Making the committment to eat clean means there’s going to be a lot of cooking in your future. If you’re anything like me, that sounds amazing! But if your new to the kitchen and cooking (no, microwave cooking doesn’t count!) you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Having a plan, the right ingredients, and the right equipment can go a long way in making your transition to a clean eating lifestyle a breeze.
Here is a list of 15 must have kitchen tools that can help make your food prep quicker and easier.
A good set of chef’s knives is the way to go. You should have a variety available for tasks like trimming meat, chopping vegetables, mincing garlic, or peeling fruits and veggies. If you’re unfamiliar with how to use knives of this size, do what I did and turn on Food Network or the Cooking Channel. (And of course there’s always YouTube!)
Get a BIG cutting board. If you have a recipe that calls for a few different choppped veggies, a big cutting board provides enough room to chop all those veggies at once and makes the transport from counter to cookware a one-step, easy process.
Every kitchen should have at least one good spatula. I have a variety on hand, and use them all the time for scraping, mixing, folding in berries or egg whites, and making scrambled eggs!
Whisks are used for mixing and whipping. It distributes and helps break up any large bits as well. In my kitchen, whisks are mainly used for mixing together dry ingredients (flour, protein powder, baking poweder, etc) for muffins, pancakes and breads. Be sure and spend the money on a good whisk, and make sure the thin metal rods aren’t too flimsy or separate easily.
Super shart, tiny blades make this favorite tool of mine perfect for zesting fruits and grating things like garlic, nutmeg, ginger and parmesan
Eventually, there may come a day when you can “eyeball” the amount of ingredients you put in your recipes. Until then, get some measuring spoons and cups. If your counting your calories and/or macros, add a scale to mix as well. You have to know what your putting in to know what your getting out of it!
Portion out foods and liquids easily with a set of larger measuring cups. This set comes in three sizes holding all the way up to 4 cups of liquid. I use the small one to portion our lunches, and the two larger ones for a myriad of cooking tasks. I love them!
Another every-kitchen-should-have-one item. A set of mixing bowls comes in handy for so many things: batters, salads, seasoning mixes, serving, marinating…..I could go on, and on.
There’s a good possibility that I would perish without my food processor. They slice, chop, grate, mix, knead, and puree just about anything. I use it to make oat flour, protein muffin batters, marinades, and guacamole the most. And because it will not work, unless properly locked in place, it’s safe enough for the kids to use. They just love pressing the ON button! A good food processor is pricey, but sooooo worth it.
An immersion blender is a protein shake’s dream. It easily fits into protein shakers, pots, pitchers and bowls to puree and blend in a snap. Clean-up is super fast and easy too. Aside from protein shakes, I use my smart stick to puree soups like our Butternut Squash and Apple Soup.
By far the largest, most expensive piece of equipment in my kitchen, but I have had it for 5 years and it works just like it did on day one. It has 10 mixing speeds that kneads, whips and mixes with ease. It’s powerful, it’s sturdy, and it is my go-to appliance for making breads, cakes, and my no-bake protein bars.
Now I suppose your muffin tin doesn’t have to make square bars, but they are so much more fun than plain ol’ circles! I get a lot of use out of my muffin pans since I make a batch of protein muffins every week. Muffin tins (of any shape) can also be used to make breakfasts on the go. Just mix up some eggs with your favorite meats and veggies and pop them in the oven for a quick and easy breakfast option.
I’m partial to Calphalon, but any good brand of non-stick pans will work. Don’t go cheap though. You’ll be getting a lot of use out of your pans, so spend a little extra on something that can handle the work load. I have a variety of sizes ranging from 8″ – 12″ in diameter.
I don’t know about you, but clean-up is not one of my favorite things to do. Pyrex makes baking and cleaning so much easier. They don’t stain and they don’t take on any nasty odors over time. These pans are amazing.
Perfect for making soups, stews, braising meats, baking, roasting, broiling, sauteeing, simmering and frying (but don’t fry things!). One of my favorite kitchen tools because it’s great for making big batches of one-pot-wonders like my Kale, Sausage, and White Bean Pasta, Red Sauce, or Turkey Chili and so much more.
Everything you see here, is in my personal kitchen. Each item is linked to the specific retailer in which I purchased each of the items. We have not been paid, nor will we be paid by any of these retailers to discuss, review, advocate or list any of these items. Any information in this post is my own opinion, and are based off my own personal experience with each item.