2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide

Fran Costigan's 2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide

Fran Costigan's 2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide

It’s time again for my annual vegan holiday gift guide. It is vegan-specific, but suitable for anyone. With all of the upset and unrest in the world, particularly as presented this year, I do not take for granted the blessings in my life that allow me to assemble a vegan holiday gift guide.

Links to items have been included to make checking out the items easier. Remember too, that handmade gifts, from edible ones to promises of babysitting, pet walking, errand running, and more are always welcome.

I hope you will find my 2017 vegan holiday gift guide helpful. Please use the comments section to tell us about your favorite gifts too, for giving and receiving.

May there be peace on earth and good will, acts of kindness by and towards all people, all sentient beings.

2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide


2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - Books

There are a lot of gift-worthy books, some are new and others are essential classics.

Be Inspired!

Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water, Zsu Dever
The bean liquid we used to throw away turns out to be one of the most astonishing culinary discoveries of the decade. With its amazing egg-replacement abilities, miraculous “aquafaba” can be used as an egg-replacer to make everything from French toast to lemon meringue pie. Aquafaba can be used as a binder in both sweet and savory recipes and is a boon to vegans, people with egg allergies, as well as anyone interested in innovative cooking with a magical new ingredient.

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Michael Greger. M.D. and Gene Stone
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.

Vegan Mexico: Soul-Satisfying Regional Recipes from Tamales to Tostadas, Jason Wyrick
Jason’s delicious recipes capture the essence of the moles of Oaxaca, the Mayan legacy of the Yucatan, the smoky chile flavors of Zacatecas,the fruit-centric Southern regions, the Spanish influence of Veracruz, and the street food of Mexico City.

Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in Your Pressure Cooker, Jill Nussinow
In Vegan Under Pressure, Jill shows how to use the pressure cookers easily, safely and effectively, while showing us the wide variety of vegan dishes that can be made quickly with the appliance. Recipes include Homemade Hummus, Harissa-Glazed Carrots with Green Olives, Pozole Chili, Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula, Thai Summer Vegetable Curry, and DIY soy milk and seitan.

V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby bring the greatest flavors of the world to the devoted clientele of their acclaimed Philly restaurant V Street. Now, cooks can experience the same original dining experience at home with these zesty, mouthwatering recipes that whet the appetite and feed the imagination.

Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
The most exciting vegetable cooking in the nation is happening at Vedge, where in an elegant nineteenth-century townhouse in Philadelphia, chef-proprietors Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby serve exceptionally flavorful fare that is wowing vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. Now, Landau and Jacoby share their passion for ingenious vegetable cooking. The more than 100 recipes here explode with flavor but are surprisingly straightforward to prepare.

Veganomicon, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Isa Chandra Moskowtiz and Terry Hope Romero
Vegan powerhouses Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Romero update their beloved cookbook with 25 new dishes, revisions throughout for more than 250 recipes, stunning color photos, and tips for making your kitchen a vegan paradise.

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts―and the Rest of Your Life, Matt Frazier and Stephanie Romine
This cookbook showcases 125 delicious vegan recipes, many inspired by plant-based foods from around the world. Put nourishing, whole foods on the table quickly and affordably

Sweet: Desserts from London’s OttolenghiYotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Yotam Ottolenghi is widely beloved in the food world for his beautiful, inspirational, and award-winning cookbooks, as well as his London delis and fine dining restaurant. And while he’s known for his savory and vegetarian dishes, he actually started out his cooking career as a pastry chef. Sweet is entirely filled with delicious baked goods, desserts, and confections starring Ottolenghi’s signature flavor profiles and ingredients including fig, rose petal, saffron, orange blossom, star anise, pistachio, almond, cardamom, and cinnamon.

The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook: Over 100 Plant-Sourced Recipes Plus Practical Tips for the Healthiest, Most Compassionate You, Victoria Moran and JL Fields
In this cookbook, Victoria, and JL, along with over a hundred certified vegan lifestyle coaches, join you in the kitchen as you navigate more than 100 of their favorite plant-sourced recipes. Whether you’re new to the diet or a seasoned plant-based eater, vegan or just veg-curious, their tips, tricks, shortcuts, and strategies will transform your cooking, your eating, and your life.

The Perfect Blend: 100 Blender Recipes to Energize and Revitalize, Tess Masters
The Perfect Blend functions not only as a cookbook but also as a guide for how to lead a more vibrant and healthy life. Blogging powerhouse Tess Masters lays out a dozen healthy goals for readers, including gaining energy, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, detoxing the body, and probiotic power. Then Masters offers easy-to-follow recipes for smoothies, elixirs, snacks, salads, sides, soups, mains, and desserts that help you reach these goals and get results fast.

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Michael W. Twitty
A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith, and What to Eat for Dinner – A Satisfying Diet for Unsatisfying Times, Ellen Kanner
What do we turn to for both everyday sustenance and seasonal celebration? Food. Often, though, we’re like the hungry ghosts of Taoist lore, eating mindlessly, wandering aimlessly, and wanting more — more than food itself can provide. Ellen Kanner believes that if we put in a little thought and preparation, every meal can feed not only our bodies but our souls and our communities as well.

