After I wrote about what I keep in my purse, I had several requests for a similar post about what my kitchen looks like and what appliances/health tools I keep there. Below is the list I wish I’d had before I got married so I could have put most of these items on my wedding registry.
Natural Kitchen Items
I feel that it is important to note that I cook 2-3 times a day and we don’t have or use a microwave. All of the items I have in my kitchen now are heavy duty and have multiple uses. Many of these items are pricey but we carefully budgeted for them and most have extended warranties. I should also note that because I am constantly experimenting with new recipes for the blog, I have some appliances and tools I would not have originally thought to register for.
1. Appliances/Big Items
Besides the usual refrigerator and oven/stove, I have a variety of small appliances that I use on a regular basis.
Vitamix: We have had a Vitamix since early in our marriage and it has been used multiple times a day for years! We use it daily for smoothies, sauces, blending coffee with healthy fats, chopping, etc. If I could only have one of the appliances on this list, I’d keep the Vitamix. While I really think a Vitamix beats all other blenders, here are my experiences with other blenders that also pass the test.
Food Processor (I have this one): I didn’t put this on my wedding registry because I thought “how much would I really use a machine that just chops and mixes?” Turns out, I would use it a lot. I thought it would be fun to chop everything by hand at first, which was true for a couple of years, but now when I cook for a crowd (just the family, not to mention guests) the food processor is really helpful. I also use this often for chopping items for soups, slicing cabbage for sauerkraut, pre-chopping salad items for the whole week, etc.
Mixer (I have this one): Another one I didn’t get early on because I didn’t think we’d use it much (especially since I don’t bake much). While it is still not my most used kitchen tool, I do use it pretty often for blending things like homemade marshmallows or the dough for coconut flour biscuits, etc. Before we got this mixer, I just had the hand-mixer version and it worked really well too.
Dehydrator (I have this one): We went through several of the cheaper plastic type dehydrators but the Excalibur is considered the gold standard of dehydrators. Dehydrators are great for drying fruits and veggies, making beef jerky or salmon jerky, and more. My kids especially like apple chips made from dehydrated apples and strawberries. This appliance mainly gets used in the summer when there is excess produce that needs to be preserved.
Ice Cream Maker (I have this one): Not something I thought I would use all the time, but surprisingly we do. We do make actual ice cream recipes like this strawberry gelato, or butter pecan ice cream, but this is also just a great way to get extra healthy fats and nutrients into my kids without a fight. I can even just blend watermelon and pour in to make a sorbet. For ice creams, I try to add coconut oil, egg yolks, and butter for good fats.
Crock Pot/Slow Cooker (I have this one): This is one item I had from the beginning. I’ve actually gone through several cheaper ones that wore out before I finally sprung for a high quality one. This particular Crock Pot is also supposed to be tested to be free of lead (which is supposedly present in the crock of some slow cookers).
Water Filter (We have this one): Not an appliance per se but we use this daily to filter our water for cooking and drinking as it is the best water filter option I’ve found. We used the Berkey Water Filter for years before we sprung for this 14-stage under-counter filtration system. The Berkey is still a great option if under the counter isn’t possible. If you’re wondering why a 14-stage water filter would be necessary, check out this post and you might be convinced.
I cook all the time, so quality cookware is really important to me. I only use cookware that is natural/eco-friendly and also pretty easy to clean. This left only a few options, but my few versatile pieces get used all the time!
Instant Pot (I have this one): You know those last-minute dinner blues? The Instant Pot can cure them. It makes soups, stews, and casseroles, hardboils eggs, ferments yogurt, and the most tender cuts of meat you can imagine. Food is ready in about an hour or less, and you can even saute right in the pot before pressurizing, saving extra dirty pans. Try it, you’ll be glad you did! Check out my full review on Instant Pot models (and why it is a healthy way to cook) for more details.
Ceramic Skillets (I have these): These cook evenly and are really easy to clean. The only downside is that they are breakable so I have to be careful when cleaning them. I use these especially for eggs as they don’t stick, but also for foods like stir-frys or meats. [Note: Ceramcor has offered to give WM readers a 10% discount on all orders. Here are the details.]
Cast Iron: A few good cast iron skillets can last forever. I use these for anything that has to go from stove to oven or for meats, bacon, sausage, etc. Another advantage is that trace amounts of iron are left in food to boost the body’s iron levels.
Enameled Cast Iron: I have a dutch oven and soup pot that are coated cast iron and use these for stove or oven roasting or cooking.
Steel Food Service Baking Pans (I have these): Since we try to cook in bulk when possible and since I now often have to cook large amounts even for single meals, these come in handy. I use them for roasting veggies, cooking large amounts of foods, and serving to large groups. They can also double as a roaster for large cuts of meat.
3. Kitchen Tools
Besides the bigger items like the appliances above, I have a variety of smaller kitchen items that I use all the time. I actually had a lot more of these smaller items and have weeded out single use items, especially those that took up a lot of room. The ones that made the cut and that I still have:
A Fermentation Crock (I have this one): There is usually something in some stage of fermentation on my counter and a crock like this makes fermentation much easier. I use this most often for sauerkraut.
Quality Knives (I have these): Knives are still one of the most used items in my kitchen. From chopping veggies for omelets to meat or veggies for dinner, these get used all the time. I’ve even invested in teaching the kids to use them (with the help of this awesome online course) as it’s a valuable life skill.
A Julienne Peeler (I have this set): I use thisto peel carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc. into noodle shapes to use in place of regular noodles in recipes. This is also a job that my older kids can help with in meal prep.
A Crinkle Cutter (I have this one): Not too sharp and makes fun shapes so my kids can use them to help with meal prep. I keep this and a bamboo cutting board and the kids get to take turns helping cut veggies for meals. They also are able to get this out and a carrot or cucumber and cut slices for a snack whenever they want.
I use jars for everything so they have a category of their own. We use them for storage, drinking glasses, fermenting things like beet kvass, water kefir, and salsa, as well as for second ferments of kombucha. I love glass jars and have a collection of sorts in my kitchen:
6. Other Items
In addition to these kitchen items, the following unusual items can often be found on my kitchen counter:
What is in your kitchen? Are there any great kitchen tools that I’m missing out on? Do you have some of these same items? Share below!