Dec. 1, 2021
Our green holiday gift guide this year is loaded with Texas-based companies, many of whom carry the GO TEXAN logo from our state’s Department of Agriculture. Buying from companies that are based in Texas helps to minimize fossil fuel use for transportation — and what could be greener than that? Plus each one of our chosen companies puts an eco-friendly spin on their products that will please both your gift recipient and Mother Earth.
MOO-VE OVER CANDY CANES!
Austin-based Nada Moo's peppermint bark dairy-free ice cream makes a great host gift. Courtesy of Nada Moo.
Austin-based NadaMoo! is changing the way that folks think about dairy-free ice cream. Each flavor is more delicious than the last. You’ll flip for their just-in-time-for-the-holidays Peppermint Bark loaded with sweet peppermint chunks and then swirled with chocolate fudge in a creamy coconut milk base.
Here's a recipe for peppermint bark mini ice cream bars from Nada Moo. Courtesy of Nada Moo.
As they say on their website, it’s the taste of the holidays you'll want at the top of your wishlist. Texas-made, vegan and incredibly delicious, you’ll never wonder what happened to the moo. Grab a few pints to take as a host gift for holiday parties and be sure to keep some in your own freezer for the perfect impromptu Christmas treat!
About 6 bucks per pint at stores around town such as Whole Foods, Central Market, Kroger, Tom Thumb, etc¦ You can even order NadaMoo online and they’ll ship it to your gift recipient! NadaMoo.com. GO TEXAN, of course.
Some artists have a style that is so distinctive, it’s easy to spot their designs at first glance. Such is the case with local gal India Hearne, a Texas native whose black and white pen and ink technique is all her own. ;
Whiski Designs weather resistant stickers feature original hand drawn graphics and are great for any surface.
Raised in Dallas, Hearne studied art in Sante Fe and that touch of the southwest definitely shows up in her work. Each Whiski Designs pattern is infused with southern charm and a bit of whimsy whether on her bevy of greeting cards, keychains, tea towels, or even baby onesies.
Dallas-based Whiski Designs offers a variety of whimsical t-shirts with local flavor. Courtesy of Whiski Designs.
Hearne’s Happy Taco T-Shirt makes a great gift for Texans and those who wish they were. Declaring, “I can’t make everybody happy. I am not a Taco,” this fun tee is offered in soft and comfy unisex sizes for $24.
What do you have when you mix a fireman with a welding torch? You get a safe and everlasting firepit to warm your tootsies while you grill your dinner (all veggies, of course).
The firepits are made from heavy welded steel, most with built-in foot rests and swing-out hooks for bean pots and other accessories. Courtesy of Circle J Fabrication.
Circle J Fabrication is owned by the Jones family in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth, and they put their heart and soul into every pit that they make.
What started as a way for them to practice welding has turned into a business that ships their unique and very Texas-centric grills and firepits all over the country. They even supply them in kit form to high school vocational departments so that young folks can learn the fine art of welding.
Circle J offers a variety of cooking accessories including this solid steel Texas pepper roaster for $27.
Since the units are built to be used virtually forever, we won’t be seeing them littering our landfills like we do the cheapy versions that only last a few years. Each one is made from heavy welded steel, most with built-in foot rests and swing-out hooks for bean pots and other accessories. Prices start around $550. Visit Circlejfirepits.com.
If you love to grill but you don't want to consume meat, you’ve probably already discovered many of the delicious meat alternatives that have been hitting the market lately. But did you know that many barbecue sauces are not vegan friendly?
The Jank Goodness (green label) Gourmet BBQ Sauce is completely plant-based for your guilt-free grilling pleasure. Plus it gets its sweetness from Monkfruit so it’s safe for diabetic, keto and even low-sodium diets.
Watch the story of the Jank barbeque sauce company, based in Westlaco in Hidalgo County.
All of The Jank’s other flavors are vegetarian.
Founder, Lamar Jones, is a true GO TEXAN success story. Once a down-on-his-luck substitute teacher and musician, he developed the business with help from his two brothers Shawn Russell and Patrick Abu. The Jank means a taste “too awesome to describe.” Their products are now sold at Central Market and HEB stores all around the state. It’s that good!
Buy a few bottles along with some vegan steaks or burgers for a fun plant-based gift basket. Yahoo! bbqjank.com.
Brenham-based Peter Emerson draws on centuries of master silversmithing to create his one-of-a-kind originals as well as popular designs that celebrate his home state. Practicing his craft for over 30 years, Emerson utilizes old world skills like raising, chasing and casting to create his beautiful masterpieces.
