So excited to share with you my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets. Eating real food can seem daunting when you're first starting out but I've found some of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets that have made making real food so much easier.
Welcome to the #betterforyoucrew! I’ve teamed up with my girls Lisa from This Organic Girl, Sarah from Whoorl, Kate from Root & Revel, Caroline from Olive You Whole and Kristina from Love & Zest to highlight green, yet effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural mama worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series. Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves too! For last month's post on Natural Hair Routine- check it out here.
Sometimes you just need a good kitchen tool or gadget to really help make the process so much smoother. They can take you from dreading to cook, to getting excited about real food! Which is what it's all about- getting real food on the table.
A couple things to keep in mind-
- I didn't buy these all at once. It was a gradual process. So don't feel like you need to get everything on the list unless you have an endless budget for kitchen tools and gadgets- which if you do, go girl!
- Know what you would eat most. I've slowly collected favorite tools and gadgets over the years as I've learned more about real food and realized what I eat pretty regularly. For ex. I wouldn't go out and buy a tool or gadget that is only going to be used once in a blue moon on Thanksgiving. It's just going to get annoying taking up space in your cabinet or on your counter. Plus, it's a waste of money.
- Invest in tools that help with foods you eat consistently. Instead, I would invest in items that you know are going to get a lot of bang for your buck. I like to keep my kitchen minimalistic. Then I can see what I have and use it, instead of being overwhelmed by clutter. Trust me, you want counter space when you're making real food!
Not every kitchen tool or gadget is going to work for you just because it works for someone else.
You really have to know how you're going to use it and if it serves you. Plus, take in to account the time. Some kitchen gadgets are cool but not practical. For ex. making homemade pasta might be a great idea but realistically you need to figure out if that really is going to be happening on a weekly or even monthly basis.
Also, keep in mind that it might be as simple as getting a good kitchen knife for yourself and not having 10 different choppers. Know your kitchen personality. I don't like a lot of extras personally. A good knife is gold for me but some people really love a quality chopper and the ease of it. Don't just assume one thing will work for you since it worked for someone else. We're all different. From the amount of time we are willing to spend in the kitchen to what we make.
Ok, now that you're understanding your kitchen personality type and what you might lean towards. Allow me to share my favorites with you. These are tried and true!
A high powered blender is a must in my book. I've had this blender for almost five years now and I love it! It works so well. I had a Bullet before I had a Blendtec but felt like I was limited to what I could put in the blender and it wasn't has high powered. This blender can shred kale, and anything else until smooth and creamy. I use it every single day. Yep, you heard me right. Sometimes a couple times a day. This thing definitely gets a workout.
I make a smoothie for my husband and I every morning in it. I can't recommend getting a high powered blender for smoothies alone. Honestly, in my opinion it's worth it. The amount of money you save from making your own smoothies and the nutrients it provides your body makes such a difference. It works for my lifestyle too as I mentioned earlier. I'm a busy mom of two with a third on the way. I work and try and balance it all. Which we all know doesn't really happen- balance is a nice thing to say but hard to achieve.
Anyways, I love the blender for smoothies because it provides me a quick real food option. It fits right into my lifestyle of wanting real food but also not having all the time in the world to make it happen. I also love using it for making so many recipes. Batters, puddings, really the list is endless. I have the smaller jar too, for making nut butters, and sauces. I love it too. Since it's smaller it makes it so easy to whip up a quick sauce or nut butter. The larger jar just doesn't allow for it in the same way. If you've been on the fence about a high powered blender, allow this to be your invitation to get one! It's changed my life. Also, be sure to check out the refurbished blendtec blenders. They save you a considerable amount of money and work great! Check out my Blendtec here!
I know you're probably thinking why are recommending an immersion blender after you just talked about your Blendtec blender. Well friends this is used so much in my house and has become a staple since I got it. It's not even $30 but I can't sing it's praises enough!
I would always have to add my hot soups to my large plastic blender and it bothered me. Not only could I not stop thinking about all the plastic leaching into my soup, but the whole process of pouring the soup into the blender was cumbersome to say the least and usually it wouldn't all fit. Needless to say I finally used my sister's Immersion Blender and my life was changed. I literally remember thinking where has this been all my life?!
I'm totally a late bloomer on so many levels so it made sense why I didn't know about it. Now I can easily plug it in and quickly blend up my soups in a matter of seconds to a smooth consistency. No pouring or plastic leaching. It's so easy to clean too. Just take off the attachment and rinse. I use this for mashing cauli mash and making coconut cream whip cream real quick. But really it changed the game for me when it came to soups. I make soups often. It's my bestie in the kitchen! Get it here!
I'm totally not the girl with a knife for every vegetable, meat or fruit. Just give me a good quality chef knife and I'm good to go. It makes my life so much easier when I can quickly pull out my cutting board and chop up some veggies.
