Need a present for the veggie in your life? Here are 9 perfect gift ideas for vegetarians! Ranging from stocking stuffers right up to under-the-tree type presents.
This post contains affiliate links. Find out more here.
Who's excited about Christmas?! I try my hardest to contain myself all through the autumn, but as soon as we get towards December, I can't hold it in any longer. Get Mariah on the radio, crack open the box of chocolates, and pour me a glass of mulled wine. I'm wearing jingle bell earrings until January.
That said, I find buying presents for other people one of the hardest parts of Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts and I love making people happy... but I don't think I'm really very good at choosing presents.
(everybody loves a selection box, right?)
In case you find present buying as difficult as I do, here are a few of the best gifts for vegetarians - if you know a veggie lover, there's sure to be something on this list that will fit in perfectly in their kitchen.
If you don't want to scan the whole blog post, here's a quick overview of the items I've chosen:
The best gifts for vegetarians
In no particular order, here are my top picks for Christmas (or otherwise!) gifts for vegetarians. I've included Amazon links for both Amazon UK and Amazon US (please note these are affiliate links!).
I've tried to choose a good variety of items - ranging all the way from little stocking stuffers to main, under-the-tree type presents. Let me know what you think of my choices, and if you have any other ideas, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
A tofu press
My usual method for pressing tofu is to wrap it in a tea towel or a few sheets of kitchen paper, place a chopping board on top, and then stack up a load of heavy pans (usually filled to the rim with water).
It works... but it's a bit of a faff. And on more than one occasion, I've spilled water everywhere (perhaps this gift guide is more suited to me...).
A tofu press is much simpler - just pop your block of tofu in the box, clamp down the lid, and all the water will be squeezed from your tofu with zero effort from you.
(so not only is a tofu press great for a clumsy vegetarian, but a lazy one too! It's got me written all over it...)
There are a few different designs of tofu press available, but this one has really good reviews.
And once you've got perfectly pressed tofu, don't forget to read my guide all about how to cook tofu perfectly!
Reusable produce bags
If you're a vegetarian, chances are you buy a lot of vegetables - I do know some people that live on beige food (hello, teenage me), but most veggies love veggies.
These reusable produce bags are great for all kinds of uses:
- take them to the supermarket to fill with loose fruits and veg, meaning you can avoid using the plastic bags provided (much better for the environment!)
- help keep your fridge organised by storing like products together
- keep your produce fresh for longer!
- store loose items like dried beans without the risk of the packet splitting
...and all sorts of other things!
Again, there are quite a few different brands available, but these ones seem to have unanimously great reviews.
A pressure cooker / Instant Pot
But if the vegetarian you're buying for is a better person than me (or perhaps they just don't have two tiny children!), they probably cook their beans from scratch, buying big bags of dried beans and cooking them in big batches. It's a super cheap way of eating beans, as well as creating less packaging waste.
But often, dried beans require soaking in advance, sometimes for hours and hours, and then can take another few hours to cook. Okay, most of this is hands-off time, but there's still always the risk of your pan boiling over or boiling dry, and you still need to be aware that your cooker's turned on.
A pressure cooker is a great way to cook big batches of dried beans really quickly and easily, with minimal effort and minimal risk. Just put the dried beans in the pot, add some water or stock, and you're good to go.
The Instant Pot is a brilliant electric pressure cooker, which cooks all kinds of foods in next to no time. Here's the official guide to cooking beans from Instant Pot themselves - it can take as little as 15 or 20 minutes to cook a batch of beans, even if you've not soaked them first!
This is the Instant Pot I have - check out the Instant Pot version of my famous very veggie lentil bake!
Going back to the whole 'vegetarians probably eat a lot of vegetables' thing - these food huggers are a great way to keep half-used fruits and veggies fresh in the fridge, without needing to resort to single-use plastics like cling film. Another item to help make our kitchens more environmentally friendly.
