Last year I wrote my first Christmas guide for the blog: Gift Ideas for the Home Cook, Foodie & Meat-Head. And while it didn’t get very many page likes, it was one of my most viewed posts. So this year, I decided to write another guide; only this time for vegans: Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan & Everyone In Between. Now, I don’t mean to insult anyone by the title, but I do feel that it is apt for the way some vegans live their lives – I am by no means judging – which can be intimidating for the average person who isn’t fully up-to-date with veganism and the lifestyle. And I know this to be true, as a few months ago I had my sister ring me in distress as she was stumped, as to what to buy a vegan: it was all last minute. I gave my sister many ideas, but in the end she settled on an orchid, from fear of having the gift not being fully appreciated.
So with this gift guide, I aim to help you mere mortals – who may fear us vegans – with suitable gift ideas, that are thoughtful and easy to find, which would be greatly appreciated by any vegan; whether they’re pedantic or anything in between.
1.) Food Hamper
This will always be number one for me and I know for a lot of vegans also. As a vegan, I can say that WE LOVE OUR FOOD! I don’t know what it is, but when you go vegan, food just takes on a whole new meaning and taste – we become obsessed with food. I promise you, if you gift a food hamper to a vegan, which is filled with their favourite foods, they will love you forever. Just remember when you are assembling the food hamper, that you check the ingredient list for palm oil, as some vegans don’t eat this – check with the recipient whether they consume palm oil, before you buy anything. However, there are some products which have sustainable palm oil and for most vegans they do try to support this type of palm oil. You also need to avoid honey and certain E numbers – check here. As well as the more obvious ingredients: Dairy: milk, cream, butter, milk fats, milk powder, whey powder; Eggs, Egg Powder and then gelatine. If you aren’t sure on what you are looking for, then just look out for the “suitable for Vegans” label on the back of the products.
There are many ways you could do a food hamper;
Raw vegans: you could add some exotic fruits and vegetables to the hamper: papaya, lychees, custard apple, Sharon fruit, passion fruit, figs, pineapple, mango – and then any favourites the recipient may favour – packets of medjoul dates, homemade or store bought raw treats, maple syrup, agave syrup, natural nut butters – maybe my homemade chocolate crack cashew butter? – nuts and seeds.
Just Vegans: Vegans which follow a balanced vegan diet – pretty much eat anything. If it’s vegan we will eat it – chocolate, biscuits, vegan marshmallows, crisps, flapjacks, nut butters, biscuit spreads, vegan cheese, crackers, houmous – you have endless options here and you can check out peat to view some accidentally vegan foods that you could include in your hamper. If that’s not enough, you can also view products on this site which is updated regularly with new vegan products and also the places where you can find them.
2.) Cheese Hamper
Carrying on with the food theme, this one I have great ideas for and I only wish I could gift it to myself because this would be an epic gift for any cheese lover – like myself. In the modern world or from 2015-2016, vegan cheese has come on leaps and bounds and you can now get them in many different varieties: soft cheese, smoked cheese, plain cheese, herb cheese, cheese slices, pizza cheese, wensleydale cheese; there really are so many vegan options these days.
Vegan cheese is made from; Nuts: usually cashews and almonds; coconut, coconut oils, and many different herbs and spices.
If I were going to do a vegan cheese hamper, I would include as many different types of cheese that I could get my grubby little hands on -vegan cheese is pretty pricey; so, this all depends on how much you want to spend. I would maybe even add in a few homemade vegan cheese. The best thing about this cheese hamper, is that you don’t have to order the cheese online either and risk having it fail to be delivered.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s seem to be the only supermarkets at the moment, which have their own range of vegan cheese. What you have to remember here, is that Tesco’s vegan cheese is made with soya – so make sure the recipient eats soya based products before you splurge – and Sainsbury’s vegan cheese is made from coconut. My personal favourite from Tesco is the smoked cheddar. However, I have since learned that this cheese is an acquired taste, but if you like the normal vegetarian smoked cheese – which is in a sausage shape – then you will love this.
Vegusto – I reviewed these products a while ago and at the time I was new to vegan cheese, so their products didn’t do anything for me. However, now that my taste buds have adapted, I appreciate their cheeses a lot more. Vegusto, cheese is a lot more expensive than store bought vegan cheese though, but they do have a sample pack which is about £14.99 and it would be perfect for the cheese hamper.
Cheese Board & Knife
If you’re going to go all out with the above option, then maybe you’d like to include one of the most important elements of a cheese selection – cheese board and knife. ( I once received this from an IG friend – Vicki Mellard – I loved it and I still use it. Thanks Vicki 🙂
Biscuits, Crackers, Chutneys & Wine
I would then finish off the cheese hamper with; biscuits, crackers and finish it off with some chutneys, Piccallili, and a nice bottle of vegan wine.
What to look for here: where as most chutneys and pickles are vegan, not all wine or crackers are, so always check the back of the packaging for the ingredients.
