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Top 10 Gifts for the Health-Conscious Cook

Cooking GiftsFrom the foods we consume to the kitchen tools we use, healthy eating is always a worthwhile investment. Here are some ideas for gift-giving to encourage that healthy cook in your life—or to pass along to that special person looking for gift ideas for you!

(All prices listed are approximate, and all links are to for simplicity. Better prices may be found elsewhere.)

  1. Food Dehydrator ($250)

    Beef jerky, dried herbs, fruit leathers, flax crackers—the versatility of the dehydrator is immeasurable. From sprouted seeds to kale chips to yogurt, dehydrators preserve the nutrients in just about any food. (We have it on good authority that moisture-ridden iPods may also be salvaged!)

    Two popular dehydrator brands are Excalibur and Nesco. The website Dehydrator Review offers an excellent product comparison.

  2. Vitamix ($270-$580)

    This is a food processor, smoothie maker, flour grinder, and much more. It can be used to make nut butters, to puree soups, and to blend coconut milk. You can make a green juice by blending the greens and then straining through a nut milk bag. The Vitamix is extremely durable and easy to clean. Blendtec also offers a similar product. The website Perfect Smoothie gives an interesting comparison of the two.

  3. Juicer ($260-$570)

    The twin-gear technology of the Green Star Juicer makes it the number one choice for a healing regimen, according to the Best Juicers website. There is very little waste with the Green Star, because of the twin gears. The juicer is safe to use and easy to reassemble. The Omega J8005 Juicer is more affordable and also gets great reviews.

  4. Food Processor ($50-$135)

    A food processor cannot be beat for chopping vegetables. According to the Consumer Search website, the best budget food processor is the Hamilton Beach Chef Prep for less than $50. The best overall processor, according to reviewers, is the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus for approximately $135.

  5. Stainless Steel Ice Cube Trays ($35)

    Plastic ice cube trays can alter taste and leach chemicals. Stainless steel ice cube trays offer a safer option, especially if using filtered water!

  6. Coffee Grinder ($15)

    This tool is useful for grinding spices, seeds, nuts, and herbs.

  7. Funnel ($10)

    Mason jars abound in any natural kitchen. This funnel makes the transfer of liquids a breeze. This is a must-have for making soup broths, transferring oils between containers, pouring kefirs, and more. Add a mesh strainer and you can filter as you transfer.

  8. Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds ($30)

    This set of six molds may be expensive, but it will last forever. This is a great way to offer a healthy snack to kids. Make a fruit smoothie and pour into molds. Popsicle sticks will need to be replenished.

  9. Knife ($50-$350)

    A dependable knife is critical. A chef's knife and a paring knife make a good pair. Global is an outstanding brand. Other recommended brands include Wusthof and J.A. Henckels.

  10. Fermentation Jar or Crock ($8-$320)

    Proper equipment is essential for fermentation. Consider a fermenting crock pot or a glass jar with an airlock for fermenting vegetables. Pickl-It has an excellent selection of fermentation jars. Fido jars work well for fruit chutneys and condiments, as well as cultured vegetables.


"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

This site is dedicated to a true friend and mother — Barbara Dell Kessel (1929-2009)