As we work through the stages of Kitchen Stewardship together, there may be a few items that will be helpful to have around. You can check the list here as you make your birthday and Christmas wishlists for family members!
2009 Christmas wish list post.
Books I Recommend
- Nourishing Traditions
- Real Food
- Real Food for Mother and Baby
- Food, Inc. (DVD)
- Food Rules
- In Defense of Food
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma
- The Schwarzbein Principle
- The Untold Story of Milk
- Wild Fermentation
Others have recommended:
- Eat Fat, Lose Fat
- The Vegetarian Myth
- Good Calories, Bad Calories
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
2010 Top 10 Green Gift Ideas
|MadeOn Lotions and Lip Balms: With 100% safe (mostly edible) ingredients and really affordable prices, you can get a whole mantlefull of stocking stuffers for under $10. Renee is even offering darling new muslin gift bags. I also have lip balm from Natural Momma, a local (to me) Etsy seller. The ingredients are also super safe and more or less foods and essential oils, but totally different. The MadeOn lip balm is harder and the Natural Momma glides easier, MadeOn has a bit more peppermint “bite” (also a non-scented). I’ve been wearing them left side/right side for a few days to see if there’s an obvious winner, but I like them both and both seem to do the job. I also have a Burt’s Bees balm, but the ingredient list is longer, and I like supporting handmade small businesses. (I’m an affiliate of MadeOn, but not Natural Momma. Just trying to share what’s in my house…)|
| Stainless Steel Water Bottles: The classic. A Christmas hasn’t gone by in three years that I haven’t gotten a stainless steel bottle for someone who doesn’t yet have one. This year will be no exception, as my father-in-law just received one for his birthday last month! Our family uses Klean Kanteen and EcoUsable, and we also have a few cheap ones from Bed Bath and Beyond (use that 20% off coupon to get it for about $8) or Meijer on clearance. Just look out for trickery and don’t get stuck with an aluminum bottle! (See my Ecousable reviews here and here.)
UPDATE: We now have some of the Flylady insulated stainless steel bottles and LOVE them. They really do keep ice in there overnight!
|Stainless Steel Containers: A kind of pricey item, I love to ask for stuff like this for Christmas for myself. You can see my reviews of a couple here and here. Rare free shipping offer at Kids Konserve, and also find great options at Life Without Plastic (my husband has started using his thermos for soup almost daily now that he goes to work at a normal office outside the home, loves it!). My son uses our Ecolunchbox almost daily for school, too. (Reusable sandwich bags are also fun – my cloth sandwich bag review may help you get started.)|
|Glass containers: I already have some from Bed Bath and Beyond ready to wrap for TWO people on my list (Shhh, don’t tell). Have you seen how much I love glass storage containers? We are constantly running out, particularly of the 2-cup and 1-cup size. I prefer Pyrex over Anchor-Hocking because their lids stay on better over time.|
| Natural Cleaners: I am practical enough to ask for and even give such things as gifts. Geeky, I know. Once for a wedding I gave a tub of natural cleaners and ingredients and recipes to make homemade, and the bride loved it!
|NaturOli Soap Nuts: Geeky again, I know. I actually asked for soap nuts for Christmas last year, and my MIL accidentally got the wrong brand (Maggie’s) so I can conclusively say I like NaturOli better. They last forever and wash well, and they grow on trees! Great conversation topic around the tree, if you ask me. Check out my soap nuts review. They also have cute gift sets; see the whole store here.|
|Microfiber cloths or Skoy cloths: Either would make a nice extra addition to a gift or little stocking stuffer. Many say microfiber is not “green” because it’s made of plastic, but I save so many cleaners (and time, another consideration) because of my microfiber that I’m going to make that concession. Here’s my Skoy review and how I love microfiber cloths.|
|Greening up your water: Two years ago, my mom got us a shower filter to remove the chlorine in our city water. We just ordered replacement filters from here – we knew it was time to get a new one because my son’s eczema was flaring up big time. I’m also pretty convinced that a Berkey water filter (for drinking water) is the way to go for us, if only I could find the space for it. Check out Lisa’s ode to Berkey, a fun read!|
|Organic clothing: I’m sure this would feature more prominently in other green lists, but I can’t say I’ve prioritized it much. I chose to focus on the youngest, most susceptible member of our family last year and the time of greatest exposure: sleep. My mom found Leah some darling organic jammies, and we got her some organic flannel sheets that have held up great.|
|Buy or make handmade: There are so many great local options, for kids’ toys, clothing, and food. I don’t even know where to start recommending!|
The Original Gadget Wishlist
Here is the first GW I made, when I tried to keep up post by post updating here. Fun to see my valiant but impossible attempts!