These silicone cups come in a variety of sizes, and can be pushed over half a tomato, half a lemon, half an onion... yeah, pretty much half an anything. They create a tight seal around the item, keeping it fresher for longer. They can be used as lids on jars, too.
They're also dishwasher safe - hurrah! I pretty much refuse to buy anything these days if it requires hand washing.
A vegetable spiraliser
In case you've not seen one before, a spiraliser is basically a tool that can cut all sorts of veggies into long, spaghetti-like noodles. Lots of people like to use these veggie noodles as a replacement for real pasta, to lower the calories and carb content of their meals.
This one is a bit of a frivolous idea, and will probably only be fitting for vegetarians who like to eat a super healthy diet. Me, I'm kind of into my carbs, so although I did used to have a spiraliser, I actually got rid of it, as I found I didn't use it much (and as a food blogger, I don't have room in my kitchen for heaps of unnecessary gadgets!).
However, the spiraliser I had was more similar to this - a big bulky thing that took up lots of counter space. The kind I've featured here is more of a pencil sharpener style, so easier to throw in a drawer for occasional use.
So even if your veggie friend is only occasionally concerned with carbs (let's say, 1st - 10th January each year), this one might be worth a try.
I pretty much never cook recipes from cookbooks (one of the perils of developing my own recipes for a living - I always have to try to come up with my own ideas instead), but I still have a big collection of vegetarian cookbooks.
I absolutely love browsing through cookbooks, especially ones with a big, colourful photo for each recipe. I always seem to bookmark almost every recipe, despite knowing I'll never actually cook any of them.
Of course, there are all sorts of veggie cookbooks around, so the exact book you choose will probably be guided by the person you're buying for (do they like hearty comfort food, or super healthy salads? Vegan meals or cheesy bakes? Quick and easy one pot recipes, or intricate labours of love?).
Here are a few vegetarian books that I've heard really good things about lately:
- Veg by Jamie Oliver (Amazon UK / Amazon US)
- Bish Bash Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (Amazon UK / Amazon US)
- The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer (Amazon UK / Amazon US)
A mesh BBQ mat
BBQing is not just for meat-eaters!
It may sound weird, but I adore BBQs in the summer - despite not eating meat, there's always an amazing selection of grilled veggies, halloumi, corn on the cob, veggie burgers and sausages, various salads and side dishes... okay, now I'm hungry.
Although here in the Northern Hemisphere we're still quite a way away from BBQ weather (about as far away as you can get, in fact), there's no harm in preparing for the summer in advance, and these mesh grill mats look so useful.
Just pop the mat straight onto the BBQ rack, and you'll be able to grill all sorts of veggie bits without any danger of things falling through into the coals (I've lost many a piece of asparagus this way). It will also help to hold together delicate veggie burgers, which always seem to break apart, and it keeps your BBQ grill clean (they can be a pain to wash!).
Considering these mesh grill mats are pretty cheap, and can be used again and again, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
There seem to be many different brands available, so just do your research and find the one that you like the look of.
A set of egg poachers
Eggs are a great source of protein for vegetarians - not to mention they're cheap, versatile, and delicious!
Poached eggs are notoriously difficult to make, but these silicone egg poachers promise perfect poached eggs every time. Just stand them in a pan of boiling water, crack in your eggs, and there's your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner...) sorted.
Unlike a lot of silicone egg poachers, these ones actually allow the eggs to cook directly in the water, giving a proper, authentic poached egg!
A salad spinner
Again, this one will be more relevant to some vegetarians than others - I know a lot of vegetarians who rarely come within ten feet of a salad (myself included). But if your vegetarian friend is a salad lover, a salad spinner is a must in their kitchen!
There's nothing worse than soggy salad leaves, and a salad spinner is the quickest way to dry your lettuce without damaging it (as well as all sorts of other fruits and veggies!).
This model also has a hole in the lid for adding your salad dressing, so it's an easy way to create a perfectly dressed salad too.
Plus, you guessed it, it's dishwasher safe!