We suggest the following snacks and ingredients as sweet holiday gifts.
The basket includes, from left to right:
Living Nutz Sprouted Almonds. These are unpasteurized, and are a great product because since 2007, when the USDA banned the sale of unpasteurized almonds grown in the US, it can be hard to find unpasteurized almonds unless you happen to live near an almond farm's farmstand in California.
Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs. These got the highest (safest) rating in the Natural News list of raw cacao products, many of which contain high levels of cadmium. They're delicious, and make a great ingredient.
(Earth Circle also offers Organic Raw 70% Dark Chocolate that has been mixed with dehydrated coconut palm nectar, packaged in a decorative round box. Just shave off some of the block and melt it in a 95-degree dehydrator, then mix with a small amount of extra virgin coconut oil and freeze briefly in a silicon candy mold, to make raw cacao candy.)
Navitas Naturals Raw Chia Seeds. These make a great, healthful ingredient in raw chia seed pudding, in homemade nutmilks, in raw dehydrated cookies, crackers, pancakes and wraps, and in raw vegan breakfast cereal.
Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Butter. A great ingredient for making raw vegan chocolate candy, puddings, ice creams, pies and more.
Volume 1 Raw Talk, a video conversation with the noted Jamaican raw chef Aris LaTham, and Anna Maria Clement and Brian Clement, the co-directors of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. Presented by Living Food Films, of VisionEarth.org. Makes a wonderful gift for anyone who is open to learning more about the raw vegan lifestyle.
The Little Book of Raw Vegan Holiday Recipes by Judy Pokras. This perennial favorite celebrates holiday meals from Halloween through New Year's Day Brunch with a wide range of raw vegan recipes for every course of a meal.
Living Nutz's I Love Vegan Cheezy Almonds. One of our favorite packaged raw vegan snacks. These are fabulous! One caveat. The label says they are made in a peanut-free facility that processes tree nuts and soy. Good to know for anyone allergic to or otherwise avoiding soy.
Navitas Naturals Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds. Like chia seeds, hemp seeds are a superfood, a nutritional powerhouse. Containing all of the essential amino acids, they are a complete protein, and easily digestible. They have an ideally balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and are an excellent source of magnesium. And fans of medical or recreational marijuana know that hemp is from the cannabis plant, although it is not psychoactive and does not cause a high. But you might feel high just from the energy of eating a superfood!
Living Nutz's Mayan Chili Pistachios. Another addictive raw vegan snack package from Living Nutz. Note that the label has the same caveat as their I Love Vegan Cheezy Almonds: that they are manufactured in a peanut-free facility that processes tree nuts and soy.
Holiday Basket of Personal Care Items
First, a photo showing a lineup of the individual items:
Aquarella Water Color Nail Polish, Conditioner and Remover, along with the emory boards and cuticle stick that comes with them. Aquarella's nail polish (available in many more colors as well) are rated highest of any brand on the Environmental Working Groups's CosmeticDatabase.org, in terms of having a very low level of toxicity (a number 1 in a scale in which 10 has the most toxins). We're pleased to have discovered them. Note that their product is different from conventional nail color products, and you will need to read and follow their instructions in order to get the best results from their nail polish.
Bee Yummy skin care products from LiveLive.com, one of our favorite stores in New York City. From top to bottom, there is the Bee Yummy Honeymask,
Bee Yummy Skin Food, and Bee Yummy Eye and Lip Cream. We love all of these, for their fragrance and how they feel on our skin. And for the results they produce!
Primitive Lip Liner Pencil and Lipsticks. These great items are colorful and made of pure ingredients. Their variety of lipliner and lipstick colors gives the fashion-conscious and ingredients-conscious woman a lot of options for expressing her style. We applaud this company!
livpurely Coconut Oil. We like the way this is packaged, as it will prevent spills. We love LivPurely for using only the finest, purest ingredients in its products. We also love their Vanilla Coconut Oil, which makes a great moisturizer and/or makeup remover and has THE most divine fragrance, and their Anti-aging Coconut Oil Moisturizer Cream as well. It's made from coconut oil and wild-crafted beeswax, and we get many compliments on our skin since using it.
Mineral Fusion's Sheer Moisture Lip Tints (pictured are Smolder and Shimmer), which provide color in a light formula, and eye shadow trios (pictured are Jaded and Fragile). We love the texture of the lip tints and the eye shadow trios, and highly recommend them!
Simply Divine Botanicals. From top to bottom: Butter Me Up "You Glow Girl," the only fun, glittery skin cream we know of that contains the purest ingredients. Makes a wonderful way to add festivity to your holiday party fashion looks; Pack Your Bags They're Leaving, a cream popular among customers for reducing the look of puffiness around the eyes, according to Simply Divine Botanicals; Creme de Rose another one of our favorite products for its pure ingredients, which have healing properties; and Crystal Ally Deodorant, a spray-on deodorant made of the purest ingredients. It comes unscented and in several fragrances too. Simply Divine Botanicals's owner says she is passionate about products that help people to heal, and we commend her for that.
Here is how all of these products look when placed in a gift basket:
And finally, here's another item that we applaud, a bra made of organic cotton. Created by Ohganix and Hippocrates Health Institutute, it's the only bra we've come across made from organic cotton instead of polyester, spandex and nylon. The partners are working on new designs, and we look forward to seeing them. We'll bring you the news once they're on the market. Bravo!