It’s time for my annual Holiday Gift Guide! As in years past, I’m about to let you in on my favorite gadgets, cooking tools, and cookbooks that’ll fit both your budget AND your buddies’ oh-so-discriminating tastes—that is, assuming they’re into exactly the same sorts of things I’m into here at Nom Nom Paleo World Headquarters. Plus, with the space-age techno-power of online shopping, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your couch to get your holiday shopping done!
Just like my previous years’ holiday gift guides, this list consists of stuff that’s truly brought real joy to my life. You won’t find anything here that I was paid to endorse despite never having tried—in fact, I’ve personally bought, own, use, and love every single item in this Holiday Gift Guide. (Even my own cookbook, calendar, and Magic Mushroom Powder, believe it or not.) After all, if it’s not something worth spending my own money on, I shouldn’t be recommending it, right? (Full disclosure: Although I’m not paid to endorse any of the stuff in this Gift Guide, if you follow my affiliate links to purchase them, I do get a small percentage as a commission—though it won’t cost you an extra penny.)
Ready to lighten your wallet?
Gifts for Nomsters
Yes, I’m totally biased, but I truly believe that the bestest holiday present you can give yourself and your loved ones is our latest cookbook, Ready or Not! (REALLY!)
Our book is all about making healthy paleo home cooking a breeze, no matter if there’s time to prepare or just minutes to spare. Whether you’re a fastidious planner or a last-minute improviser, you’ll find plenty of deliciously nourishing options, from make-ahead feasts and treats to lightning-fast leftover makeovers and make-now meals. Presented in our trademark comic book style, Ready or Not!’s step-by-step recipes, photos, and meal plans make cooking a habit you’ll never want to break.
In fact, Henry and I poured our hearts and souls into this book, testing each and every recipe on our family, shooting every one of the 2,000+ photographs in our home kitchen, meticulously drawing every illustration, and designing and laying out every page.
Ready or Not! was a New York Times bestseller, and hit #1 on both the Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists for Hardcover Nonfiction. Our book made it to the Semifinals of Goodreads’ Choice Awards in the Food & Cookbooks category, and Amazon named it one of the 15 best books of 2017 in Cooking & Wine—so you know it’s pretty darn good!
Ready or Not! is available wherever books are sold (in the U.S. and all over the world!) so snag a copy or three for your favorite people. If you or your pals are thinking of doing a Whole30 or paleo reset in the new year or simply want to get your kids in the kitchen, this cookbook is the perfect gift!
(And by the way, if you pals don’t yet have a copy of my first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, grab one for them, too!)
If you love our cookbooks and 2018 wall calendar, you’ll definitely dig our brand-new One and Done: A Nom Nom Paleo 2019 Wall Calendar!
Presented in our zany trademark comic-book style, the One and Done: A Nom Nom Paleo 2019 Wall Calendar will inspire you all year round with deliciously hassle-free meals made in just one pot or pan. Each month of this cartoon-packed wall calendar features a different Paleo and Whole30-friendly recipe, such as Thai Curry Chicken Casserole and Paleo Chicken Chow Mein. It also comes with colorful stickers! Hang this on your wall, and One and Done will make healthy cooking a breeze throughout the year.
Buy our calendar from Amazon here!
Never tried my Magic Mushroom Powder? It’s one of the most potent flavor boosters in my kitchen arsenal—an umami-packed seasoning salt that made The Oregonian’s Test Kitchen “rethink everything [they]’ve been doing in the kitchen.” Magic Mushroom Powder can be used in place of salt in virtually any dish, adding an immediate flavor punch to everything from scrambled eggs and ground meat to roasted veggies and chicken wings. I always keep Magic Mushroom Powder stocked in my kitchen, and you can, too! Make it yourself using this recipe—and give it away as stocking stuffers to your favorite foodies.
Too lazy to D.I.Y.? Magic Mushroom Powder is now available in cute tins at Whole Foods Market NATIONWIDE. You can find my Magic Mushroom Powder stocked at the butcher counter and/or the spice aisle! If you’re driving from far away, call your local Whole Foods Market first to make sure it’s in stock—if not, ask the store to re-order!
Gift for Healthy Techies
Hands down, the one purchase that has brought me the most joy this year is my Oura Ring. This sleek ring is one of the coolest, smallest, and most powerful sleep and activity trackers on the market. I’m a fitness gadget hoarder and I’m not afraid to admit it—I’ve bought and tested almost all the other highly-rated fitness trackers on the market (including the Bodybugg, various Fitbits, Jawbone Up, Misfit Shine, Basis, and Apple Watch)—but the Oura Ring is by far my favorite.
What sets the Oura Ring apart? It’s one of the most accurate sleep tracking devices that consumers can buy. And somehow, Oura managed to tuck all of the sensors and fancy technological hoo-haw into an elegant and lightweight ring. You can even wear it on airplane mode!
I prioritize good sleep over EVERYTHING because sleep is more determinative of personal health than just about anything. As a recovering nightshift worker, I know firsthand the damaging side effects of going against your natural circadian rhythm. That’s why I use the Oura to help track my sleep, recovery, activity, heart rate variability, and body temperature so I can use my daily data and “Readiness“ score to improve my sleep situation the following night. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep or my body temperature is elevated, the Oura reminds me to take it easy the next day and to go to bed at the optimal time. I can also use the tracked data to figure out what I did the night before that impacted my sleep. For example, after consulting the data from my Oura Ring, I’ve learned that if I go to bed by 10 p.m. and finish my last meal of the day by early evening, I normally get more rejuvenating deep sleep than if I stay up to midnight—even if I sleep for 8 hours in both cases. One to grow on!
I know I might not be able to fix all the damage caused by years of shift work, but with my Oura Ring, I can make sure my sleep from here on out is good. If you’re ready to fix your sleep, too, grab yourself an Oura Ring by clicking here!
Gifts for Instant Potheads
I’ve been such an evangelist and advocate for Instant Pot that many people assume I’m some sort of paid spokesperson for the brand. Nope. I simply adore using Instant Pots to make fast and delicious recipes and I want everyone to do the same!
To be honest, even though Instant Pots are multi-use cookers (meaning they can handle everything from slow cooking to yogurt making), the electric pressure cooker function is my favorite, and the one I primarily use. But what an electric pressure cooker it is! Seriously: The Instant Pot will change your life and streamline the process of getting tasty hot food in your craw.
I’m always asked to recommend my favorite Instant Pot models and they haven’t changed since last year:
Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus: This 9-in-1 6-quart multi-use cooker gives you a lot of bang for the buck. I used to recommend the IP-DUO 7-in-1 cooker as the best one of the lot, but this updated version is even better. Users provided tons of great feedback about how Instant Pot could enhance the older version, like adding a max-fill line in the insert, changing the button labeled “Manual” to “Pressure Cook,” and cramming a bunch of new features into the gadget. Instant Pot clearly listened, and incorporated all of these improvements into the IP-DUO Plus. Get one from Amazon here!
Instant Pot Ultra: This one’s my favorite—it wins by a nose over the IP-DUO Plus. Why? Because it’s more sleek looking, has a central dial with turn-and-press functionality, a cooking progress indicator, and a steam release reset button (to appease those of you who are skittish about the escaping steam when you manually release pressure). The dial may be a bit confusing for those who prefer buttons, but it allows for greater customization and precision. Get one from Amazon here!
I recommend getting the 6-quart size for families of four to six and increasing to the 8-quart size if you have a larger family or love to cook in bulk. I’ll be sure to let you know whenever these babies are on sale, and I always update my Instant Pot Deals page with the latest bargains. Oh, and don’t forget to check out my ever-growing list of Instant Pot recipes!
I don’t think it’s necessary to own a bunch of accessories for the Instant Pot, but this Oxo silicone pressure cooker egg rack is pretty nifty. If you love pressure cooking hard “boiled” eggs in the Instant Pot as much as I do, this item is a game changer. I like it even better than the silicone steamer insert ’cause the eggs stay in place, which means they won’t crack during the cooking process. Plus, you can buy two racks and stack them to make a crazy-big batch of hard boiled eggs. Buy one (or two) egg racks right here.
Instant Pot Cookbooks
Yes, you can get Instant Pot recipes for free all over the internet—including all of mine on this ever-expanding recipe roundup—but if you’re like me, you still love cooking through actual cookbooks. It seems like there’s a bazillion Instant Pot cookbooks on the market right now, but at the moment, there are three cookbooks that I’m really digging.