3.) Soy Candles
You can’t go wrong with candles, most people love them: they are great for relaxing, setting a certain mood and they smell good. However, not all candles are vegan and although, you can’t eat them; some candles are made from beeswax. Soy candles are actually made from soy wax which is derived from soybean oil, so perfect for all vegans.
4.) Yankee Candles
I’ve always loved these candles, they are just wonderful and also come in many different scents. Plus the good news; Yankee candles are made from a paraffin wax; they contain no animal ingredients, and they aren’t tested on animals either. The ‘soft blanket’ scented candle is my personal favourite.
5.) Village Candles
Similar to the candle above, village candles are the new candle on the block and they too smell fabulous while also having a wide range of scents. I received the Ice Castle village candle from my parents – which is aptly named for me; as being cold and requiring a Ice cold room and house, is how I live my life – as an early Christmas present: it smells so good and the scent lingers for a long time after the candle had been extinguished.
6.) Makeup & Brushes
Thinking of buying a vegan some makeup, but you don’t know where to start? I don’t blame you. I was in this situation once too: trying to buy myself makeup. I found that the makeup at Tam Beauty is all vegan and cruelty free, as well as the Anastacia Beverly Hills range. Superdrug have their own cruelty-free makeup too. As for makeup brushes, make sure you opt for synthetic hair, such as; real techniques. Although, these vegan brushes by Lamora Beauty are well made: as well as packaged nicely. They also have eye-makeup brushes too.
7.) Relaxation Hamper
Why not combine the candles, as well as include some bath bombs, bubble bath, vegan chocolate and a good book: to create a hamper in which the recipient can run a bath and relax with. You will find that Soap and glory are cruelty-free and you can also find cruelty-free products at Superdrug and the c0-0p too: just look for the leaping bunny logo.
8.) Homemade Gifts.
If you are the creative type and you like to make your own gifts, then you may consider making a cookie in a jar: layering the ingredients needed to make the cookie, into a mason jar and then tying it with ribbon and the recipe- maybe the ingredients for this recipe . You could also make homemade truffles, chocolate bars, hot chocolate in a jar, you have so many options and it would add a more personal touch.
9.) Chocolate Bar & Sweet Moulds
I recently purchased one of these exact chocolate bar moulds to make my own caramel filled chocolate. It was delicious and it went down a storm with my family. However, if you aren’t familiar with veganism, then you probably won’t know that milk and white chocolate aren’t vegan. So, we (Vegans) are usually only left with dark chocolate. By gifting a vegan a chocolate mould, especially if they are a chocolate lover, you could open up so many endless opportunities for them to create their own chocolate bars to enjoy. I also have this mould too, which is deeper and allows a lot more filling in the centre, but it could also be used for fudge, toffee, cake, and so much more. If you don’t want to just hand them a piece of plastic, then include some cacao butter, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla bean extract and wrap it up as a chocolate making set.
You can buy chocolate to gift to a vegan too and who would complain about that? These days, there are quite a few options to choose from. Booja Booja have many different types of vegan friendly truffles which all sound delicious. Also, the popular chocolate company – Hotel Chocolat – now have their first vegan friendly chocolate hamper too, which looks bloody incredible and costs £25. If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on chocolates, then Aldi have a box of mint chocolates and their dark chocolate reindeers are vegan too.
11.) Doughnut Pan
I wouldn’t trust a person who didn’t like doughnuts: soft, sweet & doughy; what’s not to like? If your vegan happens to be a foodie, who also loves to bake, then a doughnut pan could be a great gift. Like the chocolate mould, so many delicious options can be created when you have a doughnut pan in your life and all types of Vegans can use them too – pedantic or otherwise. If your vegan happens to be a HCLF vegan, then the pan would be perfect to limit the amount of oil used in the doughnuts. But it doesn’t stop there. Raw vegans can also make doughnuts too. Just check out the raw doughnuts Rawberry Fields made. You could even purchase a culinary “injector” to go with the pan, which would allow the recipient to add their own filling too.
What goes better with chocolate and doughnuts than coffee? I don’t think there is anything better. If you haven’t heard, Chemex is the new coffee maker on the block and all the cool kids are using it. I plan to buy one myself this Christmas and I can’t wait. I would just like to point out that while this is a beautifully made item, the strap is made from leather. So, you could remove this before gifting or just buy this equally as stylish coffee maker instead. Even these one piece coffee makers are popular this year.
13.) Clothes, Shoes, Bags
I’m not a clothes person, I mean I wear them when I need to, but pyjamas are what I classify as clothes and anything other than that is just a nuisance. However, I hear some people actually appreciate clothes and call it fashion. When it comes to buying clothes for Vegans I don’t think you can go very wrong. As long as you avoid, anything made from fur, wool, sherling, angora, silk, cashmere and leather, you will do well. While you can easily find vegan suitable clothes, shoes and bags; in high street stores, some companies go one step further to ensure that all of their clothes are 100% vegan. Although, I’m sure those clothes are extortionately priced too.
For more vegan ideas follow me on Instagram and tag me in any recipes that you try from the blog. I would love to hear your feedback.
© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
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