The Mindful Vegan: A 30-Day Plan for Finding Health, Balance, Peace, and Happiness, Lani Muelrath
Backed by extensive research, with step-by- step instructions, personal stories, positivity, humor, and a handful of delicious recipes, The Mindful Vegan will help you emancipate yourself from the stranglehold that mindless and compulsive eating have on your weight, health, food choices, and, most of all, peace of mind.

Culinary Fundamentals – The Classics

The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, Miyoko Schinner
Studded with full-color photos, The Homemade Vegan Pantry celebrates beautiful, handcrafted foods. From ice cream and pizza dough, to granola and breakfast sausage. Miyoko Schinner guides readers through the techniques for making roasted tomatoes,cheeses, sauces, pastas and much more, and all without special equipment. Her easy methods make “slow food” fast, and full of flavor.

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Paula I. Figoni
The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between.

More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, Fran Costigan
Because this dessert book is the basis of the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive® and still absolutely relevant.

The Pastry Chef’s Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional, Glenn Rinsky and Laura Halpin Rinsky
With more than 4,800 terms and definitions from around the world plus ten appendices filled with helpful resources, The Pastry Chef’s Companion combines the best features of a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, Fran Costigan, photos by Kate Lewis 
Because chocolate always makes everything better! Anyone – from newbie to pro – can make irresistible chocolate desserts from this book. With gorgeous full color photos by Kate Lewis, the book makes a gorgeous coffee table book gift too! (Friends outside of the United States, note that Vegan Chocolate has been published in German, French and Italian.)

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs, Karen Page
To quote the author Karen Page, “If you master a single recipe, you’ll learn how to cook a single dish. If you master the dynamics of flavor, you can make anything taste better.” Emphasizing plant-based whole foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, the book provides an A-to-Z listing of hundreds of ingredients, from Açaí to Zucchini Blossoms, cross-referenced with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that best enhance their flavor, resulting in thousands of recommended pairings. I’m amazed at what I am learning as I read this book.

Kitchen Creativity: Unlocking Culinary Genius—with Wisdom, Inspiration, and Ideas from the World’s Most Creative Chefs, Karen Page
In this groundbreaking exploration of culinary genius, the authors of The Flavor Bible reveal the surprising strategies great chefs use to do what they do best. Beyond a cookbook, Kitchen Creativity is a paradigm-shifting guide to inventive cooking (without recipes!) that will inspire you to think, improvise, and cook like the world’s best chefs.


Kitchen Tools

2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - Kitchen Tools

Here are some essentials for making desserts. I’ve included links so that you can have visuals of the items.

Digital Scale
How much chocolate did you chop? Is that cup of cashews really 5 ounces? Get a digital scale already. You won’t look back!

Norpro Stainless Steel 8 Piece Measuring Spoon Set  
What makes these measuring spoons so awesome is their long necks, which makes scooping from small jars easy. You’ll appreciate the 1/8 tsp measure too. I have several sets.

Nesting Measuring Cups for Dry Ingredients
No fancy shaped cups please! Get 1, 2, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups too! I like these for home and traveling.

Measuring Spoons

Indispensible 1/4 cup Liquid Measuring Cups
I carry these with me to schools and on trips.

Commercial Half and Quarter Sheet Pans
These are the hardest working pans in the kitchen! They’re great for toasting nuts, seeds, containing spillovers while pies bake, as cookie sheets, make sheet cakes, and more

Parchment Paper to Line Sheet Pans
Buy the half sheet size and cut for the quarter sheets. This shipss flat.

Parchment Paper Rounds to line cake pans 
Sure, you can cut parchment to fit your pans, but I find having a stack of these pre-cut  8-9- and 10 inch rounds handy. Make sure you have some parchment sheets to line your baking pans too.

Cooling Racks

Strainer for sifting flour

Kitchen Shears

Cupcake Boxes
I just started ordering these boxes for gifting mini cupcakes and Gluten-Free Brownie Bites. The packaging is flat, the windowed box makes an attractive presentation.

Whisks, Ballon

Whisks, Flat

Oven Thermometer

Silicone Spatulas
I like mini ones too. Get more than you think you need, because you will need them!

Heatproof Mixing Bowls 

Flexible Cutting Boards
These make transferring chopped chocolate easy.

Culinary Torch
A torch is essential for working with meringue, that’s aquafaba made!

Hand Blender 
An immersion or stick blender enables you to puree soaked prunes (for making brownies), as well as make soups, sauces, and much more directly in the pan or serving bowl. The blade attachment, which in some models is interchangeable with a whisk, snaps onto a long shaft. You press a button and blend.  I use my immersion blender often and find it a breeze to clean, but the blades are sharp and the button is sensitive, so it is extremely important that you unplug the blender before cleaning.

Lemon and Lime Squeezer
Amazing little gadget gets all the juice out of lemons and limes, strains the seeds, fits into small places for storing.

