Being healthy is always possible without modern tools. However, they seem to help a lot with the convenience of it all. They usually save time, effort, space, etc. Most of these are helpful for our food preparation and storage. So what made the list? In no particular order.
1. JUICER: Juicing is something most people have heard about by now. You basically extract the juice out of fruits and vegetables and consume. The price range on these things is huge. I wouldn’t recommend getting the cheapest one you can find. I also don’t think there is any need to get the most expensive one either. Get a solid unit that has a powerful motor that won’t break down on you. Juicing is a great way to start “re-alkalizing” your body and to start pumping in powerful nutrition. One glass may contain 4-5 servings of vegetables.
2. CROCK-POT: These things are invaluable. They are especially handy in the winter when animal products become more and more useful. I would get a large one. This way you are able to fit family sized meals in one pot. Things like whole chickens, legs of lamb, roasts, etc. The ability to throw stuff together and slow-cook it all day is great. The more we learn about cooking, we realize that “low and slow” is the way to go.
3. DEHYDRATOR: A little less essential but still valuable. It really depends on who you are and what your schedule is. A dehydrator can help you create high quality raw soaked nuts and seeds, dried fruits and vegetables, homemade meat and fish jerky, and more. Personally, I think of these as more snack or travel foods instead of regular food. However, many people find correctly prepared nuts and seeds to be a great part of their diet.
4. GOOD KNIFE/CUTTING BOARD: Who wants to cut vegetables or fruit with bad knives? We have all used bad knives before. The words “flimsy” and “dull” come to mind. I certainly don’t want to chop up anything with one of these things. Buying an expensive knife set is not needed. Invest in one or two high-quality knives and a sharpener. Keep your knives sharp and you will have a lot more fun doing kitchen work. Keep a large cutting board around as well. Make sure it is large enough so that the things you are chopping don’t want to wander off.
5. FOOD PROCESSOR/BLENDER: I don’t have much experience with these, but I know how valuable they can be. Food processors can be used to chop vegetables far quicker than we can chop them. This may be great for large families. Using them for small meals or personal proportions may be going overboard. Cleanup may be an issue here. Blenders are a little bit different, although many machines are starting to do both. Blenders are as valuable as their motors and blades. These can be used to do a lot of great jobs in the kitchen. Creating smoothies and other similar creations can be helpful on the go. Cleanup is not too bad with certain models.
6. MASON JARS: Mason jars can be used for all kinds of things in the kitchen. They can be used to create fermented vegetables and drinks. Storage for foods like sauerkraut, raw kefir, fermented salsa, etc. They can also be used to keep herb mixtures around for easy usage. Definitely find the older-style ones made out of glass for these.
7. COFFEE GRINDER: This isn’t necessarily for coffee folks. These little guys don’t take up much space in the cabinet. They are inexpensive. What do they do? They can help you process fresh herbs and spices. Fresh cinnamon tastes a lot different from stuff that has been sitting on a shelf for a year. The same goes with cloves. Many freshly dried herbs can be processed in coffee grinders. Creating small batches of things keeps it fresh.
8. GLASS TUPPERWARE: Go with the glass guys. Get different sizes. It is always nice to have storage containers around for leftovers. These can also be used to store homemade things like raw butter, pre-made meals, etc.
9. HEALTHY COOKBOOKS: Some people hate cooking. Some people don’t like cooking with cookbooks. Some like cooking with cookbooks. It is always nice to have some recipe ideas sitting around that we can whip up. These keep things fresh in the kitchen. It is amazing how easy it is to fall into eating the same stuff day in and day out.
10. SKILLETS/POTS: These are essentials. Stainless steal or ceramic is best here. Drop the teflon and “non-stick” varieties that usually have chemicals in them. Cast iron is another good option.
11. STEAMER: Another essential. Steaming vegetables is one of the healthier ways to prepare them. You can’t get much easier either. Most vegetables are done in 5-10 minutes. I would try to find a stainless steel one.
This list could probably go on forever guys. These are the basics. Each one of these things will help keep the kitchen fresh and pumping out healthy food. It sure beats slicing vegetables with that old knife.