On my journey towards good health, I have started to experiment in the kitchen. I am not a fan of “diet food” and in order to make sustainable changes, I need to create healthy meals with simple ingredients that also taste great and don’t take hours to complete. As such, I have collected several kitchen essentials that have made my life so much easier and, of course, I want to share my finds with all of you. Since I have just launched my store, I thought that this post would be a great way to kick things off!
I’m just in time for the holidays and I’m happy to provide recommendations for you that are tried, tested, and true. We have all of these products in our home and they have served us well. I’m happy to report that I didn’t set foot in a mall this holiday season because all of my shopping was done online, which I highly recommend. If you have a home chef in your life, or perhaps someone who is creating their “first kitchen,” then any of these items would make great holiday gifts!
My Top 9 Kitchen Essentials
- Olive oil sprayer. Gone are my days of using a brush to paint on olive oil, which never turned out properly anyway (I could never get it to go on evenly). I have had my Misto for well over a year and it still works great! I use it for food (such as salad, bread, and meat) and also to coat cooking surfaces (such as pans and the grill).
- Vegetable spiralizer. I’m always trying to find innovative ways to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and my spiralizer is a great way to do that. Replacing pasta with zucchini, broccoli stems, or even eggplant is much healthier and allows you to use the full vegetable (I’ve always hated throwing out broccoli stems, but I never knew what to do with them).
- Garlic press. I am obsessed with garlic and use it on almost everything. However, I hate chopping it by hand and I also hate the taste of the garlic that is sold in jars (nothing beats fresh!). Buying a garlic press was the best decision ever! Confession: my husband is the one who uses this gadget because pressing garlic hurts my hands. Maybe I need to start working out my hands!
- Silicon baking mats. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed baking. My dad taught me how and I have carried on doing it even after he passed. One thing that I have in common with the 5 year old Scarlet who was learning how to navigate the kitchen is that I still dislike cleaning up. I used to buy wax paper to line my baking trays and pans, but I’ve realized how wasteful (and expensive!) that can get. I invested in silicon baking mats and never looked back! Many people will recommend Silpat, but I find them to be overpriced.
- Measuring tools. We only have two glass measuring cups and if I am baking or cooking in bulk, two just doesn’t cut it. However, I don’t have a lot of storage space in my kitchen (we will be gutting our kitchen and renovating it next year. I will share our progress and the deals that I find with you here!), so I invested in small measuring tools instead. I do love them, but my one complaint is that the measurement is written in the same colour as the tool itself, which can be a bit annoying.
- Knife sharpener. There is nothing worse than trying to chop vegetables with a dull knife. We sharpen our knives every couple of days and since we found that the one that came with our set is essentially ineffective, we bought a separate one. I personally find that manual sharpeners work better than the electric ones, but then again, I’m old-fashioned (I won’t use an electric pencil sharpener either). This sharpener works for all knives, not just kitchen ones, which is great when you have a husband who collects knives (that sounded scarier than I intended it to!). One day we will invest in a better set of knives, but for now, this interim solution works well.
- Grater. I grate vegetables and cheese on a regular basis, so investing in a quality grater was essential. We went through several of the cheapies, which actually broke while we were using them, before we decided to buy a sturdier version (don’t worry, it’s still under $10!).
- Slow cooker. For busy working professionals, running a household is like a second full time job. Slow cookers allow you to throw a concoction into a pot and have dinner ready when you get home. There are so many slow cookers on the market and while I don’t advocate breaking the bank, I wouldn’t completely cheap out either (you don’t want to come home to your house on fire instead of to a tasty pot roast). We use mid-range slow cooker and we are very happy with it!
- Cooking thermometer. Food safety is no joke. We use a thermometer to determine when our food is actually “done” to avoid any foodborne illnesses, which are not a great way to end a dinner party.
Disclosure: if you buy any of these products from me, or do any of your amazon.com shopping through my store, my sweet boxer, B, will get some treat money. He thanks you in advance for supporting his cookie addiction and I thank you for supporting my blog.