One of my goals for January is to get back to eating a mostly whole foods based diet (I try and follow an 80/20 principle). When I eat this way I feel better and have more energy. This in turn helps with achieving my other goals … win/win! There are two key things I find most helpful when trying to eat this way – meal prep, and having the right tools readily available. I usually do meal prep on Sundays, and will have another post about that soon. Today I want to talk about the tools that help me create healthy meals in the kitchen. These are my essential kitchen gadgets I couldn’t live without.
Living in a condo, my kitchen space is tight. I need to be realllly selective in what I keep in my kitchen. Turns out this is actually a blessing, because it prevents me from buying allllll the kitchen gadgets (like this avocado hugger that I realllly want but can’t store)! In reality, you don’t need that many things to be able to make delicious meals at home! Here are my top 10 must have kitchen gadgets that I use ALL the time. This list, plus a couple utensils, spatula, etc., are things I’m using 95% of the time when I’m in my kitchen. The other 5% of the time I’m using nice luxuries to have (like my bread machine, and juicer) that I could totally live without.
10 Essential Kitchen Gadgets
- Knife Set : an absolute essential in every kitchen! Meal prep is 100% easier when you have the right (sharp) knives to do the job. I’ve had these for six years and LOVE them. This set has all the knives I need and looks nice on the counter, definite benefit when you have so few cupboards!
- Casserole Dishes: I have both cast iron and ceramic casserole dishes, but the cast iron one is a must! It can be used on the stovetop and in the oven, and is perfect for so many of the comfort foods I love (soups, casseroles, roasts, the list is practically endless). I use a 5.6 quart one that isn’t available anymore, but here is a similar 7 quart one that is perfect for serving 6-8 people (it’s also available in 3 or 5 quarts).
- Mixing Bowls : These mixing bowls with lids are fantastic, as they double as storage containers and are pretty enough you can use them in a pinch for serving things (salads, etc).
- Garlic press : I love garlic. I eat a lot of garlic. It’s such a pain in the butt chopping garlic! 🙂 I lived without a garlic press for four years, and then got one a couple years ago in my Christmas stocking and will never look back. #gamechanger
- Grater / Zester : Technically graters and zesters are not the same thing, zesters are little finer than graters, but I’m a rebel and use mine for both. Parmesan cheese, citrus zest … easy peasey!
- Vegetable Peeler : I eat a lot of carrots. This is an essential. 😉
- Pots & Pans : This one will seem pretty obvious, but I can’t emphasize enough the difference a quality pot or pan can make. Mine are well loved (as you can see in the photo below!) because I use them almost every single day! This isn’t a place to cut costs, you don’t have to go top of the line, but a few decent pots/pans will last you years. Added benefit – having a couple pots will avoid you having to wash the pot multiple times while making certain meals.
- Pyrex Storage Containers : Leftovers = life! These are the perfect glass container for storing (and reheating) leftovers and doing weekly meal prep.
- Keurig : Okay, maybe not a must have, but a really nice to have. I use my Keurig in place of a kettle anytime I need to boil water too, and the convenience of having coffee ready in 30 seconds in the morning is just too much for me to pass up.
- Ninja Blender : This. Is. My. Most. Beloved. Kitchen. Gadget. EVER! This blenderThey don’t make the exact model I have any longer, but this one has all the same features that I love. has a triple blade, so unlike conventional blenders, making smoothies in this is a breeze. No more stopping to mix things up, push the chunks to the bottom, scrape the sides, etc. I also use this blender as a substitute for a food processor. You read that right, I do NOT own a food processor. This blender is powerful enough to make nut milk, homemade peanut butter, date paste, and more! It is the absolute best at a fraction of the cost of a Vitamix or Blendtec.
So there you have the ten most important kitchen gadgets I can’t live without, and don’t think you should either! On the other side of things, wondering what kitchen item I think is totally over-rated? The salad spinner! Completely unnecessary when you can just pat your greens dry with a tea towel! Never owned one, and likely never will. 🙂
What kitchen gadget can you not live without? Anything that makes your life easier in the kitchen that I should check out? Leave it in the comments below!