8 Kitchen Gadgets We Can't Live Without
Our Vitamix is easily the most used kitchen tool we own. We use it every morning to make smoothies. Throughout the day we use it to make sauces, dips, dressings, soups, nut milk, tonics, baby food, and so much more. We have owned many blenders in the past, and we can confidently say that the cost of the Vitamix is well worth it. If we had to recommend one product to buy for your "natural" kitchen, it would be a Vitamix, hands down.
2. Food Processor
Although a Vitamix can blend just about anything, we find that some recipes are a bit easier in a food processor. If you are blending ingredients to make a thicker base like nuts and dates for raw balls, or cauliflower for rice, a food processor can work better. We have been using the Wolfgang puck 12 cup food processor for the last ten years, but there are many great options on the market.
3. Coffee Grinder
Nope, we don't drink coffee, but we do use a coffee grinder quite a bit. The main things we grind are flax seeds and spices in whole seed form. We never buy flax meal because once the seeds are ground, they start oxydizing which causes them to become rancid very quickly. We also love grinding our spices to use in recipes such as fennel seeds and corriander. This makes our food more flavorful, and the health benefits are much higher when you grind them right before you consume them.
Our juicer is a tool that gets used very often in our kitchen. We love making fresh juices in the morning instead of smoothies if we want something lighter with less fiber. We also use it to make juice for quick meals or snacks on the go. If you are trying to cleanse and detox your body, a juice fast is one of the best things you can do. Store bought juices are usually filled with preservatives or made from concentrate, and even cold pressed juices sold in most stores are pasteurized because of FDA laws. The way to get the best and most affordable juice is to buy fresh (local if you can) organic fruits and vegetables and juice them yourself. We have used the Angel Juicer which is a masticating juicer, meaning the juicer uses a slower process to extract the juice which keeps the juice from heating and keeps more of the nutrients intact. However, if you are just getting started, a basic centrifugal juicer like the Jack LaLanne is a more affordable option and also works well.
Everyone has heard of spiralizers now. These tools have become very popular recently, and it's obvious why. If you are trying to avoid grains like our family or even just gluten, using a spiralizer to make vegetable noodles is a great replacement for wheat pasta. Here's one of our favorite recipes to use with the spiralizer, but the options are endless and always a crowd pleaser.
6. Nut Milk Bag
My family loves drinking nut milk, and I use coconut and almond milk regularly in recipes to substitute dairy milk. We choose to make our nut milk because it's very easy to do, it tastes much better than the store bought milk, and most boxed milk contains preservatives and high amounts of sugar. Many times we make a sweet nut milk with stevia, honey, vanilla, or cacao for dessert. Here's our favorite recipe and the nut milk bag we use.
7. Immersion Blender
I use my immersion blender in the kitchen when I need things blended quickly. I use it for blending soups right on the stove and for recipes like my homemade mayo that I regularly make for egg/tuna salad, dressings, and dips.
8. Ceramic Cookware & Stoneware
The problem with most metal cookware is that the materials are made with chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, aluminum, copper, nickel chromium, and iron which leach into your food and create a toxic environment in your body and your home. Our family has personally struggled with heavy metal poisoning, so we've been slowly switching from conventional cookware to stone and ceramic cookware. There are a lot of products marked "natural," "green," or "ceramic" but many of them still contain harmful toxins. Here are a few things you should look for before purchasing any bakeware or cookware.
Is it 100% nontoxic?
Do they use natural inorganic materials that come right from the Earth?
Is it naturally chip and scratchproof?
Do they use clean-burning and safe natural gas in the manufacturing process?
Can you put it in the oven, broiler, fridge, freezer, dishwasher, and on the stove?
Here are a few brands we've have used, but there are many out on the market that you can research for yourself: