This has been a highly requested video/blog post for quite some time, so today I’m sharing with you my top 10 kitchen essentials that I can’t live without and think are a must in the kitchen. I honestly think that these little gadgets can totally transform and upgrade your kitchen experience, as well as help you cook up a storm! I’m pretty sure I have more then 10 essentials, but these are the ones I reach for on a regular basis in the HealthNut Kitchen.
A lot of these items won’t be a surprise, especially if you watch my videos, as many of these items have been featured again and again to create mouth watering HealthNut recipes on the blog. You don’t always have to buy the best and most expensive kitchen tools, but with certain items I really do believe that spending a few extra dollars is worth the investment.
1. Lemon Squeezer. This is one item I use several times throughout the day, starting with my morning lemon water, then moving on to making salad dressings and cooking/testing various recipes throughout the day that require a squeeze or citrus. I love that you can squeeze most of the juice out of your citrus fruit without having to pick any of the seeds out. I recommend you buy the die-cast aluminum coated ones as they are non-stick and dishwasher safe – don’t buy the cheap plastic ones as they won’t last for a long time. Spend a few extra dollars and get a good quality one, mine has been with me for a very long time!
2. Ice Cream Scoops. These gadgets are not just for ice cream. I have 2 sizes; a small one that I use for when I’m making energy balls or mini muffins, and a larger one that’s perfect for when I’m making pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, or even my Ultimate Breakfast Cookies! I love them because it makes scooping batter easy and and measures them out to be the same size. Again, spend a few extra dollars and invest in good quality pieces that will last you for a long time. I can’t tell you how many ice cream scoops I’ve gone through over the years.
3. Knives. Sharp high-quality knives are a must in any kitchen, unless you like struggling and a few knicks here and there…haha Invest in a good chef’s knife. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive one, but keeping them sharp is the key. This will make meal prepping a lot easier when you have a lot of chopping to do. I also love ceramic knives as they are great for chopping fruits and veggies and it doesn’t oxidize them – so no browning! They also stay sharper longer, never rust and are resistant to odours, acids and oils.
4. Baking Pans. There are several baking pans out there but the following are my top 3.
i) Loaf Pan – this is great for baking breads, homemade ice-cream and meat loaf. This will last forever, especially if you buy a good quality one.
ii) Muffin Pan – not just for muffins. I also use this for baking mini-quiches, egg muffins, cupcakes, mini dessert tarts, you name it.
iii) Flat Baking Pan/Cookie Sheet – perfect for roasting veggies, meal prepping and most importantly baking cookies.
5. Silicone Baking Mat. These mats are not only eco-friendly but they are reusable, non-stick and easy to clean – just wash it with soap and warm water or pop it in the dishwasher. They are made of non-toxic silicone rubber, are resistant to high temperatures, and microwave and freezer friendly. No more fussing with parchment paper! I love these so much we even sell them in the Healthnut Shop.
6. Measuring Tools. If you’re looking to do any baking, you have to have the right measuring tools, because baking is a science and you need to follow the rules if you want fluffy muffins that rise, chocolate cake that’s moist or cookies that bind together.
i) Liquid measuring cups – to measure all your liquid ingredients.
ii) Dry measuring cups – to measure all your dry ingredients.
iii) Measuring spoons – to measure small amounts for both liquid and dry ingredients.
7. Colander/Sifter. Colanders typically have bigger holes and are perfect for draining your cooked pasta, or to rinse your fruits and veggies. Sifters are great for one bowl recipes, where you can sift your flours into the wet ingredients. It also comes in handy for making nut milks if you don’t have a nut milk bag. They come in various sizes and can be used to strain tea, sift icing sugar on dessert, rinse your berries, draining solids from stocks and broths, and even steam your veggies. Yup they’re that versatile!
8. Silicone Reusable Storage Bags. These silicone bags are super functional and not just for storage. I use them for poaching chicken, storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer, carrying snacks, and more. They are BPA and BPS free, dishwasher and microwave safe and you’ll be saving the environment from all those single use plastic bags. Although they are an initial investment, it’s a one time purchase that will last you for years to come. I get a ton of questions about them – no they do not stain or absorb odour, and yes, they are super leak proof (to the point I struggle to open the seal, haha). These too are available in the HealthNut Shop in a rainbow of colours.
9. Food Processor. I’ve had my food processor for years and it wasn’t even a very expensive one. They come with multiple attachments and are amazing for chopping, grating and processing. You can use it for chopping veggies, making nut butters, salsa, grating cheese and veggies and so on. Sometimes you just need the help of a food processor a when a blender just won’t do – and in my kitchen that happens on a weekly basis!
10. Vitamix. This is probably my favourite kitchen gadget and has been a game changer for me. And YES it is so worth the investment! Mr. Matt and I use this blender on a daily basis. It’s not just for making smoothies, you can use it to make soup, “nice creams”, nut milks, oat flours, etc…A high speed blender will create the most silky smooth smoothies and pulverize just about anything and everything you throw in there. If I could only take one of these kitchen gadgets with me to a desert island, hands down it would be my Vitamix!
These are my kitchen essentials/tools that I reach for on a daily basis. Let me know what kitchen gadgets you love and can’t live without in the comments below.