Before we get into our top kitchen tools going into a 2020, we want to stress that you do NOT need to spend a lot of money to get healthy!
We’ve accumulated many of these tools over YEARS. In this episode, we simply want to share some of the things we’re using that are making our lives just a little easier as we head into a new year in which we’ll be focusing on our health.
You can listen to us talk about our kitchen tools here or read on for a quick summary:
Our Top 9 Kitchen Tools
First on our list of kitchen tools is one of the first appliances we purchased when we became vegetarians in 2013. Our Vitamix blender turns 7 this year and is still going strong!
We primarily use this blender for smoothies and LOOOOVE the way it simply pulverizes foods. Seeds and protein powders are grounded up nicely in this high-powered blender, ensuring smoothies have no gritty texture.
You can make quick bread batter and soups right in the Vitamix, too.
While the price for this blender can be a bit steep, keep in mind that you’re playing for a very high quality tool.
Follow this link for a more in-depth review of the Vitamix blender.
The Omega VRT350 Juicer is another appliance we’ve had for a long time.
We decided to invest in this kitchen tool because, as a low speed masticating juicer it slowly squeezes the juice from fruits and vegetables so that it maintains as much of the nutritional value as possible.
It’s a heavy appliance but doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.
For more details, check out our updated review of the Omega VRT350 juicer here.
Plan to Eat is a meal planning calendar and grocery list maker that we’ve used for years.
There is a strong positive correlation between how healthy we’re eating and how much we’re using this tool. The more we use it to plan meals, the less inclined we are to make poor eating choices.
Plan to Eat allows you to add and organize recipes and drag those recipes onto a calendar to plan them. The software automatically creates a grocery shopping list based on your planned recipes.
By providing tools that streamline the meal planning process Plan to Eat equips households to eat better food, eat together, save money at the grocery store, and have a less stressful cooking experience in the kitchen.
Visit vegetarianzen.com/plantoeat for more info. They offer a 30 day free trial (no credit card required). Then it’s only $4.95 a month or $39 a year (you save some money by subscribing yearly).
“What gets tracked gets managed” is something I very much believe in, which is why we decided to invest some time researching a good tool to help us track our nutrition.
My Fitness Pal isn’t exactly a “kitchen tool” but rather an app that helps us make better decisions in the kitchen.
It tracks various nutrients in the foods you eat, including calories, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals ingredients. You can also and log exercise, weight, and other personal stats and health and fitness goals in the app.
There are over 11 million foods in the database, as well as recipe ideas (yes, even including vegetarian and vegan ones).
It also syncs with quite a few popular exercise apps such as Fitbit, Samsung Health, Apple Healthkit, and Map My Run.
There is a free version which will allow you to track calories, carbs, fat, and protein.
The premium version does that but also lets you track macronutrients, has a food analysis tool (view your daily tracked foods broken down by nutrient), and lets you set per-meal calorie goals. It also contains several other features designed to provide you with more in-depth information regarding your nutrition and exercise habits.
They have a generous 30-day free trial so that you can check it out without paying anything.
In episode 107 of the podcast, “Is Danger Lurking In Your Kitchen Cabinets,” we talked about the importance of making sure that the cookware you use isn’t leaching dangerous chemicals into your food.
This episode inspired us to invest in quality cookware. Le Creuset has been in business since 1925 and offers French cast iron cookware, tableware, kitchen tools, and more.
The pans we have (which can be found in ourLe Creuset product review) are enameled cast iron, and they’re heavy and built to last! Here are some key features:
- Ideal heat distribution and superior heat retention
- Durable, nonreactive Interior
- Crack- and chip-resistant exterior enamel
- Heat- and moisture-locking recessed-edge lid
Another somewhat pricey product, but we’ve invested in Le Creuset cookware slowly over time.
Our Cuisinart Air Fryer is the “baby” of our healthy kitchen tools family.
You may recall that episode 259 was titled “Air Frying – Is it Awesome or Just a Bunch of Hype?”
This episode was recorded in June of 2018. We didn’t have our air fryer yet but were seriously starting to look into getting one.
After a bit more research, a solid recommendation from a trusted friend, and an Amazon Black Friday special, we decided to buy ourselves an air fryer for Christmas.
In episode Episode 343, we told you that we decided on the Cuisinart TOA-60.
Since then, we’ve been experimenting with air-fried veggies, onion rings, French toast, and a few other things.
This product made our list of kitchen tools helping us get healthier in 2020 because it allows us to cook up some tasty food without all the oil.
We’ll be posting more air-fried goodies soon, especially on Pinterest and IG, so be sure to follow us there!
In episode 221, “How to Use Your Rice Cooker for More than Rice,” we introduced you to our Zojirushi rice cooker.
Rice cookers are great kitchen tools because a good cooker (like this one) is versatile enough to cook rice (of course) but also:
- Desserts like poached fruit and tapioca pudding
The Instant Pot is another kitchen tool that is actually 7 appliances in 1. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker, and warmer.
We love our Instant Pot because there are so many vegetarian and vegan recipes that can be made in this one pot.
For some ideas, check out episode 146 of the podcast, “Using a Pressure Cooker to Create Healthy Vegetarian Food.”
We also recently released episode 339, “The Best Darn Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili…Seriously Ya’ll!”
My steamer is REALLY old. Larissa reminded me that I already had it when we first met in 2002!
Our steamer is one kitchen tool we use 4-5 times a week. The particular model we use has been discontinued (because it’s so old) but I found one that looked very comparable to the one we have.
It’s two-tier (like ours) and holds a total of 4-quarts of food (2 quarts per tier).
We want to stress again that you don’t need a whole lot of money to get healthy. Some of our best kitchen tools simply make life a little bit easier for us!
Thanks for listening/reading!
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Thanks for listening!
Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa