Laura's Kitchen Gear Favorites
Last week, I taught 5 (five!) Culinary Nutrition Cooking Workshops at the 2019 Nourished Life Retreat in Aspen, CO. I’m quite partial to the collection of cooking gear I’ve accumulated over the years - heck, I love it so much I hauled most of it to Aspen! Today, I’m sharing my list of essential kitchen gear. All have been tried for durability, effectiveness, and longevity.
Sourcing: Shop Local If Possible!
We all know the benefits of shopping local. Many of the items below are available at your local housewares store, hardware store, or even health food store. If, however, location, availability or time makes shopping online a necessity (as it often does for me!), I’ve included links where you can buy these items on Amazon.com.
Couple of Notes
I only recommend products because I actually use and love them; never because someone is paying me to do so.
I am an Amazon Associate. This means that, if you click on a product on my site and buy it on Amazon, you’ll pay the same price for the item you would have if you’d gone straight to Amazon.com. However, Amazon pays me a small “referral fee” on each item purchased. I use this revenue to off-set the costs of running my website. Thank you for your support and let me know if you have any questions.
These larger kitchen appliances are an investment, for sure. However, you’ll buy them once and they’ll last for decades. They make preparing healthy meals at home quicker and easier. Not to mention, they allow for more diversity in your diet via smoothies, dips, sauces, blended soups, and even quick non-dairy ice cream.
Vitamix 5200 Blender
I’m partial to this original model and feel it works better than the counter height model which struggles with smaller quantities and thicker consistencies in nut butter and fruit ice creams. Around the holidays, Costco usually runs a sale on Vitamix blenders. Also, it’s worthwhile considering a refurbished Vitamix blender if you’re looking to save money.
Large (14 cup) Cuisinart Food Processor
Smaller Option (4 cup) Cuisinart Food Processor
Breville Immersion Blender
A good set of knives is, truly, essential. They will make chopping quicker, easier and safer. And, properly cared for, good knives will be something you pass down to your children and grandchildren. I find Japanese knives slice through even tough root vegetables like butter. Below are options my favorite two brands - Shun and Miyabi.
Shun Premier 3 Knife Set, including 8” Chef’s Knife
Miyabi 8” Chef’s Knife
Oxo Good Grips Cutting Boards
Perfect for everyday use; dishwasher safe which is important for sanitizing after cutting meat or fish.
Large Teak Wood Cutting Board
Don’t let their little size and cheap price fool you - these peelers are fantastic! Keep them out of the dishwasher to prevent the blade rusting.
Extra Wide Vegetable Peeler
Without an extra wide peeler, I think I would have given up on butternut squash long ago! This stainless steel peeler gets through anything.
Adjust-A-Cup Measuring Cup
Perfect for measuring ingredients such as coconut oil and nut butters, this measuring cup allows you to “squirt” them out into the bowl. No waste!
OXO Good Grips Egg Beater
Oh the hours my son has spent beating eggs and whipped cream! I’m going to say this tool is a must for any cooking kid.
Stainless Steel Straw Set
Nut Milk Bag
Pots and Pans
Safe and healthy pots and pans are made from stainless steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron or glass. Anything with a non-stick coating? Toss it!
Another item that will last a lifetime and get passed onto your kids. If this Dutch oven is a bit too pricey, I have it on good authority that the Costco Kirkland Dutch oven is excellent. Or, check out the Lodge brand Dutch oven.
Lodge Cast Iron Pans - made in USA
To Go Snack and Lunch COntainers
U Konserve Stainless Steel Snack Containers
These! Light, durable and they don’t spill even when full of applesauce and left on their side.
Stasher Silicone Bags
Replace those plastic baggies with food grade, non-reactive silicon bags.
Etee Reusable Food Wrap
A fantastic way to cut down on the use of plastic wrap. These are made from organic cotton fabric coated in a beeswax concoction. I like these for wrapping up to-go-snacks such as slices of fruit or veggies or a handful of trail mix because the Etee wraps aren’t very sticky. See another option - Bee’s Wrap - below to replace your plastic wrap at home.
Home Food Storage
Like the Etee wraps mentioned above, Bee’s Wrap is a cotton fabric coated in a beeswax mixture. These are an excellent and direct replacement for plastic wrap as they sticks tightly to bowls just like plastic wrap. When first opened, they smell strongly of beeswax but the smell wears off quickly.
Mason Jars - Wide Mouth, Pint Size (2 cups)
Classic and inexpensive, Mason jars are one of the main ways I store food in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Can’t beat ‘em!
Pyrex Glass Food Storage Set
Glass Pyrex containers are the second way I store food. I particularly like this set because they are rectangular which wastes less space in the refrigerator or freezer than round containers.