By Debbie Benson
Cooking gifts would be appreciated by almost anyone that cooks, especially when on a low sodium diet. These folks must do most of their own cooking at home to lower their sodium intake. Almost everything they consume must be prepared with mostly fresh ingredients. This is the back to the basics or made from scratch cooking. Cooking gifts that will make their cooking taste better and the task of cooking easier would be greatly appreciated.
Here are some unique gift ideas including appliances (both large or small), cooking tools and cooking gadgets, which would make preparing a low sodium diet at home faster, easier and tastier.
- A crock pot or slow cooker: This does the cooking while you are away and creates amazing flavor.
- A pressure cooker: It saves a lot of cooking time and increases flavor.
- Cookware: This could be a small set, large set or a single piece of cookware like a Dutch oven, a grill pan, a skillet with a lid, or a wok.
- Blenders: A traditional type of blender or an immersion type blender. Immersion blenders are hand-held that you take to the bowl or pot. Get a strong one. This makes blending easier. Make creamy soups in the pot, make salt-free nut butter right in the jar, as well as your own salt-free mayonnaise and salad dressings in a jiffy, and doesn’t need much space.
- A food processor: large or small. Chopping food is the most time-consuming part of preparing meals.
- Knives: Good choices are an 8-inch chef’s knife and a paring knife. Some folks don’t like to give knives as gifts. That’s up to you. Knives are very important in a kitchen. Especially in a low sodium kitchen where almost everything you are cooking is fresh and needs to be cut-up.
- Cutting boards: Very necessary to have at least one, or two would be better. One for meats and one for vegetables. This helps eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.
- A bread maker: This is a something you might not think of. In case you didn’t know, most bread is pretty high in sodium and many must learn to make their own bread to reduce their sodium intake.
- A barbecue or a smoker: Let your budget be your guide. There are many types and prices, from tabletop to deluxe outdoor kitchens. These can make a lot of flavorful food.
- A dehydrator: Many dehydrated foods are expensive and can be high in sulfites. You can dehydrate your fresh herbs, vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms, and fruits. Jerky is a popular treat and you can make your own salt-free jerky.
- A new stove, microwave, convection oven, air fryer or toaster oven: There many new brands that make cooking quicker and easier. Try to get something that will also brown. Browning adds flavor.
- A popcorn popper: Perhaps with organic popcorn and a bottle of salt-free popcorn seasoning.
- Ice cream maker: It is amazing how much sodium there can be in ice cream.
- An herb saver: Fresh herbs are recommended for flavor in many low sodium recipes, but they can be expensive, especially when not in season, and they don’t keep well.
- A pepper mill or pepper grinder. Freshly ground pepper is one of the best and most needed tools for a low sodium kitchen, as this adds a lot of flavor.
- Salt-free seasonings: The most important gift for anyone on a salt-free or low sodium diet would be an assortment of salt-free seasonings. Including a favorite bulk size of their favorite salt-free seasoning. A good salt substitute would be helpful. Seasoning the food is the key to flavor.
Tip: Make sure you are aware of how much kitchen space your gift recipient has available. Many kitchens are quite small with limited storage. Also, be aware of how much work is involved to clean the appliance or tool. Too much work to clean and the gift (no matter how nice), won’t get used.
A real basic low sodium kitchen needs a knife, a cutting board, a pan, and salt-free seasonings. Hopefully, there is a stove.
There are a lot of unique gift ideas for cooking gifts out there, but you want to give a cooking gift that is appreciated and used. If it helps the recipient get more flavorful results, makes their low sodium cooking easier, in less time and it’s easy to clean, then the cooking gift will get used, be appreciated and most important of all, it will help them stick to their low sodium diet.