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KatawaGrey's avatar

What would you include in a vegan gift basket?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21365 points ) March 3rd, 2012

My best friend has recently become a vegan and I’m putting together a “vegan essentials” type gift for him. I’ve already started on spices and I’m thinking of including a few choice vegan food items such as quinoa and some cooking oils.

What else would you put into a gift like this? I want to include a vegan cookbook, but I have no idea what a good one is. What else would you include?

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Barley, couscous, brown rice, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, packet of sunflower seeds, rice crackers, hummus, salsa, pita bread, dark maple syrup, steel cut oatmeal, box of rice milk, high end cocoa powder, quality loose tea, immersible tea ball, Krups coffee grinder and good beans

marinelife's avatar

Vegan Fire and Spice is a top-rated vegan cookbook.

Nullo's avatar

Beef jerky Vitamins.

majorrich's avatar

does Spam count as meat?

gailcalled's avatar

@majorrich: Spam is “spiced ham.”

Jeruba's avatar

My son uses a lot of nutritional yeast in his vegan cooking. He also favors grapeseed oil as an alternative to the usual cooking oils.

Kardamom's avatar

I actually just created a Vegetarian cookbook on a CD for my cousin for her 50th birthday (50 Recipes for your 50th Birthday). I found a bunch of recipes online and saved them in my favorites folder, and a few that I invented myself, then I set up a Word document so that I could cut and paste the text of the recipes (in your case, find Vegan recipes that sound great) so that all of the text looks the same and fits onto one page (they can print it out or just look at it on the computer if they want to save a tree). I also had to track down photos, because some of the recipes didn’t have photos, so I just found photos that were the same dish and saved them as jpegs on my computer. So I added a photo to each recipe page.

If you don’t want to go to all of that trouble, I would suggest The Complete Vegan Cookbook

Then I would add: a package of vegan sugar. Vegan sugar you ask? What is that? Well, most, but not all white refined sugar made from sugar cane is not technically vegan because it is processed using bone char although I have heard that beet sugar, which tastes exactly like cane sugar is not processed in this way. They have vegan sugar at Whole Foods. Raw cane sugar does not use bone char either. The only problem she might have is the fact that bone char processing is not listed on the label. So if you read this info, you can figure out what she needs pretty quickly.

I would definitely add some spices and vinegars, but be aware that it is possible that some vinegars (because they are made from the fermenting process of beer or other alcoholic beverages, may have used isinglass in the processing.) Not sure how you would know for sure. It sounds like, from what I’ve read that most vinegars, nowadays, have no relation to isinglass. This is what is in my pantry: Cardamom (of course) cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, fresh pepper corns, sea salt, oregeno, dill, celery seed, granulated garlic, and vinegars: Balsamic, red wine, rice, white, and apple cider (which I keep in the fridge). Plus some really good (but not expensive) extra virgin olive oil. Dried pasta of all shapes and sizes (make sure there’s no egg noodles) tabouli, pearl barley, basmati rice, dried wheat berries.

Maybe some canned beans or dried beans, including something fancy like fava beans (you know like Hannibel Lecter ate with chianti fffffffff). Instead of just store brand beans, go for the fancier organic brands.

And maybe some different kinds of gourmet salsas (just make sure to check the ingredients list).

Maybe some Japanese style Rice and Seaweed Crackers (which can be found at Whole Foods) or these Lundberg Tamari and Seaweed Ricecakes

And some nut butters like almond or hazelnut.

These are cold products but maybe you can keep the basket in the fridge, or give her 2 separate baskets, or just give her a list of good Vegan products.

Make sure she gets some Jello equivalent made with Agar Agar.

Add some miso and some tahini.

Add some Vegan Jerky

Some of these Just Foods also found at Whole Foods.

Nuts of all kinds, especally raw nuts. Easily obtained for good prices at Trader Joe’s. And dried fruits. And some good fair trade dark chocolate (not milk chocolate).

And a carton or 2 of milk substitutes, my current faves are rice milk, coconut milk (not the same thing as canned coconut milk used in Thai food) and hazelnut milk.

And some of these Trader Joe’s Vegan Trail Nut Cookies

Now I’m hungry again, dang it!

zenvelo's avatar

A nice jar of almond butter and some fruit spread or jam.

KatawaGrey's avatar

These are some great suggestions!

Of course, I just had another brainwave. He just got a new boyfriend so maybe I could put together a “basket for two” for him and his boy…

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Dried fruit and nuts, olive oil, soya pack, variety of herbal teas, if you look at certain stores, the soya products available will astound you! Jar of honey…...can’t think of anything else, they have said it all!

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Bulbs (the kind you plant)

whitecarnations's avatar

Vegan Chapstick.

Kardamom's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Honey is not considered to be vegan because it is an animal product.

Oh, how about some cans or cartons of veggie broth. I love Pacific Mushroom Broth. I haven’t yet tasted Wolfgang Puck’s Organic Vegetable Broth, but I was doing a little research a few minutes ago, and lots of people say it has the best flavor.

You might want to consider giving them a vegan baking cookbook such as Vegan Baking Classics, because even I wouldn’t have any idea how to to make the substitutions. I find baking daunting enough even when it isn’t vegan.

And maybe some kind of a recipe binder to hold all of the recipes that they clip or download.

Nimis's avatar

Some friends have a copy of Veganomicon and seem to dig it.

Maybe a gift certificate (with a copy of their menu) to a local vegan restaurant? Cookbooks are fun. But tasting what professionals can do with vegan ingredients can be encouraging—especially when you’re starting out and your dishes aren’t turning out just right.

JLeslie's avatar

The Babycakes original cookbook. Best brownies ever created in the history of brownies. I think you can order a dozen from the bakery to include in the basket if I remember correctly. I have bought brownies there while in NYC, and they are delicious! They won best brownie in NYC up against all brownies not just vegan.

Also, just because someone goes vegan, it doesn’t mean everything has to be whole food, organic, etc. Depends why they went vegan. Health reasons? Humane reasons?

Other ideas, pasta, various sauces, Nutella, Herdez green sauce, so many many choices. Are you going to do a theme? Maybe Mexican? Or, Italian? Indian?

Someone mentioned honey above, just a warning some vegans will not eat honey.

8Convulsions's avatar

These are my newest obsession. They are amazing! The consistency kinda reminds me of drinking a bunch of frog eggs, but, in a good way. They should be available in the organic section of most grocery stores. I recommend the cherry and raspberry flavors. Although, they need to stay refrigerated, so putting them in a gift basket might not be the best idea. I bet your friend would love them though!

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