Gift Guide 2014 with The Sprouted Kitchen

·Creative Consultant

Sara Forte writes The Sprouted Kitchen, a blog that focuses on clean, ingredient-driven cooking. Her partner, Hugh, is the photographer, documenting their life together through the lens of food. They released their first cookbook, Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods, with Ten Speed in 2012, and their second book, Bowl + Spoon, will be out next spring. Below, Sara shares her holiday gift picks and her plans for celebrating the season.

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The Sprouted Kitchen blog’s Sara FortePhoto: Hugh Forte

What are your top five food-related gift ideas for the holiday?

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1. Not Without Salt’s salted chocolate chip cookie mix Photo: Not Without Salt

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2. This hand-dipped walnut wood bowl Photo: Food52

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3. Our cookbook! Photo: Amazon

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4. Pallares Solsona kitchen shears Photo: Quitokeeto

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5. Marge granola Photo: Marge Granola

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I was pregnant last Christmas and sister gave me beautifully wrapped gifts for the little boy in my belly. He was the size of a bean and she spoiled him with cute outfits and shoes. It meant a lot that she was so thoughtful towards someone she didn’t even know yet. Also, my husband bought me the shears I linked to above, which I mentioned one time that I would never buy for myself. They are so incredibly sharp and beautiful!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?
I bought my husband a really nice bag, something he could take to client meeting, that can hold his laptop etc. I am not a very confident gift giver—I don’t trust my taste and I hate wasting money on things I’m not sure someone would like. I splurged and bought him this gorgeous man bag that he had no idea about and ended up loving. I don’t end up that successful with gifts often and it made me feel so great.

What are your plans for the holidays?
We always gather with my husband’s family Christmas eve and mine Christmas day. It’s a good time to catch up with loved ones we don’t see often. Lots of food, gifts, family, yelling, a crowded kitchen, cozy fires, holiday tunes, and such. Now that we have a kid, it feels important to start traditions (even if he has no idea what’s going on yet). We’re going to volunteer to give gifts to families in need and take food to a shelter that needs it. I don’t want my kids to just gather an excess of thingsthis holiday is about the nativity and giving thanks and others. There is great joy in giving.

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Sprouted Kitchen’s Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Bowl Photo: Hugh Forte

What will be on your holiday dinner table this year?
I always make a big giant salad. It’s a potluck situation with our family and I am undoubtedly the vegetable side or salad lady. I’m trying to use different spices this year; I’m making a quinoa salad with thinly sliced purple carrots, minced shallots, candied pumpkin seeds, micro greens and a citrus-tahini dressing. I love dishes that make for great leftovers, too.

What’s a great last-minute gift?
Pretty throw blankets, Baggu reusable market bags, or large serving bowls.

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Baggu’s standard bag is just $9 Photo: Baggu

More gift ideas for your friends this holiday season:
DIY Chocolate Bark
Chic Handmade Holiday Gifts
13 Gifts Our Editors Want for Themselves