To some, kitchen appliances are like candy in a department store, to others they are a mere tool to help get food on the table efficiently.
However you feel about them, there are a likely a few you’d rather not go without.
In particular, preparing healthy, oil-free, plant-based meals can create unique obstacles to navigate. Luckily, these situations can often be solved with a new addition to your kitchen.
To that end, this is a list of 15 kitchen appliances that can benefit any plant-based home.
You certainly don’t need to have them all. Just choose the ones that you know you will use.
Don’t dread food prep.
The right kitchen appliance really can make your life a whole lot easier.
Healthy, plant-based meals shouldn’t seem overwhelming or too time consuming to make.
Let these tools help you out.
Here are 15 kitchen appliances that can transform your diet and your cooking experience:
A time-honoured favourite, the blender has become a staple of the plant-based kitchen. From smoothies, to soups, to banana ice cream, a high powdered blender is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances. Smoothies make an easy way to help you eat more raw fruit and vegetables. Pair your favourite fruit with a few iron-rich greens like spinach or romaine and blend them up. If you allow frozen berries to melt a bit before blending, they’ll add a bit of extra liquid into the mix.
Smoothies are also convenient to take with you on the go. Whether you’re heading to work or would like a quick meal after the gym, they pack well and don’t require much fuss. And, you can always pop any extra into the fridge for later.
2. Non-Stick Baking Tray
For the potato-loving family, a non-stick baking tray will be a priceless addition to your home. With a silpat baking mat you can enjoy potato wedges or sweet potato fries with all of their much-loved flavour and crunch, but without the oil. A non-stick tray really takes potato fries to the next level. There’s no oil-y mess to clean up afterwards and you don’t need to worry about the fries sticking or burning to the pan.
3. Waffle Iron
Start the morning with perfectly cooked healthy, plant-based waffles. A waffle iron allows you to cook up the batter without using oil. Not to mention, it provides a syrup worthy surface that ensures your waffles soak up all of the flavour from your favourite toppings. You can even cook potato hash browns in your waffle iron by using boiled potatoes, Spud Fit style. Once they’re done, add a bit of seasoning or a tomato-based sauce and you have yourself a healthy breakfast!
4. Instant Pot
A crock pot or an Instant Pot are a great addition to a plant-based kitchen. No longer having to wait around, standing over the stove while your meal cooks, is quite the luxury. With the Instant Pot all you need to do is load in the vegetables, set the timer, and you’re good to go. Simplifying the cooking process will make for a smoother transition to plant-based eating. And once you’ve got your new Instant Pot, these recipes can help get you started.
5. Non-Stick Fry Pan
In an effort to avoid cooking with oil, a non-stick fry pan can be a good friend. Using a bit of water or vegetable broth can add a bit of additional liquid if you need it. Stir-fry vegetables, hash browns, veggie burgers, pasta, or anything else you may want to cook in a fry pan, can all be done without oil! Finding products that make oil-free eating easier is the key.
6. Ceramic Knife
Knives in a high quality ceramic knife set provide a light-weight, balanced feel, and precision cut. Preferred by many professional chefs, they maintain their sharp edge longer and don’t rust. Additionally, without any metal ions in the blade, you won’t need to worry about them browning your food. Because ceramic knives are unaffected by acids, they’re especially great for cutting citrus fruit. And they certainly clean up easily!
7. Bamboo Cutting Board
A cutting board is one of those essential kitchen appliances it’s hard to go without (unless you enjoy cutting up your counter top). Bamboo cutting boards offer a healthier, longer-lasting, and more eco-friendly option. The density of bamboo means it absorbs less liquid. Consequently, bamboo cutting boards are less likely to crack or warp as well as being more resistant to bacteria.
And, if you’ve ever had bamboo growing in your backyard, you know that it’s fast-growing and readily sprouts new shoots without needing to be re-planted. Thus, as it can be harvested in a few short years, bamboo is a more renewable resource and “green” material. It’s also a versatile medium that is used to make many things. You can find bamboo utensils, salad bowls, and other kitchen appliances to suit your environmentally conscious home.