- Foaming Hand Soap Dispensers to refill (with non-antibacterial soap)You can buy these in designer styles or just re-use a store brand bottle.
- Food Processor
- Misto olive oil sprayer
- Food Chopper
- for chopping vegetables, nuts (especially onions)
- Ice cube trays
- Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Gargantuan stock pot
- If you want to make a huge batch of chicken stock, this is a fun item to have on hand! Also good for corn on the cob…
- Glass measuring cup…I especially love my 4-cup size.
- You can use the big one with a handle for scooping and measuring chicken stock, among other things.
- Picnic cooler
- My favorite method for incubating homemade yogurt.
- The ultimate tool for scrambling eggs in the pan, plus my fav for browning ground meat. Made of silicone with a wooden handle, so you can leave it in the pan without worrying about melting anything.
- It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it’s a spatula that’s extra thick, like a spoon.
- Steamer Basket
- The easiest way to steam veggies without using a microwave.
- Toaster Oven
- Another near-imperative if you’re trying to avoid microwave use. I love my toaster oven! It can bake a whole pie or roast a whole chicken, toast 6 slices of bread at a time, and does a great job on our leftovers. I like to be able to bake a dozen cookies with frozen homemade cookie dough and not heat up the whole house, or bake a quick graham cracker pie crust.
- Here’s a photo (it’s a Cuisinart, selling for about $60-80 nowadays):
- Vegetable Scrub Brush
- This may seem like a silly item to have on a wishlist, but I think it’s important to really get in the grooves of things like carrots, potatoes, celery, and peppers (see the Dirty Dozen post). I know some people don’t have one…
- Glass storage containers
See this post for what you can do with them!
- Garlic Press: so you don’t end up like me. There are lots of different version of a garlic press; one pictured below (Marc Pinter). Some of them even let you keep the skins on, which is a lot less work and smell.
- Stick or Immersion Blender: good for blending soups (like garlic soup) or making guacamole or Caesar dressing.
- Silicone Baking Mat: makes cleanup of cookie sheets easy without using aluminum foil, and if your cookie sheets are aluminum and/or all scratched up, you can avoid having your food touch them, too.
- Cookware and Bakeware to avoid aluminum and keep safe materials:My favorite: the Pampered Chef Rectangular Stone
View post on avoiding aluminum cookware/bakeware.
- Shaklee H2 for camping and cleaning.
- Inexpensive (but not cheap) spray bottles from a dollar store or big box grocery store for your natural kitchen cleaners.
- Salad Spinner
A must if you want to buy whole heads of lettuce (Farmer’s Market, anyone?) You’ll have to go to the post to see it; I can’t get the picture link to work here!
- Lettuce Knife: Read about the reasons behind this little wonder at this post. It’s one of my can’t-do-without gadgets!
- Biokleen Dishwasher Detergent – My favorite ever!!!
- Have you heard I get to give away a Nutrimill grain mill? I’m so thankful to Pleasant Hill Grain for sponsoring the giveaway. Another fun gadget they offer helps preserve food - Tilia Food Saver vacuum sealers for home use as well as ARY industrial vacuum sealers. (They also explain the differences.)
Yes, these are mostly affiliate links. Amazon will share a bit with us bloggers if we send people their way. But feel free to shop at a store with a coupon, instead! It’s just nice to see a picture of what someone is talking about. Pleasant Hill Grain sponsored a grain mill giveaway in exchange for some advertising, a fair trade to be sure!