Working out of the historic restored Rex Theater in downtown Brenham, Peter Emerson Silversmith offers a gallery of silver and copper jewelry, pottery and art glass designs such as these delicate Texas earrings that would make a perfect gift for anyone living in the state or perhaps missing it just a bit. Many others from which to choose at around $36 at the GOTEXAN website or PESilversmith.com.
Abha Ahuja, owner of Frisco-based Metta Gluten-free Flour.
Have you tried gluten-free flour in baked goods and felt like you had a mouth full of sawdust? Metta Gluten-free Flour beats the sawdust blues with a smooth and grit-free texture that your tastebuds will love!
Metta is the perfect 1:1 replacement for wheat flour in bread, muffins and cupcakes, brownies, and even tortillas.
Created by local neuropsychologist Abha Ahuja for her gluten-sensitive son so that he could enjoy their family’s favorite dishes, Metta Flour is a unique gift for anyone who is gluten-intolerant.
It’s also vegan! Many local chefs and bakers are discovering Metta including my son, Frank Ridout of Frankly Good Food, who has been using it in his vegan muffins. Frank notes, “We’ve had great success with Metta flour at the bakery.” He continues with a tip for holiday baking, “When I use Metta, I cut my water back about 20 percent as it is not quite as absorbent as wheat flour.”
Metta is available locally at Profound Foods in Allen, Mashup Market in Denton, Lucky Mouth Grocery in Oak Cliff, Farmbox Delivery in Fort Worth or order direct at MettaAtta.com.
LONE STAR WOOD
Nature’s beauty comes alive in this stunning hardwood Texas-shaped cutting board and multi-layered 3D mandala Texas wall decor. Both are made by self-taught craftsman Sidney Spencer of Spencer’s Custom Wood in Austin.
Spencer spent nine years in the military and then went into IT for awhile. On a whim, he created a custom shoe rack for his daughter and the rest is history.
Each piece of wood is hand-selected, often from “found” timber that might otherwise go into the landfill.
Visit SCWood1.com for complete selection.
OLIVE GREEN BREW
Tea made from olives? Well, how about olive leaves! And it’s not only delicious but really good for you!
Oli Tea is made from Texas-grown olive tree leaves. Courtesy of Oli Tea.
Made from genuine Texas-grown olive tree leaves, Oli Tea is crafted in small batches by the Oli Tea Company near San Antonio using a strict, 7-step process, much of it done by hand.
Founded by 33-year Army veteran Colonel Lisa A. Forsyth, Oli Tea is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and supports good heart health.
It’s also loaded with antioxidants and completely caffeine-free.
The tea leaves are conveniently packed in tea bags that are free from chlorine, chemicals and plastic. Loose leaf blends also available.
Oli Tea can be ordered online at BuyOliTea.com for about $15 for 20 teabags. GO TEXAN too!
THE WRITE STUFF
In 2007, when psychologist, speaker and veteran, James Sutton, was nearing retirement, he began an odyssey of collecting mesquite, live oak, prickly pear cactus and other found materials near his home in the brush country of the South Texas plains. He then skillfully turned his gatherings into presentation-quality pens and pen sets and The Texas Penwright was born.
Now quite popular with corporations, universities and associations across the Lone Star State, you can give one of these gorgeous GO TEXAN keepsake pens to someone special in your life for around $40.
Each one comes in a velvet sleeve and carries the trademark of “Taking Texas with Me”as well as a Certificate of Authenticity. Engraving and (or) a wooden presentation box cost a bit more. All use standard and readily available Cross(R)-type pen refills. Order online at TheTexasPenwright.com.
Diane Seimetz Duncan founded A Joy Forever to help heal her own body after being diagnosed with Lupus. Now her Texas-based enterprise makes handcrafted, organic bath, body and skin care for the whole family, including family pets.
Her award-winning Dogtor Doolittle products are 100 percent vegan, Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free, packed in eco-friendly and minimalist containers and proudly GO TEXAN.
One of our fav’s is this bone-shaped Poochie Poo Pet Shampoo Bar, made with a blend of organic neem, coconut and olive oils; shea butter, yellow French clay and oatmeal extract to cleanse the densest coat and soothe sensitive skin.
Simply wet fur, rub on into a creamy lather and rinse. Lasts 40 to 100 washes, depending on size of dog. $7.95 each. Also check out Diane’s Paw + Nose Balm with 100 percent plant-based ingredients. Soothes, conditions and protects sore, cracked pads and dry doggy noses naturally. Perfect during cooler weather. $9.95 each. AJoyForever.com.
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