Kitchen Essentials

Cooking healthier food from scratch is much easier if you have the right tool for the job. This article will help you with all the kitchen essentials.

  There is nothing worse than working your way through a recipe only to find that you reach a point where you don’t have the right size baking sheet, cake tin or even the right tool for the job. 

I once gave a biscuit recipe to a friend which she wanted to make with her children to try to get them into making healthier things.  When I asked her how they turned out, she said it went wrong because they didn’t possess any measuring spoons!  What a shame over such a little, inexpensive item!

If you have an experience similar to the one above when you are first starting out on a healthier road, it can be discouraging and can make you feel like not bothering. Therefore, having the essentials is important to avoid falling at the first hurdle. Try to buy things one at a time, as you need them for each recipe, if it is not practical financially to buy a lot of items at once.

When you buy kitchen items make sure they are of good quality, to last a long time, and made of healthy materials. But if you already have a fully stocked kitchen, then certain items cannot be replaced all at once for healthier ones – we’re not made of money, are we? I still have some non-stick baking trays I would like to replace and have been slowly replacing plastic containers with glass, as and when I can. Any small changes will still be beneficial.

Don’t despair if you can’t obtain or afford healthy alternatives. We have to work within our circumstances – any changes are better than none.

Below I have listed the items which I have found to be absolutely necessary.

Good knives: Trust me, I’ve had blunt knives in the past and they make the job of chopping and slicing vegetables much harder and more time consuming. If you buy a knife set make sure it includes a good chopping (sometimes called chef or cook) knife and kitchen scissors. I have a set of knives in a wooden block on my worktop which is good for saving space and having them readily to hand. (Note: not all knives are dishwasher safe, so make sure you check).

Check out this set Deik Kitchen Knife Set with Sharpener, 16 PCS Knife Block Set, Stainless Steel, Including Chef Knife, Carving Knife, Santoku Knife, Bread Knife, Utility Knife, Steak Knife, Paring Knife, Scissors (paid link)

Knife sharpener: a good sharpener is not easy to find (we’ve bought some duds in our time!) but I have been very impressed with the Sharpal one below

Digital weighing scales: Digital scales are the most accurate. I use Salter which is reliable and small enough to be kept in a drawer, thus saving space.

Measuring cups and spoons: A set of each is important for accurate measurements.

Measuring jugs: For stocks and other liquids.

A large stockpot: Made of stainless steel or good quality enamel and about 7L in size (see Stock Pot Guide and Review).

Oven proof casserole dish: Made of good quality enamel or cast iron.

Set of kitchen utensils: Stainless steel where possible.

Chopping boards: Wood is best as it is less likely to harbor bacteria and easier to clean (I use lemon juice or salt for this). Make sure you keep separate boards: one for meat and another for fruit and vegetables.

Handheld blender: Doesn’t cost much and is handy when you don’t need an upright blender, such as when blending purees.

Set of good quality saucepans: Stainless steel is best. Try to buy the best quality you can.

Mixing bowls: For mixing ingredients, so good to have various sizes. Earthenware and glass are best.

Baking trays/cookie sheets: Buy stainless steel or enamel where you can.

Cooling rack: For baked items.

Sieve: Use a stainless steel one when sieving hot ingredients, such as stock.

Glass food containers: Plastic is fine for storing dry foods and for freezing but refrigerated food keeps better in glass. Don’t store hot food or stock in plastic as it can contain chemicals that may leach into food.

Check out this set 24-Piece Superior Glass Food Storage Containers Set – Airtight BPA-Free Locking Lids – 100% Leakproof Borosilicate Glass Meal Prep Food Containers With Lids – Freezer to Oven Safe Takeaway Lunch Boxes (paid link)

Glass containers for storing stock: I love the ones below by Pyrex which come with snap-on lids.

Pyrex 180P000 – 2 Liter Bowl With Lid from Borosilicate Glass Stain Resistant Assorted (paid link)

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