What to get for the person who eats nothing?
December 20, 2010 6:27 AM   Subscribe

DIY food gift ideas for gluten-free vegan

My brother is a vegan, and over the past year or so he has also gone gluten free.

He has a slew of mental health issues and lives off SSI, so in recent years I've tried to assembly an assortment of vegan-friendly food items as part of his gift. He also lives in in an area without ready access to such places as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, not that he could afford to shop there often even if he did.

In the past I've picked up an assortment of stuff from TJ's, but it looks like I have a little time on my hands this week, and I'd like to do something a little more personal--think pretty soup mixes or baking mixes in jars that can be fancied up with a cute label and a bow.
posted by SomeTrickPony to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about a hummous making kit, put in a hamper/basket?

- Bowl, wooden spoon
- Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice/lemons, salt, olive oil, paprika (optional)
posted by MuffinMan at 6:30 AM on December 20, 2010

Does he bake at all? It's not as cute as food in jars, but getting a variety of gluten free flours (sweet rice, brown rice, tapioca, etc) would really make me happy. This goes especially if he doesn't have access to places that might sell that type of stuff, because they can really add up.

There is also a type of tapioca bread called Chebe that I love. You can get mixes, but be careful -- some come with powdered milk inside already, some do not. You can look at their website to see which have milk.
posted by sugarfish at 6:32 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

That Bob's Red Mill bundle is full of gluten.
posted by sugarfish at 6:49 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I imagine he'd appreciate a ton of the (very expensive gluten-free) baking mixes available at your local Whole Foods. Otherwise, all of the vegans I know would appreciate actual kitchen hardware more than food. Mixers, good bowls, baking forms, etc.
posted by beerbajay at 6:56 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Membership in a CSA share?
posted by CathyG at 6:58 AM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

These raw snack balls are amazing. And unbelievably easy and extremely adaptable. I don't measure--I just throw dates in the food processor, nuts and whatever else I feel like. Since he isn't also raw you can even use toasted nuts to up the flavor content. If someone made me a bunch for xmas I would love them forever. They keep really well, too.
I also have a recipe for a raw key lime cheesecake that is to die for but I don't have access to it at the moment.
posted by hecho de la basura at 7:07 AM on December 20, 2010

Ooo CSA share/similar vegetable-based subscription service is a great idea.
posted by beerbajay at 7:15 AM on December 20, 2010

Whoops. I snooped around bob's looking for the soup mixes and managed to pick the wrong thing. In any event - the soup mixes should be gluten free but verify; otherwise, Bob's has a load of gluten free things (like, oats are hard to get verifiably gluten free according to the GF people I know, but Bob's are regarded as safe) so you could do a Bob's Oatmeal / Breakfast cereal mix with canned pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon - voila! Breakfast!
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:26 AM on December 20, 2010

Having had a vegan, wheat-free period of my life, I have to say that a good stock of gluten free flours would be a great gift. (You can put it in pretty jars, even.) But while you're at Trader Joe's, you could also get a pound plus chocolate bar, for yummy veganness. (Or throw in a vegan &/or gluten free cookbook.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:39 AM on December 20, 2010

A friend of mine did that Oprah 21-day cleanse thing last year, which involves eating vegan and gluten-free. You might poke around online to find resources related to that. (It was related to Kathy Freston's book Quantum Wellness, but that involves a lot of spirituality and consciousness stuff that's probably unnecessary for what you need. Still, Googling those terms might help.)

While I was pondering the stuff my friend would actually be able to eat, I found Kind bars. They are truly fantastic in taste compared to, say, Clif or Lara bars; I love the jamminess of the fruit bars. Unfortunately, they are not vegan because of the honey. If he is okay with that, they might be an option. However, you could try this recipe, which tells you how to use maple or brown rice syrup.

A GF friend of mine LOVES Luna and Larry's Coconut Bliss (if you can get it to travel!). That might not be so DIY, but I bet he'd enjoy it as a unique treat.
posted by Madamina at 9:10 AM on December 20, 2010

My mom made these for a family gathering last week and they were AMAZING:
Raspberry Coconut Almond Cookie Bars

They're not exactly super-healthy and full of nutrition, but they are very tasty, an indulgence. They are sweet, so maybe you can include strong coffee beans as well.
posted by valeries at 1:06 PM on December 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

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