When it comes to kitchen equipment, gadgets & accessories we are pretty dang simple.
We like it that way.
When it comes to cooking, we like stuff that’s simple, versatile, easy to clean and durable.
Here is all the equipment you’ll need for eating a more plant-based diet…
Kitchen Equipment for Healthy Cooks
These are an essential piece of kitchen equipment. Blenders can vary a lot, but generally there are cheap ones and there are expensive ones.
We don’t have any experience with the ones in between, but we figure start with a moderately expensive one, like a $100 Kitchen Aid blender, and save up until you can buy a $350+ high speed blender that will last for 10+ years.
Regular Blender – Option A. This is probably the blender that you currently have. These blenders are a great start. Use it as much as you can – like every day – and wait until it starts to slow down and perhaps even start leaking. “Why?” you ask… because most people go out and immediately buy the most expensive high-speed blender and then it collects dust on the counter. Don’t let this happen to you! Show your dedication to the health gods and wear down your current blender until it breaks. Then maybe you’ll buy another one just like it to tie you over, until, of course, you can afford to buy one that will last a whole lot longer.
High-Speed Blender – Option B. This is probably your dream blender (or maybe you already have one). These machines are versatile, make super creamy smoothies and will last you a very long time. The 2 most popular brands are Blendtec & Vitamix. We have a Blendtec that we got at Costco for $330. We’ve used the Vitamix lots of times over the years and like it too.
If you’re considering a high speed blender, we recommend first checking this out: Blendtec Vs. Vitamix – which should you get?
2). Food Processor
These are second most important on the list. We find that most people don’t have a food processor, or if they do it’s too small to use for many recipes. We have a basic Kitchen Aid 7-cup processor that works great. Sometimes we wish it was a little bigger. This is actually the second one that we’ve had. We like that it doesn’t have too many parts and pieces and is really easy to clean. It came with an S blade for mixing, and a shredding and slicing attachment as well. Here’s the food processor we recommend.
This is a bonus piece of equipment. We use our juicer every morning. We’ve had 4 juicers, and like the one we’re using right now the best. Basically there are two types of juicers: there is the less expensive, lower quality option; and there is the premium style option.
Here is a description of the two:
Centrifugal – This style of juicer ‘shreds’ the juice and has a filter basket which strains out the juice and discards the fiber. The juice should be enjoyed within 15 minutes of making (this is due to the harshness of processing, and the juice oxidizes faster). These machines clean up really fast, but the filter basket can build up with minerals over time, resulting in less and less juice each time.
Masticating – This style of juicer ‘squeezes’ the liquid out of the produce, there are two filters which separate the liquid from the fiber. The juice should be enjoyed within 48-72 hours of making (it has a longer shelf life because the process is much gentler and oxidizes at a really slow rate). These machines have more pieces than the centrifugal style, but clean up time isn’t much longer because the filters don’t need to be cleaned as diligently.
Read more about our Full Juicer Comparison Here.
4). Pots & Pans
With these, it’s not a question of whether or not you have them – but which type of material are they made out of.
After years of cooking with Teflon coated pots and pans, we switched to stainless steel because it’s the healthier option. We had a Saladmaster demo a year ago where we could taste the difference between water cooked in a Teflon coated pot vs. water in a Saladmaster pot. We were blown away; you could actually taste the chemicals from the Teflon! After that we decided we would only cook with stainless steel pots and pans (but never bought the Saladmaster stuff…not a fan!).
We’re pretty simple when it comes to knives. We’ve had this 6 piece set J.A. Henckels for over 4 years now and they’re still super sharp. They are the “eversharp” series and have the serrated edge on them, great for cutting nearly anything from tomatoes to carrots.
The one exception is that they aren’t great for cutting open a winter squash or even sweet potatoes. For those harder to cut items we used an old, more heavy duty knife that’s not even really sharp to do the job. For these harder items the knife doesn’t need to be super high quality, but a bit more sturdy that our Henckels set.
If you need a new set of knives, these are very affordable and we highly recommend them.
6). Cutting Boards
In the past we’ve gone with plastic composite cutting boards because they are so cheap. We’ve realized that they don’t last as long, look dirty after a while and are harder on our knives. So now, we buy only wood cutting boards and wash them by hand (the dishwasher is too hard on them). Getting a good quality wood or bamboo cutting board is so worth it.
7). Waffle Iron
We make recipes with our waffle iron every couple weeks. They’re great for cooking traditional waffles if you make your own batter, and also handy for cooking Mochi (found at your local health food store in the refrigerated section). Right now we’re using this waffle iron.
8). Coffee Grinder
We use our coffee grinder for all kinds of things. Sometimes we make pizza crust using ground sesame seeds for a high-calcium flour alternative, or grind up dried vanilla bean or goji berries for homemade protein powder. The grinder can also be used for flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, tea leafs, etc. Any grinder will do, but here is the grinder we have in our kitchen.
9). Hand Mixer
Sometimes when making waffle batter or coconut whipped cream we’ll need a little help from Mr. Hand Mixer. We got a Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer a couple of years ago that we love.
This gadget will always have a spot in our kitchen. Zesters are great for lemons, oranges, ginger, lemon grass, etc. We’re hooked on our Microplane Zester because it stays sharp and zests fast.
11). Cheese Grater
We like using our grater for shredding everything, such as apples, carrots, radishes, beets and jicama – pretty much anything but cheese, as that’s not our jam. A ton of our recipes call for shredded this-that-and-the-other, so we recommend getting one if you don’t already.
12). Spring Form Pan
This is a special pan that allows the outside of the pan to be removed from the base, leaving the sides of what you’re baking intact. We make things like cake, corn bread and deep dish pizza with ours. Getting a 9” pan is recommend because it’s the most common size in recipes. We picked up a Kitchen Aid Spring Form Pan version a few years back and still works great.
13). Storage Containers
Having a good set of containers to store extra ingredients in or even lunch the next day is essential. We keep a lot of the salsa and hummus containers we acquire, but it’s good to have larger ones for meals on the go. Here is a good set of Pyrex Round Storage Containers similar to what we use on the daily.
We use tumblers just like these ones to drink smoothies and juice out of 7 days/week. They’re great because they 1) last a long time, 2) clean up easily, and 3) fit in most cup holders.
15). Nut Milk Bag
A nut milk bag is essential for making your own non-dairy milks. We’ve also been known to use them for Making Green Juice in a Blender. They are mesh bags with a draw string. Most are machine washable but we wash ours by hand after every use. We use this one.