There are a few kitchen tools that have proved absolutely essential to being a well rounded plant based eater, and I am here to share those with you to elevate your cooking game! Every one of these products are tried and true and I have to say that they have made my life so much easier. I explain a little bit as to why I think you may need these tools, but you are completely open to make substitutions that fit your needs. I just want to say that I have a tiny kitchen with not much counter space, so I had to limit my kitchen appliances to what I could possibly fit in my space.
- FOOD PROCESSOR
BY FAR my favourite kitchen tool is my food processor. I first decided to get one because I was tired of mashing beans for my bean burgers, and I could never get them to the right consistency. I also LOVED hummus and a variety of other plant based dips and could not imagine doing all of those by hand. I never grew up with a food processor so I was quite skeptical of its benefits but I have to say it has been a life saver! Since then I have made desserts, dips, and even kneaded my dough (yes, I could not do it with my hands).
I highly recommend getting a larger food processor, like this one, that is 7+ cups. I had a mini processor that would drive me insane because I had to process individual batches and they were never really mixed well! It is also super inexpensive but such a powerful tool that saves my time and my sanity!
Now I do have to preface this with saying there are SO many types of blenders I have tried and they all have their pros and cons. As I mentioned above I don’t have very much space in my kitchen so my blender actually sits on top of my fridge (yes it is completely safe). As a vegan I use my blender for a ton of items including smoothies, sauces (nut or vegetable based), juices, nut milk, and even sorbets. Depending on what you are looking for, I have two options on both spectrums of the price scale that I could recommend.
I currently use the Ninja Professional Blender & Nutri Ninja, which I picked up at Costco on sale for $75. Now heres the thing; I LOVE the smaller cup and blade attachment. I find the blade is able to break everything down with ease and is perfect for small batches of smoothies and especially sauces. I also love the sipping cup attachment that I use all the time for smoothies on the go. BUT, the larger blender attachment DOES NOT perform as well as the smaller size. It does not break down as smoothly and often leaves chunks of whatever I am blending. It is also almost too large in size, and very flimsy to the point where I am nervous to use it sometimes. And a heads up, this blender IS LOUD. Like LOUD LOUD. I can not use it at all if anyone is sleeping because they will wake up 10000% of the time. So if you’re looking for a low-cost options for a blender I would recommend the Ninja but do be aware that it does have its own downfalls despite the price. I also use a hand held blender from Cuisinart for blending soups, and it is perfect because there is minimal clean up involved and I don’t have to pull out the huge blender.
If you have the budget for a high end blender I HAVE to recommend the Vitamix (to no ones surprise). My in-laws have it and it is AMAZING. It can even cook your soup for you, what?! The high speed blender is nothing like I have seen before and if you are using your blender for a large family then I would highly recommend this blender. All the positive reviews are real. It is amazing and I wish I had one in my own household.
3. AIR FRYER
Now this appliance may be my ultimate favourite aside from my food processor. I never grew up with anything like it, no toaster oven just a regular microwave. I use my air fryer pretty much everyday whether it be for lunch or dinner. I always felt guilty for firing up my oven for a couple of veggies or a sweet potato and the air fryer has taken that guilt away completely! It is truly magical. I use it for roasting veggies, beans and nuts, toasting, and reheating leftovers. Just a disclaimer: the hype around the air fryer is that it requires minimal oil, BUT I’d have to disagree. I find that roasting without oil or just a tiny bit makes the veggies a little too dry for my liking but you could totally roll with that. My favourite thing to roast in the air fryer is kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, and chickpeas!
I chose the Cosori 5.8QT air fryer for a couple of reasons. First the SIZE. The smaller version of this seemed it would be tiny and I was completely right. 5.8QT is the way to go and I wish there was even a larger size. It is tall but not wide and it is perfect to fit in the corner of my kitchen where the microwave was. I also picked this model because it is less “digital” than the other ones. I recognize that since I am plant-based I don’t care for the preset options for meat or seafood so I thought I would stick to simpler model with an actual timer. I LOVE the dial timer on this air fryer because I use timers often and I don’t care for touch screens.
SO these are my absolute kitchen must haves that I would not know where I would be without! I know I missed some other things like microwaves, toasters, but I have to say that I don’t use any of these anymore. They are sitting in my basement and when I am unable to warm up something on the stove I quickly run down and use it. There are some honourable mentions that I will include that have made my life easier:
- Cosori Electric Tea Kettle : If you’re a tea lover like me this will change the game. It is a quick option to boiling water and is always sitting on my counter top
- Lemon/Line Juicer: I use this often for salads and dressings.
- Knife sharpener: Yeah I use this RARELY but knifes need sharpening. Need I say more?
- Ice cream scoop/cookie scoop: A luxury item I must say but why not?
Hope this helped you navigate the appliance world!