TNK Holiday Gift Guide: Part II

Originally, I thought about doing only one gift guide, but then I started thinking about how hard it is for some to go out and purchase gifts for various reasons. Additionally, in my opinion handmade gifts, such as cookies, loaves, drink mixes, and more are just as (if not more) appreciated than store bought presents. This season is stressful enough as it is for some, and I wanted to mention other gifts such as gifts that giveback to charity. I am a strong believer that it’s better to give than receive, and if we can help others during the season, why not?

Giving back during the holidays doesn’t even have to mean donating to a charity of your choosing. It can mean purchasing a hot coffee and a pastery for the person sitting on the street, or helping someone carry their groceries. If we all just go that extra mile for others we can accomplish so much when we work together.

OK, so let’s jump into part two of the gift guide


  1. Sticky Ginger Cake - One of my ultimate favourite loaves around the holidays was my aunt’s “woods loaf” filled with warming spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Bake a huge loaf or two to gift to friends/family. Find the recipe HERE.



I recently came up with this recipe which I shared on Instagram! I seriously channeled my inner Christina Tosi for these, and they came out incredible. Brought them to my staff decorating party, and even non-vegs had no idea they weren’t made with refined sugar, eggs, butter, etc.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 12

  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/4 cup water let to set 5 minutes)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup whole spelt flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (blitzed down into flour)

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

  • 2/3 cup chopped pretzels

  • 1/2 bag dairy-free chocolate chip

Method: Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients along with the coconut sugar. In a second bowl combine the flours, baking agents, and sea salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the pretzels and chocolate chips. Roll into 12 balls and place on a lined baking tray. Flatten slightly using your hands. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool for 10-15, top with flaky sea salt (optional).


In the winter months there’s nothing better than a warm cup of tea or an elixir of some sorts. So why not make a batch of golden milk mix to gift to a friend/family member this holiday season? I store mine in a mason jar to gift! You could double up the recipe to make more.

  • 5 Tbsp turmeric power

  • 3 Tbsp coconut milk powder

  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

4. Gingerbread People

Probably one of the best things to do around Christmas is to make gingerbread, they take a little extra time, but pro tip, you can cut them out and place them on a baking tray for the fridge and cover for up to 2 days.

Gingerbread People

Makes: 24

  • 2 1/4 cup whole spelt flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1 tsp ginger

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

Method: In a bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a second bowl whisk together the coconut oil, blackstrap molasses, vanilla, maple, and coconut sugar. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes. Take out of the fridge and allow to warm to room temperature. Flour your surface and roll the dough out, and cut into shapes. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!


A little collection of gifts that give back to a greater cause!

  1. Love to All Sweatshirt - Madwell’s “Love to All” collection gives 50% of proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil liberties union protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community.

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2.100% Human Collection Everlane - Not only is Everlane the most transparent brand I’ve ever encountered but they also have a collection known as “100% Human,” where for every item sold from the collection they donate $5 to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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3. Madewell x Girls Inc. Necklace- 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Girls Inc.- empowering young women through advocacy and education.

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3. Pay It Forward

There are so many ways to giveback this season, so I thought I would list a few charities/causes. My family and I always make it our mission to give to charities and help out those in need this time of the year, and we have been giving donations to several organizations/charities over the year, instead of giving material gifts in some instances. We mostly giveback to local organizations from helping out in our local soup kitchen (one of the most rewarding experiences), to giving to those on the streets. However, I thought I would list some ideas for you!


  2. UNHCR - United Nations Refugee Agency

  3. Local Food Banks - Either cash donations or I will see what they are in need of and purchase to drop off. A St. John’s local food bank is The Community Food Sharing Association.

  4. Surfrider - Helping protect our oceans, waves, and beaches.

  5. Care Packages - Carry around mini care packages for those on the streets from tooth brushes, hand warmers, snacks, and more!

  6. Write a Christmas letter to Maddox Hyde - I was recently approached by Emily of ‘thrive_onlife,’ to help share Maddox Hyde’s story. Maddox Hyde was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer of the adrenal glands. His last Christmas wish is to fill his home with cards from around the world. I have provided his mailing address below, and I hope we can help make his dream come true.

    Maddox Hyde

    333 Ohio St., Reynoldsville, PA, USA, 15851.

Life, Food, LatestEmma HyslopComment