I currently cater weekly Ayurvedic lunches and dinners for up to 6 people and I wouldn't want to be without my Instant Pot. In fact, I have two! A friend I recommended it to, also bought two!
If you are thinking of buying a slow cooker, don't bother. The Instant pot does it all. It's a pressure cooker extraordinaire that automatically reduces heat when it comes to pressure (no explosions!) and goes to warm when finished. It slow cooks, steams, does a perfect saute, warms for up to 10 hours, makes yogurt, and cooks perfect rice (1:1 ratio of liquid to rice! If you use chicken stock it will save you a cup every time).
The pressure cook function has adjustable settings for low, medium, and high levels. The timer is adjustable. You can set this pressure cooker and leave the house! No worries! This Canadian designed device gets five stars wherever it goes! There is even a Facebook Fan page where people share recipes and generally just wax poetic about how much they love this (my friend mentioned above actually did write a poem about his Instant Pot!). There are other versions including a more expensive blue tooth, but this is the one that I use. Don't buy the less expensive 6-1 as you won't have the wonderful saute function.
I use the NutriBullet to grind my spice mixes and to do things like grind beans (coffee and other beans for curry powders). It makes great smoothies and comes with a nice recipe book. It has attachments handles so you can take it to go and comes with both small and large containers with lids for easy fridge storage. There are other more expensive versions but I have found this one to do everything I need it to do.
An Immersion Blender is a very handy gaget for pureeing soups and blending sauces/herb mixes without having to transfer to a blender. I use this all the time for making curries and creamed soups. The extra attachments are worth it, particularly if you don't have a nutribullet type blender.
This a a more expensive gift but really worth the money. The Big Berkey not only removes chlorine and flouride which we know have cancer causing effects on the body (the research is there no matter what the municipalities and dental profession say), but also treats stagnant water and polluted well water. This version is best for 1-4 people. There are larger models to choose from as well. There's also a small travel version!
Here's some info direct from their website:
"This system removes pathogenic bacteria, viruses, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and heavy metals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance."
The Rumidifier is an eco friendly room humidifier that requires no electricity. It works great and keeps your home from becoming too dry in the winter. This is very important! If the mucous membranes in your nose become too dry, the little hairs which are meant to filter bacteria and irritants don't work well and your body may start to create protective mucous. This can lead to colds and make you feel uncomfortable. If there are dry crusty bits in your nose or you get frequent winter colds, please get some oil up there (put either coconut or unroasted sesame oil on your little finger and lubricate the inside of your nostrils), and get a rumidifier, at least for your bedroom!
I will be launching my On Line Practical Ayurveda Course in January so look for Upcoming Details soon! There are only 2 spots left in the in-person course which will take place on the second Saturday of each month, 11 am-3 pm over the course of four seasons and will include a cooking class, lunch, and lecture. There is an active Facebook Support Page and many other bonuses to assist you to make sustainable and common sense changes to improve and safeguard your health with time-tested practices. Let me know if you want to be a part of this exciting journey!
I wish you a safe, enjoyable and Healthy Holiday Season!