10 Tools Your Kitchen Wants You to Haveby Elise Museles
Your kitchen and I were having a chat a few days ago, and she wants you to know that she really appreciates the fresh herbs on the window sill and the new gas stove.
She also knows that one of your goals for 2015 is more home cooking, less last minute take out. She remembers that you vowed to sip healthy hot and spicy cocoa on cozy nights in place of those midnight trips to the freezer for dulce de leche ice cream.
Because she’s committed to helping you become your most vibrantly healthy self, your kitchen wants me to pass along this list of 10 timeless tools that will make cooking & eating (and feeling great!) even easier. Isn’t that considerate?
1. Glass storage containers
Your kitchen doesn’t want to alarm you, but storing food in plastic containers isn’t particularly safe. Several studies have found that most (most!) plastics “from sippy cups to food wraps” release a hormone similar to estrogen. Let’s sidestep that altogether by using glass storage containers. Besides, it’s so gratifying to open your refrigerator door and be greeted by perfectly clear, nicely stacked glass containers housing your fresh food. Trust me, it will motivate you to fill them up and meal prep for the week.
2. A chef’s knife
But you already know this, right? A good, regularly sharpened knife makes cooking a million times faster, more enjoyable, and it’s actually safer! A high quality chef’s knife can be a bit of an investment, but it will last decades. And if you really want to splurge, this is the knife that we use in our kitchen. Life changing!
3. Nut milk bags
Homemade nut milk is cheaper, healthier, and usually more delicious than the store-bought versions. And you can make your own when you buy a nut milk bag! The bags are about $8 a piece, which is the price of two (maybe three) cartons of almond milk… what are you waiting for?
4. A microplane
Once you start using freshly ground ginger, nutmeg, and turmeric, you’ll never go back. Ever. This tool will make your turmeric latte even better – if that’s possible. Need some lemon zest to add to your not so basic oatmeal or salad dressings, the microplane to the rescue!
5. A lemon squeezer
Your kitchen heard that you want to make hot lemon water part of your morning ritual, and she wants you to know that this two-armed number is a lot better than one of those old-fashioned citrus juicers… and definitely more convenient.
6. A spiralizer
Who needs pasta when you can have zucchini pasta with pesto and cherry tomatoes? It’s so much healthier, and it’s actually easier than waiting for that pasta water to boil. Plus, you can “spiralize” other vegetables to throw into your grains, salads or stir-frys, in less time than it takes to chop. Really!
7. A bamboo cutting board
Plastic? Out of the question. Glass? We don’t want to ruin or dull that chef’s knife! Bamboo is sustainable and naturally anti-bacterial. Perfect, right?
Goodbye canned, chemical-filled non-stick sprays, hello Silpats! These baking mats mean you can use less butter (or coconut oil!) in your cookies, and the clean up is so much easier.
9. Cast iron skillet
Don’t be intimidated by cast iron’s weird (or non-existent) cleaning rules! They’re incredibly versatile – they can be used on your stovetop or in your oven – and they’re healthier for you than other pans. They’re a chemical free alternative to non-stick pans, and they actually fortify your food with iron. Bonus: they’re perfect for frittatas.
10. Wide mouth mason jars in quart and pint sizes
Who doesn’t love mason jar salads? Wide mouth mason jars are easy to clean, easy to fill, and perfectly portioned for smoothies, juices, overnight oats, trail mixes, no bake energy balls and just about everything. You can prepare your food ahead of time, twist that lid on, and you’ll have a fridge full of goodness ready when you are!
Bonus: A high-speed blender
I almost left this out because of the serious investment. (It’s steep!) But since I use my Vitamix every single day, I thought that I would be remiss not to include it on the list. A high-speed blender will become your BFF in the kitchen. Use it to make smoothies, dressings, sauces, nut milks, desserts, soups and more. It whips the ingredients up into a smooth texture in no time. While it’s definitely costly, it will last forever.
Your turn: What tools have helped make your cooking easier and more fun? Leave your faves in the comments!