4 Must Have Kitchen Items For The Perfect Food Kitchen (from a real raw foods chef!)
Written By: Andreea Fegan
So many of us are looking to eat healthier, especially when the New Year arrives. You vow to include more whole foods, more veggies, less junk and processed “fake foods”, which line the supermarket shelves. The health movement is growing, which calls upon all of us to get back into the kitchen and cook for ourselves, start recipes from scratch, get our hands dirty and also save a little cash in the process (and who doesn’t like the sound of that?!).
But where do you start? What are the first steps you need to know in order to be successful?
You need to be organized and efficient in your home kitchen. Efficiency really allows you to master any recipe with ease, flowing through the steps and really enjoying the process. And organization allows you to really be present in the creative process (as opposed to being frustrated that things aren’t in place, the right size, knives sharp enough, etc.) And the best part? The tools of the trade that make all home chefs great are pretty simple to come by.
The Kitchen Tools To Invest In For Your Very Own Perfect Food Kitchen
1. Good Chef’s Knife. First off, invest in a good chef’s knife. This might run you a pretty penny, but it saves you time in the kitchen and it will soon become your best friend. Dependable, strong, always there when you need it. Try, if it’s possible, to hold it before you buy it. One of the biggest markers of a good chef’s knife is how it fits your own hand, the weight of it and the ease with which you cut. For this reason, you really need to hold it at the store if possible. Additionally, you want to look for the tang (the solid metal piece that extends from the blade to inside the handle, held by rivets). Make sure you purchase a sharpening stone and/or a steel to keep it nice and sharp.
2. Nice Sized Cutting Boards. My pet peeve is a small cutting board. I just don’t understand them and I often get frustrated when I’m cutting produce and everything spills off the sides. Sure, some of them are ornate and beautiful to look at, but not efficient at all. To succeed in the kitchen, you need space and lots of it. Invest in a bamboo or sustainably sourced wood cutting board (preferably ditching the plastic) that’s solid and can take some wear and tear (and some mineral oil to take care of it if you need it).
3. Big Mixing Bowls. In my opinion, you should have a mixing bowl at least twice as large as the food you’re making. I really enjoy the idea of 50% food, 50% space, so that things mix well. You can always pour the contents into something more ornate, but you’re looking for a nice open bowl; stainless steel is best, but you can get away with glass and/or ceramic (although they’re more fragile). Mixing bowls should allow you to have space for all sorts of brilliant concoctions you come up with. Big bowls make it so easy to whip up a cold bean and rice salad with cilantro, red onion and mango, or easily toss your favorite greens and vinaigrette and with a quick soap, rinse and dry, you put them away. Easy peasy.
4. The Twins: The Blender and Food Processor. I call them the twins because, well, you really can’t say one is better than the other. They serve different purposes, but are both equally as important. Although you could start with inexpensive versions, down the line you might want to invest in something that has power and you can depend on. For example, I love my Vitamix blender, but Blendtec (and less expensive versions such as Nutribullet or Ninja) do a great job too. My food processor is a Kitchen Aid, but there are other reputable manufacturers out there that do a terrific job as well. With both of these, size is important, so purchase one that really fits your own individual needs, not necessarily what’s popular – are you cooking for a family of 6 or for 2? Start there and see what you can find.
The kitchen is your playroom. And as grown ups, we certainly don’t get to play enough! Fortunately, the kitchen lends itself so easily for this type of fun and playfulness, so experiment and enjoy the process!
Certified Level 3 Raw Chef, Instructor and Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
at Little Bites of Joy
Andreea is the recent winner of the grand prize, “Hot Raw Chef”, a worldwide video competition, hosted by the Living Light Culinary Institute. Additionally, Andreea is Certified as a Level 3 Raw Chef and Instructor through the Alissa Cohen Program; a Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition; and a graduate of Rouxbe's Plant Based Professional Certification. Andreea also specializes in wild edibles, herbalism, homesteading, insulin resistance and detox practices.
As a plant-based chef and educator, Andreea enjoys providing lectures, workshops and classes to encourage people towards healthy living (and thriving). For more info, please visit her website.
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