In another life, I was a kitchen tools junkie. Shiny, expensive, complex. I didn’t care I wanted it.
As we’re are getting closer to the Holidays, I wanted to review some of my favorite kitchen tools. Thanksgiving in the US is just around the corner. Then there is Christmas. And while we must never lose focus for the real reason we celebrate these holidays, it’s somewhat an exciting time because we get to see families and friends. And we get to sit down and ever so slightly loosen our resolve (and belt) to eat more for enjoyment.
But although I’m not much for all the commercial hoopla around the holidays, I do participate, well because it’s so much fun, right. So I wanted to share my favorite kitchen tools that I use with you, so that holiday meal prep may not just be bearable for you, but also fun.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I get paid a commission if you purchase an item after following the link. I own all items in this post and link to the one I’ve actually used, where possible.
I love sun dried tomatoes but it’s expensive to purchase readymade. I also love snacks like plantain and mango chips. Enter the Excalibur Dehydrator. There may be other brands but Excalibur is the boss when it comes to dehydrators. I purchased a 9-tray unit, along with silicone mats which makes cleaning up a breeze. I’ve owned this unit for about six years.
It is great for making crackers and home made granola. You decide what to put into your recipes. Nut, seeds, shredded coconut, raisins and maple syrup for healthy granola. Or fresh barely ripe plantains for delicious plantain chips. Done without frying or overcooking.
I use my dehydrator often to make sun dried tomatoes. They are excellent drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and Herbes de Provence. And, if you like garlic just smash a clove or two and add to the mixture and refrigerate. Add to scrambled eggs, guacamole or fresh salad.
You will get carried away beyond the holidays if you pick up one of these for yourself.
The Vitamix is a very powerful blender that can whip up a smoothie in record time. However, it is so much more. I use mine to make almond milk and soft serve ice cream. Raw foodists love this machine as it lasts forever, and you can use it to make both cold and warm soups. I’ve heard of it lasting up to 25 years and counting. So it’s worth the money you pay for it.
The Vitamix is handy for making smoothies in batch. It’s tough on ice, nuts and seeds and can even take the place of a food processor if you do not own one.
When you own a Vitamix, you will find all kinds of excuses to use it. Did I mention it lasts forever? I’ve had mine nor for about 7 years.
I never saw the reason to use a hand mixer. I felt either a regular blender or the Nutribullet was good enough. But then I discovered the KOIOS hand mixer. I use it specifically to blend my bulletproof coffee but it’s good for so much more. Mix pancake batter with minimum mess. Just press to release the mixer and wash. Wipe the handle clean and store away. The KOIOS comes with a whisk for beating eggs and also a chopping container. You lock the handle into the top of the chopping container and boom! Quick chopped salad, coleslaw or hummus.
Spiralizer, shredder, and so much more. The Bullet Express is the perfect companion for making zucchini “spaghetti” and fast salads when you are cooking for a large crowd. I use it to shred cabbage when I’m making fermented veggies. It’s large chute allows you to catch shredded veggies in almost any size container.
It also comes with a small blender that you can use to make sauces, grind nuts or make pesto. This machine is an all-in-one magic salad creator.
Perfectly done rice in two minutes. Bone broth in 30. Any cook worth their salt can’t do without an Instant pot. I purchased the 3-quart Duo and was very impressed. I mostly use the pressure cooker as I already own a slow cooker. However, this is a kitchen tool you can use every day. I use it for making steel cut oatmeal with coconut milk and just love the consistency. It’s a shame you can’t get spare inserts because I would own two or three of them. If you have found spare inserts for the 3-quart version please send me a message. Thanks.
If you make homemade French fries or hash brown, the 5-blade spiralizer is the perfect kitchen tool for you. It’s mostly made of plastic so it should be safe for the kids to use with good guidance and supervision. It’s quick and easy and clean up is a breeze.
Cuisinart Food Grinder
I use the Cuisinart Spice/Nut Grinder to grind coffee, cinnamon stick, and cardamon. I’ve also used it to grind raw walnuts for my pancakes. But it’s capable of so much more. It’s perfect for grinding whole pepper corns as well. I’ve even used it to make pesto, although now I have several other kitchen tools for that. This food grinder is very versatile. It’s small so it maybe be better for one or two person kitchen. However, you choose to use it, you will not be disappointed. The plus is that I’ve owned the same unit for over 5 years and it’s still going strong.
Silicone Cooking Tongs
I love the look on my son’s face when he picked up one of these green silicone tongs, and asked “how do you use this”? I equally love these kitchen tools. There are three sizes and each of them has to be held a certain way to open and close it. So if you hold it head down it opens and if you hold it up you can close it. That means no accidental closing, especially if you place it near food.
I wrote about how you can ask Alexa to play a podcast in a recent blog post. But whichever Echo you use, Alexa can help you find recipes and while you cook, as well as keep you humming along to your favorite tunes. If you are unfamiliar with Alexa, read this article from the One Good Thing blog. You never know. This could become your favorite kitchen tool.
BONUS: Electric citrus juicer. Despite the fact that I own two very expensive juicer, I still use this handy piece of equipment for juicing oranges or grapefruits quickly. It’s great for kids because it’s simple and foolproof to use. Washing up is a breeze because the parts are big and no nonsense. Best of all it’s under $20 most places.
This post could go on forever as there are so many kitchen tools that I find useful in making holiday meal prep simple. With these tools, you can bond with your kids, while preparing meals for the holidays. Pro Reading Tip: Have them read the labels and recipes. Enjoy!
What are your favorite kitchen tools? Tell me in the comment. If you have used any of the tools above, share your experience, good or bad. I’d love to hear from you.