My holiday gift guide for 2021 has a little something for everyone on your list! If you’ve got cooks, moms, dads, health nuts, food lovers, and gadget lovers in your circle of friends and family, these gifts are sure to please them!
Yep—it’s that time of year again! While 2021 wasn’t quite the year most of us hoped for, we can still finish the year by giving presents that will put a smile on your loved ones’ faces. As loyal Nomsters know, every year I write up an epic holiday gift guide filled with items I’ve purchased, tested, and 100% endorse. That’s right: this isn’t a sponsored post and nothing in this post was given to me for free—so you can feel confident that I love every single thing on this list. In fact, you might spot a few repeats on this list from previous years’ gift guides because I’ve found them to be time-tested, super reliable, and the best gifts.
Got someone on your list who loves to cook, hoards gadgets, collects cookbooks, eats voraciously (but healthily), and/or could stand to indulge in some self care? Then I’m sure you can find the perfect present in my holiday gift guide!
Gifts for Cooks
Anyday microwave cookware are the one kitchen purchase that I have used EVERY SINGLE day since I bought them. These super durable, all-glass bowls have transformed the way I view my microwave—it’s now an essential cooking appliance rather than just a boring box that reheats leftovers.
Why are Anyday bowls so amazing?
- The bowls and lids are made of glass—a super durable, heat-resistant borosilicate.
- The lids feature a platinum-grade silicone rim so they form an airtight, leakproof seal. It also has a silicone knob that can be pulled up to create a vent when you’re microwaving. This way, the food can steam and cook in the bowls and not explode!
- All the bowls are dishwasher-, freezer-, and oven-safe as well. You can cook in them, store leftovers in them, and toss them in the dishwasher when you’re done!
- Believe it or not, the stainless metal around the edge of the lid is A-OK for the microwave oven! It’s specially designed to be microwave compatible because the metal is rounded and won’t spark.
When my old Philips air fryer needed to be replaced, I pored over online reviews before finally deciding on an Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6-quart air fryer. What tipped me over the edge? It’s the highest rated air fryer according to the experts at Cook’s Illustrated! Plus, the capacity of this air fryer is big enough to feed my family (it fits at least 6 chicken thighs) and the basket can be easily hand-washed with hot soapy water.
One minus: this air fryer smells a bit plastic-y the first time you use it, but don’t worry—the smell quickly dissipates. My family now uses it regularly to cook lots of tasty stuff, including my Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Air Fryer Cracklin’ Chicken, and Air Fryer Carrots. It’s the most wished-for countertop appliance for good reason! Get one here.
I used to never cook outside on the grill—but that all changed when I got a Traeger Ironwood 885 pellet-fired grill. It’s really freaking easy to use and produces consistent, reliably delicious results: just set the digital control to the desired temperature and pop in your meat. The flavored wood pellets add a wonderful smoky essence to whatever you’re cooking. Bonus: you’ll look like a badass with a Traeger. Get one here.
My favorite instant-read thermometer of all-time was just upgraded this year! The Thermapen One is faster (it now reads in 1 second!) and even more accurate than the previous versions. My Thermapen One is the not-so-secret reason my meat dishes come out perfectly. Get one here.
Looking for an even more high tech meat thermometer? Get a Meater Plus! The Meater Plus is a wireless meat thermometer that you can stab in your hunk of meat before you pop it in the grill or oven; you can then monitor the progress of your meat via your iPhone or tablet. It’s drop-dead easy to use and super accurate. Trust me: all the cooking nerds in your life will love it! Get one here.
Despite years of developing recipes, my cutting skills remain mediocre at best. That’s why I rely on this trusty Japanese mandolin to get perfectly thin, uniform slices of veggies and fruit without fail. I recently upgraded to the Benriner Super Slicer and it’s even better than my old green Benriner. I love using this slicer so much that we end up eating a lot more (perfectly sliced) vegetables these days! Get one here.
When my old immersion blender went kaput, I was delighted to learn that Vitamix had a brand new immersion blender on the market. It’s pricier than most hand blenders, but it’s amazingly powerful (it even makes short work of crushing ice cubes!) and makes great puréed soups, sauces, and smoothies. Sure, my big Vitamix 5200 makes a silkier sauce, but this immersion blender is a lot easier to whip out (and a cinch to clean, too). Get one here.
The only aprons I wear in my kitchen are made by Hedley and Bennett because they’re super stylish, functional, and durable. In fact, I recommended H&B aprons on my inaugural holiday gift guide back in 2013! The size of my apron collection is starting to rival my cookbook stash and that’s a scary thing. Get one here.
Food arranged on gorgeous tableware just tastes better, amirite? These beautiful platters and dishes are the perfect hostess gift:
Handcrafted in California since 1948, everything Heath sells gives me emoji heart eyes. I especially love the Magnolia Dinnerware set, but only managed to nab a few pieces because they’re always sold out! Shop Heath Ceramics here.
Love the blue and white plates in my food photos? I got them from this family-run business based in New Jersey—one of the premier importers of Japanese tableware and gifts. Psst!—you’ll see a bunch of Miya Company’s bowls and plates in my upcoming book, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! Shop Miya Company here.
I happened upon this cute little shop a few years back while strolling around the Sellwood neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, and fell in love with its beautifully minimalist handmade products. You will surely find a unique gift among its offerings of tableware, linens, and even lamps! Shop Notary Ceramics here.
Teri Turner and her team have created an assortment of fun, durable, and whimsical statement pieces that will showcase all your kitchen creations. I love the new ombré glaze collection, especially the jade ombré! Shop No Crumbs Left here.
