The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas

13 Dec 2021

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The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas Photo: A cocktail kit always makes for a classy gift. Ron Lach

Shopping for Christmas gifts can sometimes be stressful. There we said it -- so here’s a life hack: buy gifts that have to do with food. After all, everybody loves to eat right? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. In fact, a simple food gift, whether it’s something edible or something for the kitchen shelf, can go a long way.

For the vegan friend with a sweet tooth

The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas Photo: @immira

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” once said Tom Hanks in the award-winning classic film Forrest Gump. Well, if it’s vegan, you’ll at least know it contains no animal derivatives.

If you have a vegan friend with a sweet tooth, chocolates are the perfect present. Go further and round up a few of the best vegan chocolate bars on the market to create a curated selection. Earlier, this year, we presented the best bars in our chocolate awards and Loveraw’s Cre&m Filled Wafer Bars, Nomo’s Caramel Chocolate Bars and Vego’s Whole Hazelnut Chocolate Bar came up tops. Take a step further and wrap these up in a pretty gift box and you will have yourself an actual box of chocolates.

For the vegan friend who (really) needs a drink

The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas Photo: Suntory

January is around the corner and unless your friend is participating in dry January, they could do with a little boozy pick me up (we all can, to be honest). For this group of boozehounds, a vegan cocktail kit would be a welcome addition to their homes. The good news is that hard liquors like gin, rum, whisky and vodka are all vegan as the distillation process does not require the use of animal products and make a great place to start building your cocktail kit.

abillion users have reviewed a modest range of spirits from Suntory’s Roku Gin to Ballantines Blended Scotch Whisky. If you know your friend’s favourite cocktail, you could base your kit off that tipple, going as elaborate as aperol and bitters or as simple as a good tonic and some fresh herbs.

For the vegan friend who loves trying new recipes

The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas Photo: Phaidon

Part of the joy of being vegan -- besides being kinder to the planet and living life knowing that you’re not harming any animals -- is in trying out new recipes. Vegan recipe books can serve as a source for inspiration when we’re out of ideas. There is now a greater diversity in cuisines when it comes to plant-based cookbooks than ever. For fans of Japanese cuisine, Vegan JapanEasy by Tim Anderson would make for the perfect gift. Nigella Lawson describes it as a “ravishingly beautiful book”. It contains over 80 recipes that are either naturally vegan or require simple substitutions.

Those who prefer the punchy flavours of Korean cuisine can cast their eye at The Korean Vegan Cookbook, where recipes tend to be a little more rustic and homely. If you know that your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, then our regular recipe contributor Chef Cynthia Louise will have you covered with her newly launched book, Celebrate Your Sweet Tooth. She has chosen plant-based ingredients that will leave you feeling good with absolutely no refined white sugar. She writes that these recipes: “nurture your body and its organs. They won’t lift you up on a refined sugar high and then dump you afterward.”

For the vegan friend who is extra careful about provenance

The ultimate foodie gift guide for your vegan friend this Christmas Photo: cottonbro

Sometimes the smallest gifts can be the most thoughtful. For vegan friends who are particular about either their food miles or the sources of their food, a tofu press or a nut milk bag would go a long way. Both are relatively inexpensive and will make a big impact on your vegan friend’s life.

For starters, tofu and nut milk are both staples that are consumed nearly every day. Being able to make their own tofu and plant-based milk is empowering; it means your friend can be their own producer of plant-based proteins, cutting down the need to rely on mass manufacturers.

There’s plenty of options for both in the market. For nut milk bags, we’d recommend Thai brand P&F’s Hemp Nut Milk Bag. Hemp is far more sustainable than cotton -- which is what most nut milk bags are made from. This particular bag measures a generous 13 inches across and is weaved close enough to require only one strain of most nut milks. For tofu presses, the Inkesky Tofu Cheese Maker & Press is a beautifully designed option. It’s made of sycamore wood and can make three pounds of tofu each time.

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