13 Healthy Food and Cooking Gifts

The HealthCentral Editorial Team | Nov 8, 2012

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It’s very easy this time of year to forget about the concept of healthy eating.  But here’s a baker’s dozen of great gifts geared to the family member or friend who loves to cook and wants to stay in good health.

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Grow your own mushrooms

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Why they’ll love it: Gets the whole family involved in growing veggies.

This kit from Back to the Roots allows home chefs to harvest up to 1.5 pounds of pearl oyster mushrooms. Each box yields at least two crops, and the first crop grows within 10 days. Users simply set the kit on a windowsill and mist twice a day with the included mister.

Price: $19.95

Available at: Whole Foods, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Safeway and www.backtotheroots.com

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Aqua Zinger

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Why they’ll love it: This water bottle lets health-conscious folks infuse natural fruit flavors without adding calories.

Add fruit of choice to the Aqua Zinger’s bottom compartment, fill the container with water, then shake and let the flavors soak in. Blades in the bottom compartment grind the fruit to pulp, while the mesh screen lets the deliciousness seep through to the water.

Price: $25.95

Available at: Brookstone stores and www.zinganything.com

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Universal EZ Dishers

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Why they’ll love them: No more guessing about proper portion sizes.

At first glance, these colorful kitchen tools from Zeroll might look like ice cream scoops, but they’ll help the foodies in your life dish out healthier portions of all kinds of foods.

Price: $18 each

Available at: www.zeroll.com, www.drugstore.com

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Gourmè Mist Spray

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Why they’ll love them: Cutting calories doesn’t have to mean cutting great taste, as these spray-on condiments prove.

Gourmè Mist’s pure and imported oils and balsamic vinegars come in six varieties, including Natural Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena infused with pomegranate.

Price: $9.99 each; variety pack of 5 for $34.99

Available at: Whole Foods stores and www.gourmemist.com

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Belkin Chef Stand and Stylus

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Why they’ll love it: Easily see and touch a tablet while cooking, but keeps it mess-free.

Tablets offer up tons of inspiring recipes, but touching the screen can create a mess. Hand-washable with a non-slip rubber base, this props up any tablet at just the right angle for recipe reading and comes with a wand-like stylus, so cooks never have to put their hands on (and dirty) the screen.

Price: $39.99

Available at: Target, www.belkin.com, www.officemax.com

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Artisan’s Tea Blending Kit

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Why they’ll love it: Tea aficionados will enjoy making and sampling their own flavors.

This kit from Numi Organic Tea, with its assortment of teas, herbs, fruits, flowers and spices, allows for a unique and personal tea experience.

Price: $34.99 - $39.99

Available at: www.numitea.com, www.drugstore.com and other online retailers

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Compact Vegetable Steamer from T-fal

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Why they’ll love it: This countertop steamer cooks veggies healthily and collapses for easy storage.

All the cook has to do is add water to the tank, throw their favorite vegetables into one—or both—of the two tiers of compartments and select the cooking time. The four-quart steamer’s collapsible, stackable containers makes it easy for storage.

Price: $39.99

Available at: Numerous chain, department and home stores, www.t-falusa.com

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Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System

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Why they’ll love it: Steam, roast, bake or slow-cook using one handy appliance.

The Ninja can simmer, sauté and sear, and it is fast—cutting cooking time almost in half. For simple meal prep, home chefs can add in their ingredients (even frozen items and dry pasta) all at once, turn the Ninja on and  enjoy dinner in as little as 30 minutes.

Price: $159

Available at: Walmart, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, www.ninjacookingsystem.com

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Packit Lunch Bag

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Why they’ll love it: Keeping brown-bag lunch chilled just got easier.

Here’s why: There’s no ice pack needed—the walls of the bag contain a gel liner that makes the entire Packit a freezer pack! Fold up Packit and place in the freezer overnight. Packit will keep food fresh and cool for up to 10 hours.

Price: $14.99 - $27.99

Available at: Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Whole Foods stores and www.packitcool.com

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Chocoveda's Chakra Box

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Why they’ll love it: These tasty chocolate truffles are decadent vegan treats with a Zen twist.

This handsome package contains seven all-natural, vegan truffles made with organic ginseng, 70 percent dark chocolate and organic extra virgin coconut oil. Each truffle relates to one of the body’s seven energy centers (called “chakras” in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India).

Price: $30

Available at: Neiman Marcus stores and www.chocoveda.com

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Xtrema Boston Bake Bean & Soup Bowl Set

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Why they’ll love it: Single-serving natural ceramic soup dishes allow for easy portion control and can go from oven to microwave.

This set from Ceramcor makes serving up single portions of everyone’s favorite soups and chili deliciously simple! Thick, easy-carry handles make transferring hot soups to the table safe and convenient, while the lids hold that heat in so soup stays hot throughout the entire meal.

Price: $49.99

Available at: www.ceramcor.com

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LeKue Ovo

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Why they’ll love it: This device cooks eggs in the microwave in less than a minute!

Rub the silicone mold with a drop of cooking oil, then crack an egg and drop it in, along with vegetables or other healthy ingredients. A quick 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave and they’ve got a perfectly portioned, healthy breakfast in no time. They can then toss the Ovo in the dishwasher and they’re done!

Price: $9

Available at: www.lekuesusa.com, www.kitchen-universe.com

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Babycakes Flip-Over Donut Maker

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Why they’ll love it: Donut-lovers can now indulge more healthily.

The Babycakes Flip-Over Donut Maker turns out homemade mini-donuts that are baked, not fried. Bake seven cake-style treats in four minutes. Included are useful accessories like a long fork for lifting donuts, along with recipes to try.

Price: $39.99

Available at: Bed Bath and Beyond and Kohl’s stores and www.TheBabycakesShop.com