First up, my pal Coco Morante has written a new pressure cooking tome, The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook! It’s not a paleo cookbook, but in its pages, you’ll find tons of recipes, tips, and tricks for almost everything that you can cook in an Instant Pot. There’s a reason the word “Ultimate” is right there on the cover! Get one here.
If you’re looking for a purely paleo Instant Pot cookbook, the always amazing Jennifer Robins has you covered—yet again! She recently released Affordable Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: Quick + Clean Meals on a Budget, and it’s perfect for anyone who craves delicious noms without spending a fortune. Get a copy here.
Love the Instant Pot, but searching for a recipe book that covers other cooking methods, too? Danielle Walker’s upcoming cookbook, Eat What You Love, is filled with nourishing paleo-friendly comfort food recipes that always work. I have a preview copy, and I guarantee you’ll love it as much as I do. And yes, the Instant Pot recipes in Danielle’s book are incredible! Nab a copy here.
Gifts For Foodies/Cooks
I love, love, LOVE Primal Palate Organic Spices! I use ’em all the time to level-up plain veggies and protein, and I recommend these spices to all my pals. I love all the blends offered by my pals Bill and Hayley at Primal Palate, but I particularly love their Adobo Seasoning and Meat and Potatoes Seasoning.
This year, Primal Palate is introducing The 2019 Spice of the Month Club —a gift that keeps on giving! Every quarter, you (or your lucky gift recipient) will get a shipment that includes three new spice blends and three recipe cards that go with the blends (along with a fun 2019 calendar in the first shipment). It’s the perfect way to keep your pantry stocked with delicious, fresh spices all year long. Get a 6-month or 12-month subscription here!
Do you love Ollie’s Cracklin’ Chicken, but hate the inevitable greasy mess? Then I’ve got just the kitchen miracle for you…the Frywall! This is a flexible, heat-resistant silicone splatter “wall” that you put in your skillet to keep your stovetop clean from grease, oil mists, and bubbling liquids. The Frywall comes in three different sizes, is heat-resistant up to 450ºF, folds up small for storage, and is dishwasher safe. You can finally replace your hard-to-clean splatter guard, people!
Besides, if Lori Grenier (my favorite shark on ABC’s Shark Tank) invested $100,000 in Frywall, you know it’s a cool invention! Get one here.
Love tea, but hate the waste of using single-use tea bags? I recently started buying loose leaf tea and found the perfect extra-fine infuser at one of my favorite Portland coffee shops. The FORLIFE Extra-fine Tea Infuser fits on any size mug, and the tea leaves stay put. This handy little tool even comes with a cute little dish so you’ll have somewhere to put the infuser once your tea is done steeping. Get one for your tea loving pals here.
The Breville Smart Oven Air is worth the splurge for the folks that want a small but powerful convection oven on their countertop! I previously owned (and loved) the earlier model without the Air Fryer and Dehydrate mode, but this new one is absolutely indispensable. Loyal, eagle-eyed Nomsters know that I actually use my Breville Smart Oven Air more than my wall oven because I can roast almost everything in it, and it takes almost no time to preheat! Buy one here.
Gifts For (Lazy) Beauties
I would never, ever presume to be an expert on beauty products, but I have to tell you about two items I started using this year that’ll make fun stocking stuffers for your friends who want low-maintenance beauty care products.
Okay, when I first heard about Baby Foot, I was skeptical…and slightly horrified. It’s basically a chemical peel for your feet that you can apply at home. It involves wearing a pair of plastic-bag booties filled with a special gel for an hour, and then waiting a few days before your callouses and dry skin start sloughing off. It’s gross, and I love it.
Even if you’re too freaked out to try it, Baby Foot makes a great gag gift! Get one here.
If you hate washing your hair as much as I do, you’ll love R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste! It totally absorbs oil and adds texture to my fine hair. Plus, I can use it to style my hair into my signature braids. Win-win! Get some here.
Okay—that’s it! Those are my picks for this year! Want more suggestions? You can check out my holiday gift guides for 2016 and 2017 ’cause I still love and use almost everything on these past holiday gift guides. I also have a page on Amazon for all of my favorite kitchen tools, gadgets, pantry items, and sleep hacks here.
Now that you’ve gotten your holiday shopping done, get off the couch and do something fun!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!37