Whether it’s replacing the traditional cocktail with a non-alcoholic elixir, cooking with more plants or swapping supplements for functional foods—eating and drinking has never been more health-conscious. The pandemic put the spotlight on our dietary choices, and while fears of COVID-19 may have calmed down, the heightened interest in healthy eating has not.
After a challenging year and a half, the last thing anyone needs is the annual barrage of holiday food guilt. Instead, food can be used to nourish both the body and spirit at a time when people are particularly burnt out. The following gifts do just that. Whether your giftee is seeking an energy boost, international flavors or an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, this list has something for every health-conscious foodie.
Emmy nominated cook and funghi enthusiast Sophia Roe has teamed up with the Pop Up Grocer to curate a selection of her favorite plant-based goodies for the holidays. Vegan Noodie ramen and Pan’s teriyaki mushroom jerky deliver umami while sweet meets spicy with Fly By Jing Hot Pot base, Occo cinnamon and Snacklins barbecue crisps. The kit is topped off with mood-boosting Kin Spritz for a non-alcoholic buzz.
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Sober curious drinkers and wine lovers alike will be impressed with these non-alcoholic “proxies” from the food brand known for their living vinegars. Two crisp whites highlighting unique ingredients like juniper and lychee are paired with a sweet rosé and rich, earthy red for the complete tasting experience. Equally as inventive are seasonal blends like a Fruitcake-inspired white and truffle-infused red, and a holiday cocktail condiment kit—think, kombucha chutney and a fiery cocktail-rimmer made with Sichuan peppercorn.
Whether your giftee is a curious eater, has a specific health need or just loves oatmeal, these functional, Asian-inspired blends are sure to impress them. The Taro Bubble Tea combines antioxidant-rich blueberries, taro and black tea for a boost of energy while the earthy Sweet Osmanthus relaxes with turmeric and osmanthus, an aromatic flower used in Chinese medicine to calm the body. This kit adds the Toasted Black Sesame—a flavor inspired by the black sesame cereal of Chinese founder Lin Jiang’s childhood—to the mix.
Adaptogenic mushrooms like lion’s mane and cordyceps are combined with masala chai and cacao for a coffee alternative that swaps the caffeine jitters for a relaxed, sustained energy. The spicy chai-meets-sweet-hot chocolate adds turmeric to the mix to relieve inflammation, plus chaga and reishi, two mushrooms known to benefit the immune system. The addition of a powerful frother, vegan creamer and handy guidebook make it the complete gift for early birds, while the evening kit is perfect for night owls too.
This collaboration between bean-to-bear chocolate company Sonhab and wellness platform Moon Lists reimagines the traditional advent calendar with unique, superfood-infused truffles like spirulina, matcha and prickly pear. Each flavor pairs with prompts that encourage self-reflection and conversation for the holiday season, making it the perfect gift for the wellness guru with a sweet tooth.
Fitness fanatics craving seasonal flavors will love this special holiday bundle from the healthy snack brand beloved for their protein-packed cookies. Each of the three festive cookies—Gingerbread, Peppermint Chocolate and Pumpkin Spice—provides 16g of plant-based protein and 10g of fiber, making for a sweet treat that provides lasting energy.
Nut butter fanatics are sure to love this peanut butter bundle of seasonal joy. Roasted peanuts meet ginger and allspice in the Gingerbread Peanut Butter, while the Sugar Cookie combines almond protein powder with vanilla for a sweet and salty, healthy spin on cookie butter. Pumpkin spice fans will appreciate the inclusion of two peanut butters made with real pumpkin pie spices—one original and one chocolate.
With each pack providing up to 21g of plant-based protein and 18g of fiber, this is certainly not your typical instant ramen. The variety pack gets you all three distinct flavors inspired by the Taiwanese and Thai markets of the founders’ childhoods—Black Garlic “Chicken,” Tom Yum “Shrimp,” and Spicy “Beef.” Rich in umami and low in sodium, they make for a comforting winter bowl that satisfies ramen aficionados and healthy eaters alike.
For the vegan who likes to host, this charcuterie kit features some of the best plant-based offerings found north of the border: Kalamata pitted olives, garlic and dill pickles and hand-crafted spicy ice wine jelly. The centrepiece is the non-dairy cheese—Culcherd’s sharp and smoky cheddar, and a special holiday cheese with notes of rosemary and thyme, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The vegan board is rounded out with slightly sweet keto crackers made of flax, sweet potato and sunflower and sesame seeds.
88 Acres popular Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Spread gets a festive upgrade this season with the addition of refreshing peppermint. Free of artificial ingredients and the top eight allergens, each serving of the smooth antioxidant-rich spread provides five grams of protein, making it a nutritious addition to seasonal snacks and desserts. For an extra indulgent gift, opt instead for the 88 Acres Chocolate Lover’s Bundle which includes the Chocolate Sea Salt and Double Chocolate Mocha Seed Oat Bars and Seed’nola, plus a jar of Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter.
This queer, South Asian, woman-owned company has been making waves for their commitment to building more equitable food systems—sales from their unique single origin spice blends support 150 farms across India and Sri Lanka. This kit gets your giftee a sampling of the most popular: Pragati Turmeric, Aranya Black Pepper, Sirārakhong Hāthei Chillies, Peni Miris Cinnamon, Nandini Coriander and Makhir Ginger.
With just seven grams of sugar—69% less than traditional chocolate bars—these “grown-up candy bars” are the perfect stocking stuffer for the health-conscious sweet tooth. Coated in antioxidant-rich Fair Trade dark chocolate with a gooey center of vanilla, cocoa nibs and almond butter, plus a hint of peppermint extract, it’ll be hard to resist saving one of the eight in each box for yourself.