Is it weird that my bf and I talk about Santa like he’s real? All year long we make remarks like “Oh this looks cool, maybe Santa will get it for my stocking this Christmas.” Like what’s up with that? Black Friday is here which has me revved up for holiday shopping like nobodies business. Except I don’t necessarily shop for other people. I mainly shop for myself. Not on PURPOSE (ok maybe a little bit), but it’s just so hard to say no to all the savings! I’m a cheapo by nature, so once a year on Black Friday I finally splurge on stuff for myself other than food.
Which brings me to my list of Top 25 Primal Holiday Shopping List. Since I’m a cheapo, I usually wait for the holidays or my birthday/anniversaries to ask for the really awesome appliances that I feel guilty buying myself. So far in the last 2 years since going Primal I’ve stockpiled some awesome kitchen gadgets that make eating REAL FOOD so much easier.
Check it out:
A mandoline is obviously a great tool for tedious tasks like quickly and uniformly cutting onions or other vegetables, but it is absolutely essential if you make a lot of homemade sauerkraut. Through a lot of experimentation, I’ve found that a uniform cut makes a huge difference in the final taste of your kraut. The OXO Good Grips Mandoline is the perfect compromise between quality and affordability. Sturdy and well constructed, it has a built in height adjuster that gives you the option of 4 different levels of thickness for each blade, including the all important (for sauerkrauting purposes) 1/8 of an inch setting. The built in adjustability is what sets the OXO apart from other highly rated Mandolines such as Borner. This model won an America’s Test Kitchen selection as “Best Mandoline” so I’m not the only one that likes it. Full stainless steel construction is the only thing this product really lacks, but you’ll pay more than double the price for that, and for me it just isn’t worth it.
I wouldn’t buy a mandoline for either myself or as a gift for somebody else without including a pair of cutting gloves. Why? Because I did buy a mandolin for myself without buying a pair of cutting gloves, and paid for it dearly! Seriously, mandolines are dangerous. I cut myself twice, badly, before I finally broke down and got the gloves. And having the gloves is no reason to treat the mandoline with any less respect. I slipped once using these GF Blade X5 57100 gloves and they did prevent a cut, but please remember that no glove is full proof. Even if you aren’t wearing gloves, slice with the same care and attention you would if you would if you weren’t wearing any.
A chef’s knife is the most essentially tool in any kitchen. I recommend MAC, Shun, or Global. MAC’s probably have the best reputation among working cooks, but a very utilitarian look. Shun’s are absolutely beautiful, and my personal choice because all things being equal, I like my kitchen accessories to look beautiful. Global have a unique look and feel that you’ll either love or hate. I prefer Japanese style knives to Western knives because the narrower angle of the blade makes for a sharper cut.
Unless have something to keep your blade sharp, there is absolutely no reason to invest over $100 in a kitchen knife. You might as well pick up a $20 blade at Target, because without regular sharpenings that’s what your expensive knife is going to turn in to. The traditional and best way to sharpen knives is with whetstones. Whetstones are expensive and require a certain degree of skill to use and unless you want to invest the time and money in mastering them, are probably overkill for home cooks. I use a MinoSharp 220 Ceramic Wheel Sharpener coupled with a diamond honing rod to keep my Japanese knives in tip top shape. Whetstones can take you back to factory or even better than factory sharpness. The Minosharp and honing rod will get you back to near factory sharpness, which in the knives I recommended previously, is pretty ridiculously sharp.
My love for Fido Fermented Sauerkraut is well documented. Fido Jars are the easiest, cheapest, most user friendly method of entering the world of fermented foods. Amazon link in this instance is just for reference purposes. You’ll want to buy your Fido Jars at TJ Maxx were they are less than half the price you pay online.
Another staple of the paleo cooking world. Crock pots are great for no fuss dishes that serve your entire family. The Hamilton Beach 33967 is a fantastic crock pot with temperature control, built in thermometer for verifying the internal temperature of meats, and even has handles if you want to take your crock pot dish over to a friend’s house for a party or gathering.
What would paleo snacking be without beef jerky? The only problem is that jerky, like kombucha and sauerkraut, can get awful pricey if you are buying it in the store every week. Enter the food dehydrator. Why buy expensive store jerky when you can make your own? The Nesco Snackmaster Pro is cute, easy to clean, dehydrator that outperforms many of its more expensive rivals. Strongly recommended by all the top jerky gurus. Only downside to this model is no on off button or timer, but a cheap socket timer from your local hardware store will remedy this omission.
Ice Cream Maker
Is Ice Cram Paleo? If you make it with Coconut Milk it sure is. My Paleo Chunky Monkey and Dark Chocolate Maple Bacon Ice Creams were both made with my trusty Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker. Churns out ice cream in about 15-20 minutes and yields 1 1/2 quarts.
The perfect paleo stocking stuffers- kelp granules and magnesium! Organic Kelp granules are a great way to get our required intake of iodine, which is essential for thyroid health, and ever since I’ve started taking Natural Calm Magnesium supplements I’ve been sleeping like a baby. Magnesium and Iodine both make Mark Sisson’s list of the five most common nutrient deficiencies and of all the supplements I’ve ever taken, these are the only two that ever gave me an immediately noticeable effect.
Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Flour is the gold standard of almond flours. In fact, it is more than a gold standard- it is pretty much the only almond flour I recommend for baking. Other brands like Bobs Red Mill just don’t deliver a good final product.
Poop the way grok did with the Squatty Potty. Squatting puts your bowels in the orientation they were meant to be in during pooping. This product is the real deal and a must have for anybody with constipation, hemorrhoids, or just wants to improve their overall colon health. Comes in 7 inch or 9 inch versions so measure your toilet first to see which is for you.
The thing that attracted me to these kettlebells was that they were the absolute cheapest I could find. I was worried that being so cheap, there might be something wrong with them, but I was delighted with the quality. These are just a really solid, no frills, cast iron kettlebell with a grip wide enough for even my boyfriend’s monster hands.
Natural Light Alarm Clock
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Waking up used to be the worst part of my day. Traditional alarm rouse you by attempting to scare the living crap out of you. Pretty much the same principle as this. But we evolved to wake up gradually with the rising sun, not shrill, ear piercing sounds. The Phillips HF 3510 wakes you up naturally, gently, and peacefully. Totally changes your perspective on mornings.