by Kate Mulcrone | June 07, 2011
Recognition for your employees is important, but it shouldn’t always come in the form of unhealthy temptations. Here are some wholesome gourmet gifts that will help celebrate your team’s contributions while encouraging healthier lifestyles.

Fruits of Their Labors
Amazing Clubs’ Fruit of the Month Club is a step above the usual fruit basket: the club sources its exotic fruits directly from growers nationwide and ships produce on the same day it’s picked. Depending on the season, the club sends unusual varieties of nectarines, mangoes, apples, pears, tangelos, plums, papayas, kiwis, and more. Subscriptions are available for three, six, or 12 months, starting at $31.95 per month.

Liquid Gold
Zingerman’s, in Ann Arbor, MI, is a Midwestern mecca for foodies in the know. The company will ship its breads, cakes, cheeses, and even deli sandwiches anywhere in the country. Its club offering rare olive oils was selected as the best overall food club by Charles Passy of the Wall Street Journal

Each monthly shipment from Zingerman’s includes a loaf of its own Paesano bread and a half-liter bottle of small-batch olive oil. Recent selections have included Marina Colonna’s Peranzana oil, made on her estate in the Molise in central Italy, as well as Elvio Olave’s Frantoio oil from Chile. Zingerman’s club packages begin at $125.

Not-So-Secret Sauce of Success
Want to give something hearty and healthy to your employees? How about a cheery red colander brimming with ingredients for a wonderful Italian meal? Coppola’s Mammarella pasta sauces are made from 100 percent organically grown tomatoes, herbs, and vegetables. For $49.95, the colander comes packed with Mammarella pasta, breadsticks, and, for a little decadence, a delicious organic Chocolove chocolate bar.

Lobster Tailgating
Lobster tails are not only sweet and delicious, but also healthy. One serving has only 200 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. LobsterGram has an assortment of seven- to eight-ounce Maine lobster tails packaged with a cooking manual.

Strip the Fat, Not the Flavor
Did you know that strip steaks are low in both fat and calories? A three-ounce serving has only 141 calories and six grams of fat. Omaha Steaks’ boneless strips are cut from the center of the short loin and perfect for outdoor grilling on a summer night. Expect firm, juicy, well-marbled beef. Cuts are available in eight- to 12-ounce portions.

Happy as a Clam
Legal Sea Foods has a sterling reputation because it works exclusively with licensed, certified fishing boats to ensure its customers receive the freshest possible seafood. That includes littleneck clams, the sweetest of all clams—and those that are also certified “Eco-Best Fish” by the Environmental Defense Fund. Best of all, they’re easy to prepare by steaming. Legal Sea Foods offers littleneck clams for $12.95 per pound.

Make the Perfect Picnic
Sometimes, you want a little bit of everything, especially if “everything” means crackers with brie and caramelized onion jam, nuts and seeds, fruit salad, hot chocolate, tea, and, last but not least, chocolate. Healthy Gourmet Gifts carefully selects all of these treats for a gift basket that meets the dietary needs of those with diabetes. Even the chocolate is a specially formulated variety that lowers blood sugar. The basket costs $70.

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut
For 30 years, Torn Ranch has used the famous dried fruits and nuts from California’s lush, fertile valleys to create specialty gift baskets. The company’s Torn Ranch Rose gift tray is a selection of roasted nuts and dried fruits such as peaches, pears, almonds, cashews, almonds, apricots, California colossal pistachios, and ruby red plums, all artfully laid out on a wooden tray. The set costs $58.

Juicy Sunshine State Goodness
The Juice Lovers Monthly Club, run by Countryside Citrus, features hand-picked oranges, grapefruits, Honeybell and Nova tangelos, and tangerines harvested at the peak of ripeness from groves alongside Florida’s Indian River. Three-month subscriptions start at $107.90, and one- and six-month plans are available, as well.

The Delicious, Not Dirty, Dozen
Low-fat muffins are the perfect guilt-free treat! A packaged assortment from 1-800-Muffins includes two muffins in each of the following flavors: reduced-fat raisin wheat, reduced-fat banana nut, apple cinnamon, pineapple coconut glaze, mixed berry, and corn. The set costs $42.95.