.com
Cashews by Koeze
No one sells colossal roasted cashews like Koeze’s, a Michigan-based purveyor of the freshest, highest quality nuts (especially cashews, which put them on the map). Delicious out of the jar but also fantastic sprinkled over a stir-fry, Koeze’s Colossal Cashews are the cashews of cashews. Sold in boxes (10 ounces for $19.95), tins (14 ounce for $26.95) and glass (reusable) decanters (20 ounces for $35.95 or 30 ounces for $49.95). www.koeze.com
Potato Chips by José Andrés
Before you question whether potato chips are a worthy gift, you need to understand the potato chips made by the famous Spanish chef, José Andrés are not ordinary potato chips. They are truly special. Made with three ingredients: potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and Himalayan sea salt, these potato chips are the Rolls Royce of potato chips (without the price tag). Two (2) 6.7 ounce bags are $15.95; 4 bags for $30.95; 8 bags for $59.95 plus shipping.. www.tienda.com
Fresh Fruit by Frog Hollow Farm
When it comes to fruit I am all for buying local as long as the quality is top notch: meaning organic and flavorful. When I can’t find these qualities in the fruit in grocery stores or if I want to send a special gift to someone during off-season, then I turn to Frog Hollow Farm in California. They actually grow the fruit (and it’s organic, sweet, and delicious) and sell single or mixed fruit boxes of seasonal fruit. In December, pears, apples, persimmons, kiwi, avocados, pomegranates, mangos, and oranges are available in small or large gift boxes from $21.99 plus shipping. www.froghollow.com
Dates by Shields Date Garden
Dates are often referred to as “nature’s candy” for good reason: these sweet, chewy fruit are delicious as is – no sweetener ever needed. As with most fruit, the quality of dates varies so choose wisely. Shields Date Garden in Indio, California sells the most succulent organic medjool dates right from their own date groves in Coachella Valley (yes, this area is also the place where the famous summer concerts are held). Although Shields offers a variety of sizes (1 pound -11 pounds) and types of dates, the 3-pound tub of organic Super Jumbo Medjool dates for $48.50 makes a fantastic gift. www.shieldsdategarden.com
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