Although our new cookbook doesn’t technically drop until January 18, 2022, you should definitely preorder it now. That way, when the holidays are a distant memory in mid-January, the arrival of my latest collection of recipes will be a welcome surprise! Seriously, I mean it when I tell you that Let’s Go! is our best cookbook yet. You and your loved ones will ADORE it!
Know someone who’s desperately seeking help with weekday meal planning? Gift them Cassy’s genius book! This indispensable guide will revolutionize how you cook healthy and delicious family meals, saving you time and money along the way. Get it here.
Loyal Nomsters know that I love Chef Gregory’s show-stopping, umami-packed, globally inspired, technicolor dishes, and I’m over the moon that I can finally cook his genius recipes at home! Give this fantastic cookbook to all your foodie friends—I promise they won’t even notice that everything is naturally gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free! Get it here.
Got a bunch of pals that took up sourdough baking during the pandemic? Vallery’s gorgeous debut cookbook will definitely level up their baking game! I’ve been voraciously devouring her words and pictures, and am planning to gift it to many of my gluten-eating friends this holiday season. Get it here.
There’s a special place in my heart for Indian food with California flair, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Amisha’s plant-based cookbook. It’s filled with so many gorgeous and delicious ways to revel in veggies and spices! Get it here.
David Chang’s new cookbook doesn’t have recipes in the traditional sense, but it does teach you how to improvise with what you have and still create delicious home-cooked meals. He even has microwave meal ideas that you can whip up in your Anyday bowls! Get it here.
Gifts of Food
Not surprisingly, some of my favorite gifts are edible ones. If your pals are picky eaters, many of the sites below also sell gift cards!
Know someone who loves impeccable sustainably sourced seafood? Get them some fabulous seafood from Vital Choice or get them a gift certificate to shop for themselves! Everything offered by Vital Choice is great, but I especially love the ahi poke kit, king salmon fillets, and canned ventresca (tuna belly). Vital Choice ships across the U.S. and to Canada. Order your seafood here and use the code BFNX21 for 15% to save 15%!
Want to support a fantastic family farm and get some fabulous pasture raised meat delivered to your door? Order some of Five Marys Farms fabulous meat for your friends and family! Brian’s and Mary’s ranching methods and beliefs help to preserve and protect the land and respect the animals from birth through processing. Order your meat here.
Hate to cook, but love to eat? Gift someone a box of cooked and frozen paleo-friendly meals! I’ve ordered and gifted Balanced Bites meals to many new parents and friends throughout the years. They’re delicious, hearty, healthy, and ready to eat in minutes. Get meals, snacks, and spices here.
Take it from me, a diehard regular customer: Misfits Bakehouse goodies are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and fabulous! My favorite items are the pita bread, sandwich bread, Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip cookies, chocolate donuts, and nutella baklava. Even my picky parents love Misfits’ offerings! I’m lucky that I can pick up the goodies locally, but if you don’t live nearby, Misfits also delivers nationwide. Order your goodies here and use the code nomnompaleo to get 15% off your order!
Whenever I need a tasty, subtly sweet pick me up, I grab a packet of Phat Fudge. Made with tahini, these squeezable packets of performance fuel are perfect for travel or when I’m on the go. I love all three flavors, but my current fave is the coffee-free Power Berry. Get your Phat Fudge here.
I have been a fan of Siete’s amazing grain-free tortillas for almost a decade now, and I’ve eagerly watched (and tasted!) as this family business has grown and broadened their offerings to include an amazing array of grain-free cookies, chips, seasonings, and sauces. And now, you can ship ’em to your pals! Go grab some Siete goodies here.
Gifts to get your Zen on
I’ve been an obsessive super fan of the Oura Ring ever since it first launched in 2015. Oura just released its Gen 3 ring, and I preordered it immediately. My Gen 2 ring already offers incredibly accurate sleep tracking and alerts me when I’m getting sick before I feel the symptoms, but the latest version adds 24/7 heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring, period tracking(!), and spO2 measurements. It’s pricey, but it’s the one device that I use to actively improve my health every day, so getting the Gen 3 was a no-brainer. Get one here.
I bought my Feetup inversion trainer last year and I continue to work on my inversions every day. It’s a great way to de-stress and work on my core stability at the same time! Get one here.
I’ve been bouncing on this amazing trampoline for 3 years now and I still love it. I jump on it as soon as I wake up to get my blood pumping and to shake out all the kinks. On days when I’m busy typing on my laptop, it’s also a great way to add some movement. My kids love jumping on it, too, so it’s perfect present for the whole family! Get one here.
I love these over-the-ear wireless noise-cancelling headphones. When I need to block out the world and get work done, I don these earphones and check off all the items on my to-do list. Get one here.
I still love my Tempurpedic eye mask, but I’m always looking for new ways to block out any last smidges of light when I’m trying to sleep. In my research, I stumbled upon the Nodpod eye mask—unlike other masks, this one’s like a light weighted blanket for your eyes. I throw it on my face before I go to bed and I fall asleep right away. Get one here.
This summer, I hurt my neck after too many hours hunched over my computer editing our upcoming cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! After suffering through two weeks with a painfully stiff neck, I bought a Resteck Shoulder Massager and it magically kneaded my stiff muscles, leaving me relaxed and limber afterwards. I’m not sure this one is the best massager on the market, but hey: it has over 40,000 positive reviews and it was delivered the next day. Since its arrival, I’ve used it at least three times a week while I’m watching TV to prevent my neck from seizing up again. It’s kind of amazing. Get one here.
Need more holiday gift ideas?
- Check out my Amazon shopping page here filled with all my favorite things!
- Previous holiday gift guides from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016!
- Want to make DIY homemade edible gifts? Check out these tasty ideas!
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), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).