8. Food Processor
Another one of those versatile kitchen appliances, many vegan recipes call for a food processor. You can use it to chop denser vegetables like carrots or potatoes before cooking them, or to chop up nuts before making a sauce or raw pie crust. Whatever you choose to use it for, the food processor offers a safe and efficient way to cut up foods. And anything that saves a bit of time is a welcome addition to any kitchen!
9. Food Dehydrator
A food dehydrator is an excellent way to prepare and preserve food. Dried fruit, vegetable and seed crackers, kale chips, granola bars, and even vegan jerky can all be made in your dehydrator. Dehydrated foods make great snacks for lunches, day hikes, or camping trips. Heck, you can even make onion rings, raw vegan pizza, and tasty desserts.
So, whether you’re just interested in a basic, quality food dehydrator, or you’re a tried-and-true fan looking to invest in a higher-end model, there’s something for everyone. A food dehydrator can lend a helping hand in keeping on top of meal planning and prep, especially when it comes to snacks.
10. Mandolin Slicer
This slicer is more versatile than you may think. From cutting apple slices to preparing the perfect oil-free, crispy potato chips, the mandolin will deliver. They’re easy to use and easy to clean. A mandolin slicer with a safety guard is essential when slicing potatoes.
Use the mandolin slicer for potato chips, scalloped potato recipes, or baked sweet potato/potato rounds. Cutting or slicing your food is made easier, more efficient, and safer with this kitchen appliance. Plus, trying out a few different settings may give you creative inspiration for your next plant-based recipe experiment.
The juicer has become one of the more popular kitchen appliances over the past decade. This is in part because juicing can be an easy way to consume more raw fruit and vegetables. A homemade juice can also be a refreshing way to start your morning! So, if fruit and vegetable juicing is up your alley you’ll want to take a look at a quality juicer.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for something to help you juice a bit of citrus, a simple hand juicer can do the trick. Orange juice doesn’t get much tastier than when it’s hand pressed right in your own kitchen!
If you’re looking to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, the spiralizer can make that step easier. Whether you’re making zucchini noodles or spiralizing fruit and vegetables to add to your salad, the spiralizer can keep your raw fruit and vegetable-based meals interesting. But raw foods aren’t the only ones you can use the spiralizer for. You can even use it when making oil-free hash browns!
Here are just some of the fruit and vegetables that you can spiralize:
- butternut squash/pumpkin
- sweet potato
There are many different varieties of spiralizer available, from simple to multiple blade options to suit your needs.
13. Electric Grill
An electric counter top grill can come in handy. If you like grilling, but live in an area where it’s not convenient to cook outside an electric grill can be a great fix. Whether it’s cold outdoors or you just don’t have the patio space, a counter top grill can let you cook up your favourite meals right in the kitchen. This way you can have grilled vegetables year-round!
14. Convection Oven
A convection oven is a convenient kitchen appliance for heating up snacks and meals quickly. For example, with only a few ingredients, in 10-15 minutes you can make a pretty good pizza bagel. All you need is a bit of tomato sauce, a handful of chopped up veggies, and a bagel or a couple pieces of toast. Spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes all work well. Place the mini pizzas in the convection oven for 8-12 minutes or until they crisp up. And you’re done. Corn tortillas can also work well and they won’t even need to cook for as long.
15. Rice Cooker
Last, but certainly not least is the rice cooker. You can cook rice in almost any sauce pan. However, it is rare to get consistent results, no matter how experienced you are. A quality rice cooker takes out all the guess work and lets you enjoy perfectly cooked rice every time. If you eat a lot of rice, investing in a quality rice cooker will definitely be worth your while.
For those who like to cook from scratch, a mortar and pestle can be a useful tool to have. Having a mortar and pestle means that herbs and spices can be ground fresh and prepared to your liking. This can really take an already good recipe up a notch!
Well, you certainly don’t need all of these kitchen appliances. But, a select few that suit your lifestyle and recipe preferences can really make preparing meals a lot simpler and more enjoyable!
Kitchen appliances are just some of the tools that can help make oil-free, plant-based living easier.
Be sure to put your new gadgets to good use with the recipes in these healthy vegan cookbooks.
What are your favourite kitchen appliances? Is there anything you couldn’t do without? Let us know in the comments!