Essential Kitchen Gadgets

We all get our kitchen with some basics built in. Some come with the house, like your refrigerator, oven/stove, countertops, sink/dishwasher, etc. Some you just naturally seem to have on hand, like your measuring tools, mixing bowls, microwave, and maybe even a Crockpot. Even in the midst of the clutter of your kitchen, there is a good chance you might just be missing a few key necessities to make your life a little easier and healthier! If you don't, you might simply be spinning your wheels, feeling overwhelmed at how much time even simple things can take. What are some essential pieces to keep on hand in your kitchen?

A good knife set and some wooden cutting boards are definite essentials, because you should be using these a few times a day for chopping, dicing, mincing, and preparing all your fresh fruits and veggies. Having a variety of knives to select from is always good because you may find you prefer different knives for different needs. Having more than one cutting board is great because then you can switch them out - example: what if you are cutting up a pineapple and the cutting board simply gets too messy to do anything else with it? Keep these items handy!

I really don't want to imagine life without my food processor. I have a 10 cup food processor that has an S-blade, as well as the plate that can be used for shredding or slicing all kinds of produce, including sweet potatoes for a Sweet Potato Hash Brown. Just this morning I made my own walnut butter with just a small touch of honey, cinnamon and raisins, all in about 3 minutes!

The last essential is my blender. Both Vita-mix and Blendtec are my most highly recommended, but start with what you have! We use ours daily to make our Green Smoothies, and it's also necessary to make Raw Cashew Cheese and all kinds of soups!

Items that are NOT necessary (BUT if you already have them, don't just throw them out... They can still be useful):

Juicer - Juicing has a lot of really great benefits, and I personally invested in a solid juicer a few years ago. However, because juicing is so time consuming and the clean up can be quite the hassle, too many start strong and then simply fall off the bandwagon within a few weeks. Start with blending and Green Smoothies first. If you are ready to move to juicing, I always advise to get a simple, low-cost version and see if you can make it into a habit before you make a big time purchase. I never advise for ongoing to only juice. I believe a blend of juicing and blending is best.

Dehydrator - Unless you will be following a strict Raw Diet, in which case this would become your "oven", this is a bulky piece of equipment which can really seem more of an inconvenience on your counter or in your cabinet then it's initially worth. Many items can be dehydrated in your oven if the temperature drops down below 200 degrees.

Ice Cream Maker - I bought one for a good price, and just didn't want to pass it up. I hate to admit that I have not taken the chance yet to teach myself how to make delicious dairy free ice cream, my original intention. So it sits until I feel inspired once again.

What is a small kitchen tool or appliance that you have really loved to help you in your healthy journey? Please leave a comment!

~Girya Runner (Lisa Garon)