There are certain items that will make your cooking experience that much easier and that much more enjoyable. Today I am going to share with you 5 must have kitchen accessories that have made a huge difference in my life (and you know that I cook ALOT).
Now, before we get started I am going to say that one of the most important items that is not on this list is a good, sharp kitchen knife. This saves time and obviously makes chopping easy and you will know exactly what I am talking about when you feel the difference. I use this knife.
- A Good Blender
When I say good blender I mean a really good blender and these are often an investment.
When you are making homemade soup you want it to puree perfectly.
When you are learning how to make bread replacements with plantains, you want blades that are going to break those things down into a smooth paste.
When you only need a small amount of cashew butter for a recipe, you want a blender that will pulverize your nuts to a perfect paste.
And when you regularly hide spinach or other green vegetables in your smoothies, you want a blender that will break them down, so that you don’t have little tiny pieces that tickle your throat on the way down (all you pulp-haters know what I mean)!
I have used the Vitamix, Blendtec and the Ninja blenders and all worked very well. I have a preference for the Vitamix but that is likely because I have had one for almost 10 years so I know what it can do.
- A Food Processor
The difference between a blender and a food processor is that a high powered blender is great for pureeing things like soups, smoothies and nut butters. The food processor is great for rough chopping and blending but not quite pureeing so it is a great option when you are making salsa, dips, shredding cheese, chopping or grating vegetables.
I am currently using this food processor. I am happy with it’s capabilities and have made lots of great pesto, grated lots of cheese and made homemade marinaras in it. There is some issue with food getting stuck in a poorly designed spot on the lid, but so far I have been able to deal with it.
- An Immersion Blender
I love my immersion blender. I have an older Braun immersion blender that I purchased from a second hand store for $4.99.
I use it to make guacamole, puree soup (although I prefer my Vitamix for this) and to puree my mashed potatoes.
But one of my favourite uses is to make mayo or homemade garlic sauce.
If you have ever tried to make mayo in a food processor doing the “one drop at a time” method, it is time to make a change because the immersion blender allows you to put all your ingredients in a container and just blend…and voila, out comes mayo (usually…), within seconds.
You also save a lot of time on the clean up when you use the immersion blender.
I love my Braun but I also know that the Cuisinart immersion blender is at a good price point and has great reviews.
- The Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker.
Gone are the days when you have to fear that your pressure cooker is going to explode and literally blow through your ceiling (yes, that use to be a thing).
The Instant Pot is a Canadian designed pressure cooker that has multiple features aside from just pressure cooking. You can also sautee, slow cook, make rice, yogurt and more.
It has ten “fool proof” safety protections so that you do not need to fear anything going wrong (you know, like those explosions I mentioned).
And…it speeds up cooking by two to six times using up to 70% less energy.
For example, if you would usually make a stew in the slow cooker for 8 hours, you can make that same stew in the Instant Pot in about an hour and I am telling you, it will be better, more tender and more flavourful than your original version.
Note that there are are different sizes and versions…my favourite is this one.
This is one of the best purchases I have made in the past few years. And their customer service is excellent.
- Parchment paper
Is parchment paper an accessory? I say yes!
One of your biggest pains is cleaning up the dishes after all the cooking happens. And the worst part is cleaning baked on sauces or burnt food.
Parchment paper has basically annihilated any need to scrub baking dishes or cookie sheets because it is a paper that won’t burn under regular heat in the oven.
So you just line your baking sheets or dishes with it and after you cook, it lifts right off the dish and into the garbage, leaving you with an almost clean dish!
I buy mine at Costco.
Two notes on parchment paper:
- Make sure to use a piece of paper big enough to go over the edges of your dish when you are cooking something with a sauce or oil so that the sauce doesn’t leak over the edge of the paper.
- I am going to be upfront and admit that I do have some questions about the health issues with parchment paper. I am just curious to know what chemicals are in the parchment paper and if they are a concern to our health in any way so for this reason, I occasionally choose to not line a dish and accept that I will have to wash it.
A bonus favourite…
- A Squatty Potty
Ok, I know this one seems not fit into the theme of cool kitchen accessories I have mentioned but this is for after you’ve enjoyed your healthy meals.
Many people suffer from constipation and while this is often caused by dehydration, poor diet and lack of movement, it can also be worsened by the position in which you poop (humans are meant to squat while we poop).
The Squatty Potty is basically a footstool that wraps around the base of your toilet. You put your feet on it when you are having a bowel movement so that your colon is in an optimal position for elimination and that means that the poop comes out more easily.
Whether you are constipated or not, this is a great accessory for the whole family that will contribute to better health for everyone. And I kid you not when I tell you, you will never want to poop without your footstool again after you try it!
Do you have a favourite kitchen accessory that I didn’t mention? Let me know which ones you love by commenting below.
For simple By Design recipes why not pick up your copy of the Eat By Design Cookbook. I’ve created it in the form of a 28-day meal plan (plus grocery lists!) so you don’t need to think about what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the next month. Or you can grab the first 7 days FREE by clicking here.
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