Holiday Granola & Healthy Gift Ideas


Instead of joining the December feeding frenzy, consider changing your gift ideas. In my view, the best gifts are the ones that benefit the receiver! The best part of all is that many of these gift ideas are New York City based. Don’t you love this city?!

Make your own granola and give it away in fancy mason jars. This particular recipe is not only festive (red & green!), but high in antioxidant content from the cranberries, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds (“pepitas”). It’s also incredible satisfying because of it’s good sources of healthy fat. See recipe below!

The gift of chocolate. The worlds greatest chocolate made right here in Brooklyn! Check out Mast Brothers factory in Williamsburg or the fanciest 72% dark chocolate bars in town at Cacao Prieto in Red Hook. Two ounces of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) provides 200mg of antioxidant-rich flavonols associated with cardiovascular health! Reason enough to make the trip. 

Pitanga Juice’s motto is Happiness! Find happiness in their delicious array of juices, smoothies, raw food, and balanced cleanses. Owner, Raquel, includes exotic fruits and vegetables from Brazil, her home country. Read more about juicing versus blending here. 

Filling Station is a unique shop located in Chelsea Market. They specialize in extra virgin olive oils (EVOO), balsamic vinegars, and exotic salts, to mention a few. The best part is that the company encourages customers to reuse and refill their bottles and jars in order to receive a 10% discount. My favorites are black cherry vinegar, black truffle sea salt, and chipotle olive oil. Environmentally friendly and delicious!

Beautiful gift sets from Spice & Tease. You can mix and match any spice or tea to your liking.

Fitbit is a great way to monitor steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep quality. Their catch phrase? Make fitness a lifestyle. Amen. 

Looking for an ergonomic, BPA/BPS-free water bottle? Look no more. LifeFactory water bottle is the way to go. 

Brooklyn Slate Co. sell amazing pieces of black and red slate from the Vermont and New York Slate Valley. These pieces are handpicked to make cheese boards and coasters from one of the most durable, naturally occurring stones readily available. 

If you are interested in a balanced, funny, and informational (but not boring) scientifically-based book on weight loss, buy Foodist. I’ve read a lot of books on nutrition, and this one really spoke to me. I also loved the non-extreme approach to healthy eating. Enjoy! 

Gift Certificates. Show you care by gifting certificates to a session with a registered dietitian! Hint hint… ;)

Holiday Granola


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp clove


  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Mix oil, honey, vanilla, clove, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Slowly add flaxseeds and oats to the bowl. Mix well, until oats are fully coated.
  • Spread out granola onto a parchment paper or baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Stir well, add seeds and cranberries, and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until oats are golden.
  • Allow to cool.

 Happy gifting! Alanna

What are some of your healthy gift ideas?

Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN