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If you already love cooking and preparing delicious dishes, then great kitchen tools can make your work even more fun and exciting.
I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. But having useful tools that save time and energy as well as enhance my cooking experience are worth their weight in gold. During the holidays, the first five tools below make food preparation and cooking a more interesting experience.
I do love the yogurt maker and think it’s a useful addition to any kitchen.
1. Kuving’s Whole Slow Juicer
I love this juicer because I juice a lot. It took me a while to purchase it because I didn’t like the idea of spending hours making my juice in the mornings. But to my surprise, the “slow” is only in the way it chews the foods to make juice. It is by no means a con for me. I also own the Breville Juice Fountain Elite but use the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer 90% of the time. It comes with a 3″ wide feeding tube so you don’t have to cut up your food in tiny pieces. Yet it’s slow enough so you can start juicing while you are still preparing your foods. This is what’s called a masticating juicer.
This juicer comes with lots of useful attachments such as a basket cleaner and two brushes that works very well. But it’s not hard to put together and cleans up easily.
Why I love it: Produce lots of juice and just a small amount of very dry pulp. Not nearly as slow as it’s supposed to be and that’s just fine with me. Great for leafy vegetables and herbs. And excellent for juicing wheatgrass.
What I could do without: Sometimes the bowl gets stuck to the base after my juicing session. It’s all I can do not to throw it out the window.
Well worth it: $449 with the smoothie strainer
Try: My go-to juice recipe
2. Cusinart Spice and Nut Grinder
Coffee beans, nuts, cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg. I grind these all in the Cusinart food grinder. It’s quick. It’s easy to use. And clean up is a breeze. I even use it for quick homemade salad dressings. Also, it cracks black pepper open in no time.
Why I love it: Quick and easy. Great for small jobs. Wet or dry ingredients.
What I could do without: Certainly not this amazing tool.
Well worth it: $30-40
Try: Quick & Easy Salad Dressing – 2-3 tbsp olive oil; 1 tsp dijon mustard; pinch black pepper; pinch sea salt; juice of 1/2 small lemon. Cover and press/pulse for 20 seconds.
3. Vitamix 750 Blender
A lot has been written about Vitamix. What more can you say about a blender that can lasts for 25 years. Yet, I have something to say. I have own a lot of blenders and products that call themselves blenders. But none can hold a candle to Vitamix. The 750 model comes with a 64 ounce jar. You can also purchase a smaller jar for dry ingredients. This unit is fast and not very loud. Also, you can use it to grind nuts, make salad dressing and mix pancake batter, especially when you need a large amount.
Why I love it: I can blend frozen fruits and nuts for creamy ice cream. Great for making a big batch of smoothies at once.
What I could do without: The long cord should be a pro for me but it just gets in the way and always seems to be under the base.
Well worth it: $329-590
Try: To-Die-For Ice Cream: Frozen berries, mangoes, pineapple, banana; homemade sheep milk yogurt; coconut palm sugar; cinnamon; and vanilla powder. Blend on low using the tamper to keep ingredients near the blade.
Scrape into a bowl (using a plastic spatula). Sprinkle with ground nuts or raw cacao nibs/scrapes.
4. Spiralizer Ultimate Vegetable Spiral Slicer
Vegetable spaghetti (zucchini, radish), curly fries – when you have time to play with your food this spiralizer makes it fun and interesting. My sons love it for curly fries. I love it to make vegetable spaghetti. It comes with three blades, two of which can be hidden away in a storage area in the unit itself. Quite genius!
Why I love it: Easy to use and clean. The parts come apart easily for washing with soap and warm water. The feet with suction cups keep the unit from moving around.
What I could do without: This could use a vegetable catcher/bowl. The unit is square and does not allow a round bowl to be placed close enough to catch food. Takes all the fun out of the process when you have to stop often to catch the food from falling. This can be helped by putting a piece of paper on the counter to catch food instead of using a bowl. Which adds an extra step. Of course using a square baking dish works perfectly.
Well worth it: $29.95
Try: Sweet potato curly fries: (feeds one) wash 1 medium sweet potato (can be peeled or unpeeled – your preference); cut off ends so you have a flat surface; place potato between (blade) and handle; place a square bowl or a large piece of wax paper under the blade end and turn the handle until all the potato is curled. add 2 tsp of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt and dried parsley to the bowl. Shake until pieces are coated. Place in on an ungreased baking sheet or glass tray into a preheated oven and bake until brown and crispy minutes. Turn “fries” about halfway through for even cooking. Enjoy while still warm alone or with ketchup. Can be cooked with coconut oil and cinnamon instead of salt, parsley and black pepper.
5. Excalibur Food Dehydrator
Sun dried tomatoes. Granola. Plantain chips. Dried pineapple. These are just some of the delicious, healthy foods you can make in a dehydrator. The Excalibur is the crown prince of dehydrators. My model comes in stainless steel with stainless steel trays. I also use the (purchased separately) silicone sheets which make using the unit so must easier. Kale chips and chia crackers are also popular healthy foods you can make using a dehydrator.
Why I love it: It’s easy to use. Comes with a large recipe book. Very quiet.
What I could do without: It is very big. And I only bought the 5 tray unit. I live in a tiny apartment and it is obviously too big but it’s staying.
Well worth it: $99-495
Try: Granola – mix together rolled oats, ground nuts, chopped raisins, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, shredded coconut and coconut oil. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 52 degrees for about 12 hours or until dry.
6. Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker
With seven 6-oz jars, the Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker allows you to make a whole week’s supply of delicious, healthy homemade yogurt. I use raw, sheep milk which makes really creamy yogurt.
Why I love it: Great way to make yogurt at home. Another simple to use, very low cost tool.
What I could do without: n/a
Well worth it: $29.99
Try: Yogurt. Warm milk. Add kefir/yogurt starter or culture. Pour into glass jars and set to 9 hours overnight. Cool. Screw on covers. Refrigerate.
These are just some of the kitchen tools I enjoy using while preparing healthy homemade foods. One I didn’t feature that is worth mentioning is the Cusinart 9-cup Food Processor. Great for making cultured veggies, a large salad or coleslaw. Also excellent for making sauces and salad dressings.
What is your favorite kitchen tool? Please share.
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