When you’re constantly testing out recipes and cooking for your family you quickly realize what your kitchen essentials are and what was an unfortunate waste of money. (But the panini press seemed like such a good buy! – humpf) We looked through our kitchens and made a list of equipment and supplies that we use most often and find the most valuable. I think you will find that once you toss animal products out of your diet, your kitchen essentials change. For example, I use my food processor almost daily whereas a few years ago I rarely used it. If you are transitioning to a whole food, plant-based diet, having this equipment on hand will make life easier when it comes to food prep.
All of the photos and titles below link to the products on Amazon where you can purchase them. These items are the exact ones that we use, so we feel confident in recommending them. We have also found that Amazon is typically the best priced, but if you find an item cheaper elsewhere please let us know in the comment section!
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Food processor: I have had this first Ninja with a 16 oz and 48 oz container for about 5 years. It’s powerful and it has worked great for all recipes that use a food processor: date paste, sauces, dips, smoothies.. it hasn’t failed me yet!
We purchased our master-chef mother this second Ninja that also has a spiralizer as a birthday gift. It works great and if you’re considering investing in a spiralizer – you can go this route and kill two birds with one stone. Also, you won’t have to put all of the work into spiralizing by hand!
Immersion Blender: An immersion blender makes a huge difference when it comes to making sauces and dips or creaming soups. Rather than transferring hot soup into a blender and risking hot liquid shooting up onto your face (been there, done that), just stick this hand-held blender into the pot and cream within seconds.
High-powered Blender: While I usually opt to use my food processor, I use my high powered, 64 oz Oster blender when I need a larger container (big batches of smoothies).
Non-stick skillet: When cooking without oil (oil is processed, lacks nutrients and is purely fat) a good non-stick skillet is ESSENTIAL. You’ll be able to make crispy bean burgers and saute veggies easily if you have the right equipment. My two best non-stick skillets are this Guy Fieri 10 inch pan and this Rachel Ray 11.5 inch pan.
Rice Cooker: When you’re constantly preparing whole grains (rice, quinoa, barley) a rice cooker is a must! I cooked rice on my stove top for years and I never perfected it. I vowed to not fill my kitchen with silly appliances I would never use so I never bought a rice cooker. A few months ago my husband talked me into buying one after listening to me complain about steaming rice yet again. I found this small rice cooker (it makes 6 cups of cooked rice) that can also steam veggies in the top part while cooking rice… mind blown. I use this baby two to three times a week and it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to make the most perfectly steamed rice I’ve never been able to achieve on the stove.
Large Wok: When making stir-fry a large Wok is a must. A non-stick pan won’t be big enough or allow you to stir things around like you’ll want to. Mine is a 14 inch and has a lid, which comes in handy when you want to keep the heat in to soften the veggies.
Spiralizer: A spiralizer allows you to make noodles out of zucchini, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. Natalie’s sits on the counter top and has an easy-to use crank. Lexie’s is hand-held and certainly takes up less room in the kitchen, but you have to put a little more muscle into making your noodles. Again, many food processors come with a spiralizer that will crank out noodles for you with the push of a button.
Mandolin: A mandolin is great for quickly slicing, cutting and grating. I have a v-blade that has multiple inserts. I use it primarily for making sweet potato fries.
Parchment Paper: To keep foods from sticking and avoid leaving chunks of your delicious creations on your pans, always use parchment paper. We use it when making bean burgers, lentil balls, cookies and breads. Parchment paper and wax paper are NOT the same thing – parchment paper can go in the oven, wax paper is flammable and cannot!
Ramekins: When cooking for one ramekins are great for making your favorite dishes single servings and pre-portioned. They also make serving things like fruit crisps or baked oatmeal much less messy. If you choose to cook a recipe in ramekins rather than a standard pan you’ll likely need to reduce the cooking time by 10-20%.
Tart Pan: For that perfect PB&J tart, a tart pan is a must.
Muffins Tins: The sweet cream cashew cups require muffin tins. Non-stick is important so they end results comes our clean. Also, all of our bread recipes can be made into muffins, if desired.
Citrus Juicer: You’ll need a juicer to juice lemons, limes and oranges. Juicing without one will keep you from getting all of the liquid.
Salad Spinner: Now that you’re eating leafy greens every day because you know that that they’re the healthiest food on the planet, you’ll want to be able to efficiently clean them. A salad spinner lets you quickly clean and dry your greens for salads, stri-frys and soups.
Garlic Car: This is both fun to use and practical. Simply place your peeled garlic cloves inside and roll on the counter for perfect minced garlic. The best part no garlicky fingers! I’ve owned many different garlic presses and this is by far the best. Rather than cleaning it each time I use it I simple store it in the refrigerator.
Ulu Knife: Arguably one of the best gifts I’ve ever received, an Ulu Knife is perfect for slicing pizza, chopping veggies and even chopping nuts.
Avocado Hugger: When you’re only using half of an avocado, keep the pit in the other half and put an avocado hugger over the flesh to keep it fresh. This little thing has kept me from having to toss MANY day-old avocados.