As the ladies in my private and free community experience, the right kitchen tools are essentials to make this way of living simple and easy.
Tired to have to read labels or worrying about which ingredients are good for you and which ones are bad, or how much sodium or sugar you get in that food… all of it will disappear when you start eating real food.
The hardest part about making a change to living a real food is knowing where to start. Real Food on a plate comes from a real food kitchen that is equipped with real food kitchen tools that you use to prepare real food recipes. I know it’s redundant – I’m just driving a point!
To make food easier to prepare, we need to be slightly better equipped than a kitchen in which we eat processed food – for example in a box or a bagged food put in the microwave for the next meal. In most cases, it means you need to get rid of some un-real kitchen tools and dust off some of those cooking appliances that you got for Christmas, used twice and then shoved in the back of your kitchen cabinets and drawers.
Kitchen essential tools
I will introduce you to my 7 essential Real Food kitchen tools that will make cooking easy, simple and quick to ensure you get variety in the way your food is prepared.
I would have loved somebody to walk me through this when I first started creating my own REAL FOOD LIFE.
Pots and sauce pans
1-6.5 QT Stainless Steel Stock pots & 1-2 Quart Saucepan & 10″ Skillet. Cast iron is the healthiest style of frying pan available but stainless steel is the second best choice.
The non-stick type (read here T-Fal or Teflon) version of pots and pans shouldn’t be the target… these were created for low-fat cooking and are not in any way healthy. They leak “chemicals” into our food so we absorb these “chemicals”.
Cast Iron style pans last for 100 years, add iron to our food, and make our Real Food recipes taste great because they hold the flavors! Plus, cast iron pots and pans can be used both on the stove top and in the oven!
Quality knife set
Knowing how to cut and chop is probably where you will save the biggest amount of time in preparing Real Food. If you do not have a good knife skills, get these skills. Seriously, take a class, watch a video such this one from Jamie Oliver and get your knife skills on.
You only need 3 styles of knives to get going in a Real Food kitchen:
1. 8″ Chef’s Knife
This is my baby! It’s important that you have a good relationship with this knife because you will spend most of your time with this guy! This is the knife you’ll use for chopping vegetables, herbs, slicing steak, carvingthe chicken, whacking coconuts – you name it.
2. Pairing Knife
A tiny paring knife is a proof that size matters. There are certain tasks in the kitchen (like paring, duh) that are nearly impossible for anyone but experts to accomplish with a big old chef’s knife.
3. Bread Knife
This is one of the three knives that you could go without…but it is nice to have. Obviously, for anything “bread life” or fluffy, or even for very ripe tomatoes, you will use this knife.
The secret to enjoying food prep: a very sharp knife! I’m serious, this is THE secret. You can either get yourself a knife sharpening stone and learn to do it yourself, or find a knife/kitchen shop with a sharpener technician that you trust.
My #1 tip to spend less time in the kitchen for all my clients: Bulk Cooking. Simply put: Go big or Go home. Set a time in the week when you will mass prep and cook food for a few days – even up to 1 week in advance.
Now you made all this beautiful and delicious Real Food to fuel your healthy body so you need to store it. This is when your glass containers contribute to maintaining your food to be a nutritious and healthy as possible.
Plastic containers contain many chemicals – some of which have been identified as potentially harmful. You should avoid two chemicals in particular: bisphenol A and phthalates. Both of these chemicals interfere with human hormones (most particularly the female hormone “estrogen”). When plastic is heated, the chemical is leached into the food and then absorbed into your body.
My go-to is the large 1 quart (950 ml)wide mouth quart jars (1 dozen is a good starting point) and 1-multiple glass storage containers .
Ever since I got this baby, I don’t use my food processor as much. The immersion blender is super inexpensive and saves so much time. Plus, it’s so easy to clean. The Immersion Blender combined with a mason jar, will allow you to make mayo in less than 5 minutes. You will never again fail at mayo! Put it right into the pot and blend your favourite soups, creams, lattes, etc.
Crock Pot or Slow cooker
This is going to save you a tons of time, make you enjoy cooking and give you the most awesome tool to make my essential healing drink: Bone Broth. My crock pot is on my counter top all year long because this is how much I use it.
Tip: here is how you bulk cook. Make your bone broth in the slow cooker at the same time as a roast in the oven, you’re at the frying pan cooking a huge stir fry, or while a dozen eggs are being hard-boiled in the sauce pan.
Grater or Mandolin
This seems odd to most but I use this tool all the time and it saves me time slicing and dicing. I use my grater to prepare sweet potatoes for hash, grated ginger for my teas, for better garlic absorption, and grating carrots and cabbage for fermented foods, etc. It’s cheap and again saves a bunch of time!
This is the last one for a reason… this is where you can go very simple or completely splurge. You can buy this one or go big and buy a Vitamix or Blentec. One thing for sure, if you are going to make shakes, smoothies or ice cream, you need one. Smoothies are probably the easiest way for you to get in your 6-8 cups of veggies/day.
I didn’t buy a blender- Vitamin right away. I’ll admit that it is pretty pricey (around $400.00). I got mine as a Christmas gift from Costco. The difference between a regular blender and a high speed blender is the power of the engine. This provides you with greater power to grind, blend and mix food. If you are going to try to make your own nut milk or nut butter, the high speed blender is what you need to get.
Simplicity with the right kitchen tools
Living a real food life is about taking action, each day, one day at a time – doing the right thing when it comes to the food you fuel your body with, in a very Real Simple manner. The right kitchen tools are needed for the simplicity factor and the joy you get when you are cooking with ease!