Must-have vegan kitchen essentials
Adopting a vegan lifestyle and deciding to eat only plant-based foods is a terrific choice for those who care about their health and the health of the planet. It’s also a big change that can transform your daily habits when it comes to how you get your meals. Although there are more vegan options than ever in restaurants and grocery stores, the best way to enjoy a plant-based diet for the long-term is to get good at preparing your own meals and snacks from fresh, natural, organic ingredients.
The key to creating delicious meals on a regular basis is to have the right cooking tools and kitchen gadgets. This list of must-haves for your vegan kitchen will help you be more efficient and creative when it comes to making healthful dishes you and your family will enjoy all week long.
Essential Sppliances for the Vegan Kitchen
If you’ve been around the Hallelujah Diet community at all, you know how much we love the health benefits of juicing. It lets you get the most out of every serving of fruits and vegetables in your diet. It essentially squeezes the maximum amount of vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants out of your favorite organic fruits and veggies. Using a juicer is a healthier alternative to store-bought fruit and vegetable juices, which typically contain added sugar and preservatives, not to mention a small fraction of the nutrients.
A masticatings juicer, like this Omega Juicer, uses intense pressure at low speeds to extract nutrients without exposing them to heat, which can break down the enzymes they contain. Cheap centrifugal juicers expose the juice to lots of air, don’t extract as much juice, and don’t last as long as a high-quality juicer, so it is best to invest in a high-quality juicer that will last for years. Plus, Omega Juicers have a 15-year warranty.
Slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, instant pot. The self-contained cooking machine has evolved over the years into a versatile, full-featured device that makes it easy to cook single ingredients or entire meals. Make a quick batch of beans, rice, quinoa and other grains, or steam everything from cauliflower to corn on the cob. The instant pot is the latest iteration of this type of kitchen essential, but the classics still have a lot of useful applications.
Do you love fried foods, but want to watch your oil intake? The air fryer is a favorite of many people for that reason alone. It’s a very convenient way to put a crispy coating on everything from individual vegetables to vegan meatballs, tacos, eggrolls, falafel, fritters and almost anything else you can imagine.
Vegan dishes often incorporate a lot of different ingredients, many of which start as whole vegetables. A food processor is essential if you want to save time, especially on large meals that will serve more than a couple people. From chopping and shredding to mixing dough, a food processor is so useful it may deserve a permanent space on your kitchen counter.
The original slow cooker, a cast iron dutch oven provides an evenly heated space to cook vegan chilis, soups, casseroles and even bread and other baked goods.
Good Quality Knife Set
A stiff, sharp chef’s knife lets you cut through larger, denser vegetables and melons, and chop them up to suit your recipe. Other pieces of your set might include a small paring knife for slicing tomatoes and other soft, delicate foods, a serrated knife for cutting citrus fruits and a utility knife for slicing and chopping herbs, shallots, avocados.
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons
Easy to clean and hard to break, a good set of stainless steel measuring instruments will last a long time and resist contamination while ensuring you don’t put too much cayenne in your vegetarian chili.
Spiral Vegetable Slicer
If you like the texture and versatility of noodles but don’t want all the gluten or carbs of traditional pasta, this tool will come in very handy. Commonly known as a “spiralizer,” this tool is an easy way to explore new uses and textures for vegetables beyond slicing and dicing.
Microplane / Zester
Incorporating a variety of flavors into your recipes is a great way to keep your vegan diet interesting. This simple kitchen tool is essential for grating garlic, ginger, spices and coconut as well as zesting citrus fruits. A microplane grater usually has a handle connected to a flat surface with lots of very sharp blades placed close together. You’ll find yourself using this gadget all the time, but be careful how you hold what you are grating to avoid scraping or cutting your knuckles!
Organic tofu blocks are typically transported in water to retain freshness, but even after you drain the excess water from the package, the tofu is still thoroughly hydrated. In order to cook tofu well and get the firmness most people prefer, it’s important to remove as much moisture as possible. A tofu press is a useful little item that saves time by applying a little pressure and giving the water somewhere to go. It’s a big improvement over some paper towels and a heavy book.
Even your pure, local, organic produce from the farmers’ market needs to be washed, and a salad spinner is one of the most convenient ways to do that. And it’s kind of fun, too. Just rinse your lettuce, kale or other leafy greens and let centrifugal force quickly remove all the water for a crisp and clean salad or side dish.
There are so many essential and innovative kitchen tools that can help vegans enjoy the most success with the least stress. This list is just the tip of the iceberg, but these items alone have been a game-changer for people who strive to get the most flavors and nutrients out of their plant-based diet.