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Eat local, give local: NUVO's holiday gift basket



Don't know what to get someone for the holidays? Then you can't go wrong with something to eat or drink. This also holds true for busy people, hungry people and holiday-weary people — in other words, everyone likes a gift basket full of food. We put together a basket of goodies you can pick up quickly and conveniently, either by ordering online (through GreenBEAN Delivery, which is making a good case these days for a year-round membership) or making a few quick stops around town (starting from the City Market if you're downtown).

1) Chocolate for the Spirit (Indianapolis City Market)
Chocolate for the Spirit is changing the chocolate game in Indy, using only Grand Cru-quality chocolate sourced from around the world. The Mayan Spice Bar ($8, dark and milk) combines cinnamon with a blend of three peppers; the bar itself has a gold dust sheen. Head down to City Market and ask for samples, which are available for everything they sell. Their Forever Bar ($15) is created from the rarest kind of chocolate in the world — only 12 chocolatiers around the world were selected for the privilege.

2) Fermenti Artisan (Indianapolis City Market)
Fermenti Artisan has been making its way into refrigerators around town since 2010. Products aren't shelf-stable, so you'll want to keep them cold, but they're made without artificial ingredients and without any added sugar. Aside from being tasty, Fermenti's products will help keep the holiday bloat and feelings of "winter bleh" away; fermentation is known to make foods more nutrient dense and helps balance your internal bacterial workings. Co-owner and chef Mark Cox suggests his pickles or apple kraut ($10-$12) as accessible first-time purchases.

3) Amazing Potato Chip Company (Indianapolis City Market)
Amazing Potato Chip Company is already well-known for turning out really good chips, but it also has an incredible blend of carmel and cheddar popcorn ($6). You can buy everything in smaller, individual sizes, but this is December, and it's too cold for your stinking small servings. Grab a big bag to re-create that childhood memory of big gift tins of popcorn ("giftcorn" if you will), or put a variety pack together for the college student and/or loveable stoner on your list.

4) Hubbard & Cravens (multiple locations)
Suck on our H&C, Starbucks! These local roasters have been around for years, sourcing beans from around the world to make delicious coffee for local caffeine addicts. There are lots of really great independent coffee houses and companies around town, but Hubbard & Cravens' ubiquitous presence is what put it on our list. Stop by one of its many outposts to grab cans of tea or a pound of coffee, or any accessories (from mugs to French presses) available for purchase.

5) BeeFree (available at Nature's Pharm or via GreenBEAN Delivery)
Gluten is often the backbone of lots of holiday sweet treats, which can make this time of year pretty fun-free for people with allergies to the stuff. Instead of making your G-free loved ones stare longingly at the cookie plate from across a crowded party, you could buy them a basket full of goodies from BeeFree, a Northside bakery owned by Jennifer Wiese, an avid crossfitter whose treats are paleo-friendly as well as gluten-free.

6) Davis Chocolate (available at Good Earth or via GreenBEAN Delivery)
Another excellent regional chocolatier, Mishawaka's Davis Chocolate sells all things chocolate: raw cocoa nibs, baking chocolate, sculpting chocolate and just about anything else. It's a resource for the serious baker on your list, or just to pick up a box of bars to put in stockings. Add a few to your online grocery order to stock up on a last-minute gift that everyone likes.

7) Da BEANs Coffee (available via GreenBEAN Delivery)
This is GreenBEAN's private coffee label, and it's damn good stuff. Sourced and roasted by someone who seriously knows what they're doing, Da BEANs offers everything from the light and easy-drinking Hello Sunshine ($10), to the rich depth and complexity of its Ethiopian Harrar (some say it has a "wine-like" flavor and aroma). And, like Santa and his reindeer, the kind people at GreenBEAN will deliver the goods right to your door while you're out throwing 'bows at the mall.


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