By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
These days, there’s a kitchen tool or “gadget” for everything, from avocado slicers to electric can openers. The list of kitchen tools you can buy is exhaustive, and you might be wondering if you need half of these things. Below is a list of kitchen tools that absolutely everyone should have in their kitchen, so you won’t be left wondering what’s worth it and what’s not.
1. A Good Set of Knives
A good set of knives is a must for every home chef. Having sharp knives will save you so much time and stress in the kitchen, especially when you need to chop and prep many veggies. Have you ever tried cutting up potatoes with a dull knife or slicing tomatoes only to have them all squished and mushy? It’s a disaster! Whether you’re slicing, chopping, or cutting up veggies, fruits, meat, or bread, a set of quality knives has you covered.
2. Chopping Boards
Now that you have your quality knives, you need something to use them on! Cutting on your countertop may sound like the most convenient option, but it will cause damage, and it is not the cleanest surface to cut your food on. You will need a few chopping boards (preferably various sizes) to cut all your food safely and with ease. You can generally buy either wooden or plastic ones, depending on your budget and needs. Glass is also an option. Wooden chopping boards are generally more expensive and of better quality, but they cannot be put in the dishwasher, whereas plastic chopping boards can. My personal favorite is the cutting boards made by Norwex that are made out of rice husks. This is my go-to preferred cutting board for food prep. You can order one at http://heidibaldwin.norwex.biz/en_US/customer/party/6012239 - look for item #370002
You won’t be disappointed. It comes in 2 other sizes as well.
Regardless of whether you’re a pasta lover or not, everyone needs a few strainers in their kitchen. Smaller strainers with a mesh net are perfect for quickly washing berries, mushrooms, and quinoa. The larger mesh strainers can be used for rinsing rice and beans or sifting flour. If you don’t want to buy a salad spinner, strainers are great for washing leafy greens.
4. Storage Containers
Whether you like to meal prep or accidentally end up with dinner leftovers, you should always have storage containers nearby. Even if you don’t use them for cooked food, they are excellent for keeping certain ingredients fresh for a long time. If you have a busy week or have kids you need to feed, washing and cutting some fruits and veggies and putting them in storage containers makes these healthy snacks easily accessible. You can even put some containers in the freezer and store leftovers for those days that you don’t have time to cook. My preference is glass. I try to use plastics as little as possible. Mason jars are also a great option, especially for fresh berries – just don’t wash the berries before storing them.
5. Measuring Cups & Spoons
You may be a cook that loves to approximate measurements, but some recipes require more precision. Cooking is a bit easier, but you will need some measuring utensils if you ever find yourself baking a cake or muffins. They also come in handy if you’re keeping track of serving sizes. If you regularly follow recipes, having measuring utensils will ensure that you’ll get accurate results.
Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to kitchen gadgets (and I have plenty of them that I love to use!). If you are someone who feels overwhelmed in the kitchen, stick to the basics, and focus on prepping fresh whole foods!