I remember I had asked for a quality knife for Christmas years ago and my hubs delivered. Even though I'm pretty sure he asked if that was really what I wanted a hundred times! I mean when you're the one doing majority of the cooking a good knife is worth it's weight in gold! He got me the Wusthoff Chef's Knife from Williams Sonoma. This knife can cut anything. And that's exactly how I use it- for anything.
What's cool about Williams Sonoma is they actually will sharpen your knife for free the first time. If you're a minimalist in the kitchen like me and haven't invested in a good all purpose knife, this may be a good purchase for you! Check out my Wusthoff Chef's knife here.
This is another gadget that I really thought would be unnecessary but I've come to love! It makes creating nut milk so easy. When I stopped drinking dairy milk I quickly was thrown into the world of non-dairy milks. When I realized there wasn't great options to buy I knew I would need to start making my own.
I did make them but it was a tedious process compared to the Almond Cow. It required a nut milk bag and blending, pressing- you know all the things that go into making real food. When I discovered the Almond Cow it was game over. Not only does the Almond Cow take away the blending process but also the pressing through a nut milk bag too.
You add nuts or seeds to this colander, attach it to the Almond Cow device, add water, push a button and literally less than a minute later you're left with creamy non-dairy nut milk- minus the crazy additives that store bought versions like to put in there. It also neatly condenses the pulp you can use for making crackers or pancakes, or muffins- so many uses. My non-dairy milk is creamier and easier to make each week thanks to this bad boy! Use coupon code: GURLGONEGREEN for $15 off your purchase. Check them out here!
My hubs and I got this almost 9 years ago as a wedding present and we still LOVE it!! It wasn't cheap by any means but it's lasted us 9 years. If you're serious about your coffee, then this is for you. Nowadays, you can easily spend over $5 on a cup of coffee. Well, once you start adding things like organic coffee, non-dairy milks, the price goes up even more.
It may sound like a lot initially as an investment but it pays for itself so quick if you're making yourself coffee everyday! Imagine how much you would spend on coffee for a month if you bought it somewhere? $150 a month…I did the math and that's on the low end for most people. You would quickly pay for this in several months time. Plus, you would know exactly what's going in your coffee.
I love that it's stainless steel, so plastic isn't leaching into my coffee. I also love that it grinds my beans right before the water goes through the espresso handle. Making the espresso shots so fresh. It also steams milk so nicely. I am a Seattleite so maybe that has something to do with making the perfect cup of coffee, either way I can't get enough of this espresso machine! Check out the espresso machine here!
This is definitely a must in my opinion when it comes to kitchen gadgets. We all need water and filtering your water is so important to avoid the common contaminants. Tap water can contain fluoride, bacteria, pesticides, viruses, chlorine chloramines, heavy metals and more. Berkey filters out these contaminants and more, plus has testing done on their purification process.
I recommend getting the Big Berkey for most people, as you want to have extra for cooking too. If you’re single you could get by with the travel Berkey. Check out all the Berkey's here!
I finally caved two years ago and bought an instant pot and I have to say it was the best investment! As a busy mom this is kind of the best gift I could give myself. I use it for so many things. From hard boiling eggs, making soups, cooking rice, cooking whole chickens, making shredded meat from beef and chicken and making steel cut oats. There are so many things you could use it for. It cuts the time in half for everything and does it all for you.
I love cooking a whole chicken in it for the week. It cooks in 35 minutes! Then I’m left with great broth for soups. It’s really such a great investment. I have the 8 quart and it has been perfect for my family of 4. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll throw some random ingredients from meat, veggies, some broth and spices and it tastes so good.
It takes all the time out of cooking food in a slow cooker and does it in half the time. I use this at least twice a week for something. It might sound like one more thing but really, once you get the hang of it, it's worth it's weight in gold! Get it here!
This is definitely an extra but one that both my hubs and I love! It makes sparkling water. The particular model I have uses glass bottles and not plastic. What I would recommend, since you don't want plastic chemicals leaching into your water. I like it because you can use filtered water. Sparkling water you buy from the store is typically not filtered and you don't know where it's from. I love knowing my water is filtered. We take our sparkling water pretty serious around here!
I love adding lemon or lime to it and having a little refresher. Plus, it saves so much money! Check it out here!
This food processor is amazing. I got it a year ago and I’m not sure how I lived without it. I thought I could use my blender for everything but really the food processor is different and does things the blender can’t because of it’s wide bowl. I use this for my raw veggie breads, making paleo granola, bars, hummus, random recipes- so much. But I think in the beginning you can get by with just a high speed blender. Also, I want to note that the 14 cup food processor is the one I would recommend. My sister has a 10 cup and it’s not as powerful, especially for raw veggie breads. Get the food processor here!
Also, don't forget to check my other natural lifestyle bloggers favorite kitchen gadgets and tools too:
- Lisa, This Organic Girl
- Sarah, Whoorl
- Kate, Root and Revel
- Caroline, Olive You Whole
- Kate, Love and Zest
Don’t forget to share what you’re using for favorite kitchen gadgets or tools on Instagram using the hashtag #betterforyoucrew!