I do a fair bit of cooking demos and I'm glad to say I do not bring a lot of fancy health-cooking gizmos along. Just some simple, affordable basics. It's best to stick with natural materials- wood, bamboo, glass and ceramic / stone. Not only are they more natural and risk less pollution to your foods, but they lend more natural beauty to your kitchen as well.
So what are some of the essential wholesome eating kitchen tools that I recommend, that most anyone can afford?
• Wooden or bamboo cutting boards – avoid plastic and synthetics. I like having a small board designed for interviews and garlic, and a larger board for fruits and veggies. Alternately you could mark one side of a board for comments / garlic and the other side for fruits / veggies.
• Bamboo cooking utensils – quite inexpensive, easy to clean and so attractive in the kitchen!
• A large chef's knife – great for cutting onions and large fruits and veggies. Mine is not anything fancy- just from a department store. Maybe a $ 75.00 knife is worth it, but I just can not bring myself to make the investment to find out.
• Smaller serrated and paring knifes – for cutting fruit and veggies
• Vegetable peeler – theOXO brand peeler is great.
• A garlic press – I love my Pampered Chef garlic press.
• Glass or ceramic mixing bowls – do not interact with the ingredients in the bowl.
• Glass measuring pitchers – a 2 cup and a 4 cup. These are really handy for measuring ingredients, for measuring water and to use when mixing up small amounts of ingredients or the wet ingredients for a recipe.
• Measuring cups and spoons – in general, I do not like any fancy measuring tools- especially not the adjustable measuring cups and spoons. They may be handy to use, but can be miserable to clean. I keep two sets of measuring cups plus two to three sets of measuring spoons in separate small bins in a drawer at my island (where I do most of my food prep). I toss the "1/2 Tbsp." measures (they take up space and are used so infrequently).
• Glass cannning jars (1/2 pint for drinking, pint for drinking and storage and quart-size for storage and sprouting)
• Spoonula – so handy for mixing and scraping. This is the only silicone tool I use (I'll probably convince myself out of using it soon).
• Salad spinner – a little pricier purchase, but definitely worth it if you're going to be preparing salads regularly. I recommend the OXO brand.
• Baking stones – a little bit of a splurge here. These are not the cheapest items, but are a wholesome addition to your kitchen and allow for easy clean-up. Check online and at yardsales for good buys on these.
• And, last but not least, one of my favorites: the push-up measuring cup! This is great for oily or sticky ingredients (nut butters, coconut oil, honey, molasses, etc.). You simply draw the inner cup down to the marking for the amount you desire, add the other messy ingredient and then push the inner liner from the bottom. No scooping and scraping out of a traditional cup. Also, you can continue to reuse it for more messy ingredients in the same recipe without washing. And it cleans up easily in the dishwasher.
Where can you find one? Kitchen stores, container stores, online or through kitchen tool parties (like Pampered Chef).
Wholesome eating should be simple and affordable for all!