I have a hoarding problem. A kitchen gadget hoarding problem. It’s a serious condition folks. My once meticulously organized kitchen is starting to take on a new look of overflowing drawers and overstuffed cabinets. I try to organize every now and then, but what’s the point? I use the same staple kitchen items and know exactly where they are.
During my quest to keep a ‘real food’ lifestyle (throughout my domestic goddess training years), I have built quite an impressive stash of goodies that I must share. These appliances, utensils, and funky-looking gadgets have helped me immensely in the kitchen. Why? I am more efficient, more consistent, and ooze more awesomeness when I have these lovely friends by my side, cheering me on in my culinary adventures.
Without further ado, here are my must-have kitchen tools for healthy eating and easy meal prep.
Why I love this: I swear my cast iron skillet makes food taste better. The searing, the charring, the easy one-pan dinners. It takes a little practice to make sure you can master this pan, but once you do, this may be the only one you’ll ever need. The fact that it can be transferred from stovetop to oven is an added bonus. I love this combo cooker set, because I felt like I totally got a 2-for-1 deal. Plus the shallow skillet can be used as a cover for the 3-qt dutch oven skillet.
Why I love this: Say bu-bye to hours of slicing veggies and dicing inconsistent widths. When I first used my mandoline slicer I wondered how I ever survived without it. Now I make beautifully even-sliced carrots for stir fry, perfectly cut widths for grilled sweet potatoes, and amazing apple slices to dehydrate and make into crunchy apple chips.
Why I love these: Try to get anything to stick to these puppies. I challenge you. It’s like, impossible. So that’s why I love ’em. I whip up healthy muffins, egg bake cups, and even meatloaf ‘cupcakes’ in these. The best part? Whatever you bake in these silicone cups literally slides right out, and they are a cinch to clean!
Why I love this: Don’t get me wrong, I love my big, ‘momma-bear’ food processor, but having a mini is clutch. Sometimes I just need to chop or pulse a cup or two of something, and since my Big Birtha food processor is so wide, it doesn’t do the trick quite like it’s mini-me counterpart. Plus the mini food processor is easy to store and easy to grab.
Why I love these: I started with one of these oxo food containers and after experiencing the amazing seal, the easy to open “pop” top, and the sleek design to store and stack, I knew I needed more. My entire pantry is like Tetris game of these glorious plastic beauties.
Why I love this: “Slotted Turner” aka fancy name for a spatula. However, this fancy spatula is the queen. The extra long, non-stick base makes flipping fried eggs and pancakes a breeze. Plus the cut-outs on the bottom allow drainage of any excess oil or grease.
Why I love this: A slow-cooker or ‘crockpot’ is like a neat little personal chef. Just search “slow-cooker meals” on Pinterest (and stay tuned for some of my favorites) and you’ll understand why having one of these is pretty much essential. I love making a whole chicken, beef stew, or nutritious bone broth in mine. Now if only it could clean itself…
Why I love this: A knife in the kitchen? Duh. But this knife. Ooooo this knife. I love the curved edge – it is so efficient. Literally, I can set the tip on the cutting board, and with a few downward motions, I have everything chopped and sliced in no time. No see-saw/back-and-forth cutting motions here. Just ‘Food Network Star’ skilled slicing and dicing.
Why I love this: Spiralizing is all the rage. You can enjoy all your old carb-loaded favorites like spaghetti, only healthier. Spiral slicers can create noodles from zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes to replace traditional heavy pasta. And while there are many spiralizing tools out there, I like this one because it does the trick and is really affordable!
Why I love this: Whenever I make sautéed kale, spinach, or chard, I rely on my trusty flexi-tongs to toss the greens for even cooking. Tongs are great when you don’t want to flip or stir.
Why I love these: Since we are on the subject of flexibility….these cutting mats are awesome for two reasons: 1. they are flexible for storage and take up very little space 2. different colors help avoid cross contamination when prepping raw meat with other meal elements.
Why I love this: With its pourable spout and rubber non-slip base, stirring and pouring in this mixing bowl is super duper easy and mess free.
Why I love this: The KitchenAid stand mixer is a wedding registry staple. There’s a reason this mixer has been around forever, and why it continues to be a top kitchen appliance. If you are a baker, you’ll love throwing ingredients in this stand mixer and letting it do the work for you. I love making mashed sweet potatoes in mine. And it comes in pretty much every color of the rainbow!
Why I love this: I understand that a food dehydrator isn’t really a necessity, BUT I love this spaceship-looking thing. Admittedly, I am a snacker. So when I create apple chips, dried sliced strawberries, cauliflower ‘popcorn’, sweet potato chips, beet chips, (and the list goes on), my belly is happy.
Why I love this: The holy grail – The Vitamix. I’ve been swooning over this for years and I finally got one. I call it my baby, even though I have a real baby. Speaking of real babies, my husband bought this for me as a “push present”. THAT is how bad I wanted it. (Bless his heart, he also purchased something more sentimental after our son was born). I love my Vitamix – the power behind this thing is unreal, and I can make soups, hummus, salsa, sauces, and amazing smoothies in seconds. Plus it has a self-cleaning feature. A-mazing.
Why I love this: When I have a major recipe failure, or the baby is insanely fussy, or the messy house overwhelms me, I don’t even have to think about popping open a bottle of vino, since this appliance does it for me. Bottoms up!
And there you have it! Any appliances/gadgets/tools I missed? I’m always looking for new ideas to put on my Christmas list. My kitchen cabinets may not have room, but I can always hoard in other areas of my home.
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