Cooking is much easier when you’re using the right tool. The kitchen tools I use regularly have changed as I’ve transitioned to a plant-based diet.
Most of my meals consist of smoothies, salads or one-dish meals, which can be simpler and easier than cooking traditional American food. I do chop more vegetables, but wash a lot less pans and dishes. Here is my list of helpful tools that make life easier:
- Sharp kitchen knife.
I purchased a Zwilling J.A. Henckels knife from Costco when they had a knife vendor in the store. You can check this Costco link to see when the next Zwilling Special Event is scheduled in your area. I’ve also purchased a Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch from Amazon. The Victorinox knives are made by the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives. They are sharp, inexpensive and have good ratings. I also use their paring knife all the time. Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Straight Paring Knife, 3.25-Inch
2. Cutting Boards.
I enjoy having different sizes of cutting boards. My latest purchase was a small cutting board from Trader Joe’s made from olive wood. I use plastic boards, but prefer wood or bamboo. I would order this set. Organic Bamboo Cutting Board with Juice Groove (3-Piece Set) – Kitchen Chopping Board for Meat (Butcher Block) Cheese and Vegetables | Anti Microbial Heavy Duty Serving Tray w/Handles
4. Mason jars.
I drink almost everything out of a mason jar. I love that they have lids for traveling and storing. However, please note a quart jar does not fit in a car cup holder. I still take them everywhere with me, and really need to purchase a cup holder adapter for my car. I also use jars for storing herbs, seeds & dried fruit. I received my mason jars from family members, no longer canning or I purchased them from the thrift store. They are sold on Amazon Ball Mason Jar-32 oz. Clear Glass Wide Mouth – Set of 4
I drink a lot of my meals. This is an easy way to get in more nutrition efficiently. Large reusable straws are helpful when drinking thick smoothies. When I first started drinking celery juice for medicinal purposes, I didn’t enjoy the taste. Having a straw was the perfect way for me to quickly drink my herbal medicine. I purchase the larger plastic bubble tea straws. Even though they are disposable, I wash them in the dishwasher a few times before disposing of them. I don’t like the metal straws. They are too cold for smoothies. The next time we need straws I will purchase these. Extra Wide Reusable Smoothie Straws, Great for Bubble Tea, Boba Tea and Milkshakes, 10.25 Inches Long, 10 Pieces Jumbo Eco Friendly Plastic Straws with 2 Cleaning Brushes, BPA Free
The best thing you can do for your health is to buy a juicer and use it. I purchased my Champion Juicer in the 1990’s, and have been juicing off and on for 30 years. I’ve been juicing at least once a day for over 2 ½ years and have noticed a boost in my health and energy. For the past 2 years I’ve been juicing with a Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus Centrifugal Juicer, Brushed Stainless Steel. I had to return it once, and am noticing the motor slowing down again, but I think it’s still a great juicer. My next juicer will be an Omega, and I will most likely need to purchase one next year. I’m looking forward to owning a Omega MM900HDS Medical Medium Slow Masticating Celery Juicer High Juice Yield Adjustable Dial, 200-Watt, Silver. If you are just getting started juicing, consider purchasing a used juicer.
I use nut-bags all the time for straining food. I put one in the pulp container when juicing, and squeeze out another 2-6 ounces of juice. When juicing every day this saves me money. I also use these bags to strain vegetables when making broth, to strain wild plants when making herbal honey, or to strain herbs when making larger batches of herbal tea. I love nut-bags. I just used one tonight after blending fresh cranberries in my blender. I strained the cranberry juice with a nut-bag, added lime juice & honey to make a refreshing drink. You can also purchase a produce bag, which will do the same thing. Trader Joe’s sell these inexpensive bags in their produce department. This is my favorite bag. Pro Quality Nut Milk Bag – XL12″X12″ Bags – Commercial Grade Reusable All Purpose Food Strainer – Food Grade BPA-Free – Ultra Strong Fine Nylon Mesh – Nutmilk, Juices, Cold Brew – Recipes & Videos… (1)
8. High Speed Blender.
I started out using the Ninja blender and loved it. I like the smoothie container with lids for easy travel like this one Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base, 72 Oz Total Crushing Pitcher and (2) 16 Oz Cups for Frozen Drinks and Smoothies (BL660), Gray My first Ninja also had a food processor attachment, which I used a lot. The Ninja is easy to clean and powerful, but the plastic broke on different pieces after a year. If you purchase the Ninja from Costco, you can replaced it with the Costco warranty. I did this at least twice before I decided to purchase a Vitamix. The Vitamix is well-made and powerful. The blade isn’t removable for cleaning, but it cleans up easy blending soap and water for a few minutes. I purchased the larger Vitamix from Costco which is great when making 2 smoothies at a time, something I do every day. But my 64 oz. blender doesn’t blend well when making smaller quantities of thicker sauces – it pushes the ingredients to the side and doesn’t mix them together. I still use the smaller smoothie cup with the Ninja blender when blending smaller amounts of thick sauces. Vitamix E320 Explorian Blender Black, 64 oz
9. Fine Mesh Strainer.
I use this all the time too. I like the fine mesh because it strains out the herbs from my infused water or teas. When juicing, I use it to strain the small amount of pulp from the juice as I pour it into my mason jar to drink. OXO Good Grips 6-Inch Fine Mesh Strainer,Black/Silver,1 EA
10. Glass Bowls & Storage Containers with Lids
I prefer to store my food in clear glass containers because they are food safe and easy to see leftovers in the refrigerator. I use these bowls for food prep and storage, especially when making salads. Pyrex 8-piece 100 Years Glass Mixing Bowl Set (Limited Edition) – Assorted Colors Lids Smaller glass containers are perfect for leftovers and traveling. I’ve been pleased with the lids on the Glasslock brand. Glasslock 14pc Set Assorted Color Lids Airtight Spill Proof Food Storage Containers Microwave & Oven Safe
11. Plastic Lids for Mason Jars. These plastic lids for jars are the best. Not having metal canning lids that can rust is a great improvement. I have lids in both regular and wide-mouth. STARUBY 16Pcs Plastic Mason Jar Lids – 8 Regular Mouth Lids and 8 Wide Mouth Plastic Storage Caps for Mason Jars, White. When making teas or juices, I store the extra beverages in a mason jar with a plastic lid to drink later.
I hope one of these tools will make your life easier and more efficient. I am grateful for the help they give me.