With holiday season in full swing, no doubt you are shopping for loved ones, friends and coworkers.
If anyone on your list enjoys cooking, a kitchen item might make the perfect gift.
Or, perhaps you know someone who is looking to make some healthier changes as a New Year’s goal. That means eating out less and making more meals at home. So, a beginner-level kitchen item could be a supportive gift to help them get started.
There are enough kitchen items out there for anyone to enjoy, whether they are inexperienced in cooking or they’ve been making meals for years.
Here are a few gift ideas:
- A cookbook: Tailor it to their exact likes, needs or goals, such as vegetarian; a certain ethnic food style they want to master; or, for a specific health condition, such as diabetes-friendly recipes.
- Someone looking to lose weight might enjoy a food scale. This is a great way to determine serving sizes and practice portion control. This tool can come in handy, too, for bakers. Many bakers swear that weighing ingredients with a scale is much more accurate than measuring ingredients with a measuring cup.
- An herb and spice kit is another great gift. Some kits can have as many as 40 herbs and spices.
For new kits, a smaller-sized basic kit would be a better starting place, so they don’t become overwhelmed by too many choices. By starting smaller, they can learn which ones are their favorites before experimenting with more exotic flavors.
- Multi-purpose knives. Every chef needs some essential multi-purpose knives, such as the chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated bread knife. These knives will get almost any cutting task accomplished and are usually found together in a knife block set with a knife sharpener.
- Bread maker: For those that want to “eat cleaner,” a bread maker could be a great gift idea. After all, have you seen how many ingredients are in a loaf of bread? Also, someone that wants to avoid gluten may prefer to make their own bread instead of buying the expensive gluten-free options.
- Air fryer: This product is great for frying food without the fat/oil. Some have settings that lets you use it to bake, broil and roast, too. I personally just started using an air fryer. I’ve enjoyed using it in the hotter months when I didn’t want to turn on the oven.
- Spiralizer: A spiralizer can turn certain vegetables into ribbon/noodle shapes. Whether someone wants to cut back on carbs or wants to sneak in more vegetables to pasta dishes, a spiralizer is a fun way to increase vegetable intake. It can’t spiralize every vegetable, but it works on zucchini, carrots, onion, cabbage and others.
- Multi-cooker/electric pressure cooker — many think of this kitchen tool by the brand name, the Instant Pot. This has been a hit all year, likely because it is so versatile. Some are even seven-in-one or nine-in-one features. It’s a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice maker, a yogurt maker, steamer, cake maker and more. For the home cook that does it all but doesn’t have one of these yet, you can feel confident that this is something they will enjoy. There are also accessories that you could give, such as a steamer basket or egg rack.
- Panini press grill machine. Some machines make more then paninis; they can also make quesadillas and do indoor grilling. This may be especially helpful for those who live alone because it can make an easy hot meal that doesn’t create many leftovers.
When you’re out shopping, be sure to keep in mind the recipient’s kitchen space. If he or she has a small kitchen, steer clear of large, bulky items.
The gift should fit not only your budget, but also the recipient’s lifestyle and living arrangements.
There are many gadgets out there to make cooking easier and more enjoyable, and you can help your family and friends find items that work for them.
Happy shopping, and happy holidays!
By Shari Bresin
Shari Bresin is the Family & Consumer Science Agent for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension Pasco County.
Published December 11, 2019
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