Microplane Premium Zester/Grater
I used to avoid zesting until I found the microplane. With razor sharp teeth that allow for zesting in both directions, you can quickly zest citrus fruits, garlic, ginger and whole nutmeg–chocolate too!

Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder
Spice and nut grinders are always helpful for baking.

Instant Pot
I was a holdout, even though pressure cooking expert, Jill Nussinow is one of my best friends. Well, I stand corrected, and I use my set-it-and-forget-it Instant Pot for steel cuts oats, and grains and but yesterday when I cooked a whole kabocha squash in 15 nminutes- perfectly, I was blown away. I bought one for each of my kids.

High-Speed Blender
Because high-speed blenders are pricy big ticket item, I’d say technically this is a  nice to have instead of essential. But honestly, I can’t imagine not having my high speed blender in the kitchen. I know it saves time and ultimately money too. I was tired burning out standard blenders. Want one?? Be very good, and let Santa know.

Standard Blender  
A mid range blender, such as this Kitchen Aid works very well.

Food Processor
Don’t bother with a mini processor. They don’t work.

Stand Mixer 
Nice to have, especially if you are into working with aquafaba or making vegan buttercream. You can also use an Electric Hand Mixer and patience.

Large Stand Mixer
If you’re working with larger batches or bread, a 6-quart mixer is helpful. I LOVE my red Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!

Vegan Food Gifts

2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - Food Gifts

Lagusta’s Luscious 
Founded in 2003 by a passionate vegan chef, Lagusta’s Luscious artisanal chocolates combine a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights with the love of bold flavor of a true foodie and the obsessive commitment to artisan techniques of a chocolatier. Use code weheartfran at checkout for 10% discount. (Offer excludes the Caramel Collection and Large Caramel Assortment box.) Discount good is good until January 31st.

Rescue Chocolate
Rescue Chocolate has just come out with scrumptious new curated collections for cat-lovers, fruit-lovers, white chocolate-lovers, and creamy dessert-lovers. All of their chocolate bars and truffles are vegan, fairly traded, organic, non-GMO, handcrafted in Brooklyn NY, and kosher. And, all profits are donated to various animal rescue organizations.

Gone Pie
Order brownies, pies, macaroons, or peanut butter caramel cups – everything is vegan and gluten-free.

Miyoko’s Kitchen
From delicate and creamy to pungent and hard, Mikoyo’s Kitchen makes a wide range of vegan cheeses made from nuts and her artisan vegan butter – oh my. The company’s move into a much larger new space has resulted in low inventory at the moment but place your orders – they are working to get shipping. Use the code HOLIDAY2017 to get 15% off your entire order from now until January 2nd.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Subscription
This subscription service sends a box of vegan snack straight to your door each month.

Vegan Fashion

2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - Fashion Gifts

Gunas is an independent high fashion label with a cause! Started in 2009 by designer and animal lover, Sugandh G. Agrawal. They are committed to being a 100% vegan brand, and they make fashion-forward cruelty-free handbags and shoes.

Vaute is the world’s first vegan fashion brand, founded with a mission of taking animals out of the fashion equation, by creating something better, using innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district. Vaute originally started as a vegan coat company, but they’ve since expanded to clothes, shoes, and accessories. I love my new bright blue coat!



Fran’s Essential Vegan Desserts Course with Rouxbe
Learn to make vegan desserts like a pro, whether you are a newbie or a pro, on your own schedule. This is an online course based on my popular NYC based Vegan Baking Boot Camp ®. It’s a 90-day course that focuses on essential techniques and recipes so you can create quality vegan desserts with confidence.The next course starts on February 2nd, and space is limited.

Rouxbe Plant–Based Certification Course
Led by world-renowned plant-based chef educator Chad Sarno, this ground-breaking certification course is the most comprehensive plant-based course ever put together. Read what Dianne Wenz had to say about her Rouxbe experience. 6 month course.

Rouxbe Culinary RX
This online instructional cooking and nutrition course, taught by leading chef educators and medical professionals, empowers students through their transition to a more health-supportive diet and lifestyle. 30 da course.

Main Street Vegan Academy
Take your vegan outreach to the professional level by training to be an MSVA-Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator in this program led by Victoria Moran.


2017 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - Gifts that Give

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physicians Committee is leading a revolution in medicine—putting a new focus on health and compassion. The Physicians Committee combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world.

American Civil Liberties Union
For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

Coalition for Healthy School Food
The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a nonprofit that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.

Animal Sanctuaries
The list of animal sanctuaries is quite extensive. Some of my favorites from the East Coast include:
Farm Sanctuary
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue
Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary



Fran at Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta
I’ll be returning to the ranch as a guest chef the week of June 9th through 16th, which is my birthday week. Come join me. This is worth saving for- trust me! There is no place on this earth like The Ranch.


Dear friends, I am so interested to know what you like to give and to get as gifts, so please let me know in the comments section.  I’m sending my sincere wishes to each one of you for a happy, healthy holiday season. May there be peace on earth for all.












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