I am often asked what the essential kitchen gadgets and appliances are for running my kitchen. As a self-confessed gadget girl, I do understand how it might seem a bit overwhelming to know exactly which items to invest in. I can admit to have several items that I rarely use, so I have put together my top ten must-haves for getting started.
- 1. Blender
This is an absolute essential. You won’t get along very well at all without one of these. I recommend getting the best one that you can afford to start with. When I first started eating a raw food diet, I used a $20 blender that I got from Carrefour and it did the job well enough until I decided to invest in a more high powered one.
Once you get more pro in the kitchen, you will also probably want to upgrade to a high powered blender model like my adored Froothie. This will be an expensive investment you won’t want to make until you have seen just how much you use your blender and how handy it will be.
- 2. Juicer
You will definitely want to experiment with fresh juices as you go on your journey into following a plant based diet. Again, get the best one that you can afford to buy. There are different types of juicer you will find available, and each has positive and negatives. The three main types are Centrifugal, Masticating and Twin Gear.
I have a Hurom masticating juicer that is also known as a slow juicer, as it runs at a slow speed and thus extracts more juice. The more common types are the centrifugal variety that are usually easier to clean and use than the other kinds, but you won’t get as much of the nutrients from the fruit and veg due to the way they grate and spin. The twin gear juicers can be used not just for juicing, but for making nut butters and ice cream. This is one of the most expensive kinds, and is also really bulky. I say get the one that you think you will most likely use and not just have taking up space on your counter or in your cupboard.
I have a good contact for buying Hurom slow juicers in Jakarta at a very good price, so be in touch if you want to get the details.
- 3. Food Processor
I love having a food processor, and don’t know how I lived without one for at least a year! This is one really awesome time saving gadget, as it can be used to slice and grate vegetables in seconds, as well as mix up drier ingredients. I use my food processor to make carrot pate, nut butters, as well as the mixtures for making crackers and raw desserts like truffles and brownies.
Like with a blender, get the best you can find and afford. I used a Philips food processor for ages, even in the early days of my Uncooking 101 classes. I upgraded to my Cuisinart much later when I knew it was a tool I would get my moneys worth out of having (and after my handsome hubby bought it for me as special birthday gift!)
- 4. Knives
It might seem obvious, but you really want to get a good set of kitchen knives. You will be doing a lot of chopping, and the better and sharper your knives are, the easier the job will be. I like to use ceramic knives, as they stay really sharp for ages, and they don’t oxidise the fruits and veg that I am chopping and slicing.
- 5. Manual Citrus Juicer
I absolutely love this device. I squeeze a lot of lemons in a week, and this citrus juicer makes the job super quick and easy. I also own an electric orange and lemon juicer that I never use as it is bulky- this manual squeezy device is quick and convenient.
- 6. Nut Milk Bag
You will probably start to make nut milks as part of your routine, as a cheaper and easier and fresher option than buying store bought non-dairy milks. A nut milk bag is a re-usable bag that will be used to squeeze the milk from the nut pulp that you blend. You can also use a fine mesh sieve, but this will take much longer than when using a nut milk bag.I have several of these bags which I use for nut milks as well as for sprouting- they are multi-functional!
If you want to buy one from me, send me an email!
- 7. Glass Mason Jars
I have MANY Ball mason jars in varying sizes and I just love them for storing all my nuts and seeds and dried fruits and flax crackers. They are also great for storing fresh juice and green smoothies, nut milks and nut butters. The way they seal keeps out any bugs and ensures the food inside stays super fresh.You can’t even have too many of these I reckon!
- 8. Spirooli or Julienne Peeler
These are really handy items to have for making zucchini noodles, something that are a staple in my weekly raw menu plans. You could also buy the device called a spirooli which is designed especially to spiralise zucchini, but for me a julienne peeler totally does the trick and takes up way less space on my tiny kitchen bench.
- 9. Meat Cleaver
Okay, so this might seem like a weird addition to a vegan kitchen equipment list….but it is one item I use a lot- not for meat, but for opening coconuts! Fresh coconuts are just about the best thing ever- but they do require a cleaver to open them. Be careful of your fingers and hands when you first learn how to open a coconut yourself- it is totally worth the effort to learn how!
- 10. Coffee Grinder
Number 10 was a toss-up between the grinder and a salad spinner. I decided I need my grinder more than the salad spinner, so it has won in this list. I love using my coffee grinder- but not for grinding coffee beans! I use it to grind nuts and seeds into lovely powders. For example, when making flax crackers, I like to use flax meal as well as the whole seeds, so I grind the seeds up in the grinder. I also use the grinder to make my solid spirulina tablets into a powder that I can add to smoothies, for making dried stevia into a powder and for making my own LSA mix from almonds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
There are of course other things, such as measuring cups and cutting boards, but these probably already appear in most kitchens. If you add these items to your kitchen wish-list, you will find yourself totally able to go crazy whipping up a vegan storm in the kitchen!
**In Jakarta you can find most of these gadgets from Ace Hardware or Pantry Magic
- Are there any items that you use which you think I have missed? Are there any items here which you don’t have yet but know you want to get ASAP? Share in the comments below!