Hi y’all, are you kitchen ready ? Does your kitchen have the basics it needs to help you be your best-est, healthiest, awesomest you?
I like to think of it as the Holistic Kitchen. I want to share with you my list of the basic kitchen necessities for a happy, healthy you and yours. There are two lists here: a basic kitchen tools list and a basic food list.
With fall creeping in and the kiddos back at school, this is a perfect time to reset your kitchen and you! Let’s make this leap already and dive deep into the ocean of great eating! If you don’t want to dive then dip your toes in and ease in, Just get in. I am here to help.
First let’s see what I recommend you have at the ready, in your kitchen to prepare your crazy, yummy dishes:
1. A Food Processor. This is a must for making sauces, marinades, dressings and so much more. It saves so much time and that is really what I am all about. Get a decent one that is capable of pulverizing even the nuttiest of nuts. Many will even spiralize, slice, shred and blend.
2. A Blender. Again this is a huge time saver. Useful for all the delicious green smoothies you are going to make. Makes soup too!
– serves 2-3
A handful of kale – washed and torn into pieces
Half a large seedless cucumber or 1 whole small, cut into slices
2 stalks celery washed and sliced
½-1 apple sliced, discard core
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup water (can substitute almond milk)
Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
3. Cast iron or ceramic coated pots and pans. I recommend at least one cast iron skillet and then the rest either stainless or ceramic coated pans. A cast iron dutch oven is not a bad call either. 😀 Essentially you want to avoid coated and non-stick pots and pans. These chemicals have been known to leach into your food and pose potential health hazards. Also the coated products do not last as long. They scratch and peel then you food burns and you end up eating the coating, all bad.
4. Wooden or stainless utensils.The reasoning is the same here as it is with the coated pans. If you are going to end up eating your utensils better it be wood, a natural substance, than some plastic coated in who knows what. Same goes for your cutting board – go wood!
5. A water purifier. Being able to drink purified water at any moment is a privilege I know and I am so grateful I am able to do it without even having to think about it or walk miles to get it. Not only do you get clean water to drink, you cut down on the plastic bottle use and waste.
6. Good sharp knives. A real time saver. I did not spend a ton of money on mine and I have a little pumice sharpener that sharpens them quickly and easily and they work just fine. Saves so much time when your knives are nice and sharp.
7. Reusable snack bags for storage and lunches. They are available in all kinds of sizes and designs too. Again, cut down on your plastic use and you will cut down on harmful chemicals use. Save your family and the environment, a double win!
8. Mason jars or glass storage jars. I am slightly obsessed with these. I have a lot of them. I use them for storing bulk foods, making snacks and storing fresh made sauce, condiments and dressings. I plant cuttings in them with water, I put lotion in them…. They are so many varieties of lids now too, the uses are endless.
9. A slow cooker ( I called this a crock pot recently and was looked at like I had two heads. I suppose I had dated myself). This is a must for every busy family. I make a lot of meals this way especially on a day I know I won’t be home much. You can make soups, stews and chilis in here , nutritious, of course and best of all you dump and go. My boys love a good beef stew!
Beef Stew: Serves 4 at least once
1 pound grass fed sirloin tips or beef stew cubes
1 small purple onion chopped
1 glove garlic minced
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
3-4 medium red potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
4 celery stalks
4 organic carrots sliced
1 large jar organic tomato sauce (look for low sugar or sugar-free version) plus 1 cup water if needed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons almond flour (for thickening)
salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Stir occasionally if you are around. Make a side green salad and a some sourdough bread and you are all set.
Hey c’mon did you notice I just did a meat recipe? Stop the presses.
10. A few miscellaneous items that are handy to have : a lemon juicer, a timer, a garlic , ceramic or glass measuring cups and spoons, mesh colander, can opener, peeler, kitchen shears, and a grater.
Let me know if you have a can’t live without in your kitchen,
Now that we have our tools, what are some necessities needed to be able to use these tools?
1. Remember I said to have mason jars on hand? Well, let’s put some great bulk foods and such in them to have at the ready for your recipes. I like to keep on hand: chopped walnuts, slivered almonds and whole, raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, dried cranberries, cacao nibs, brown rice pasta, black or brown or red rice and oats.
2 Beans and Grains – Keep a stock of various beans. Dried is preferable but again I am all for getting them in you by any means so canned is ok with me. Black, kidney, white northern (a fav of mine), garbanzo aka chickpeas and lentils. Try these grains quinoa, millet,wheatberry, buckwheat (this has a pretty distinct taste), red, black or brown rice, barley and oats (a must have for granola).
3. Greens and lots of them. This is probably the hardest thing along with fruit to always have handy and fresh but it is so worth the effort . Keep a couple of bags of plain frozen vegetables just in case you run out of fresh. Always have kale and/or spinach on hand. Lettuces and cucumbers and celery. Broccoli and cauliflower are a must in my fridge. Snap peas and green beans and peas oh my….
4. Fruit. Great for making your smoothies, a quick snack with some nuts and nut butter. Or just by themselves. We always have oranges and bananas and apples and above all else berries. When is season we have melons. Always keep some lemons and limes around for cooking.
5. Almond milk. A great alternative to cow’s milk. Great taste and easily digestible. Use in smoothies, over granola, in tea…
6. Sweeteners – I get tons of questions about how to sweetener without sugar. Keep on hand, pure maple syrup, raw homey and liquid stevia.
7. Meat; For the metaosaurus’ have at the ready some free range organic chicken ( I realize organic is pricier and not always doable but chicken is one of those things you gotta do it for), grass fed beef and wild caught salmon or cod or halibut. As long as its wild caught and not farm raised (the fishes are pumped with hormones and antibiotics too) go nuts.
8. Sauces/Liquids to have include Tamari or low sodium/sugar soy sauce ( I am slight addicted to TJ coconut aminos. I use in place of soy sauce and salad dressing often), mustard, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, tahini, coconut milk (add can coconut milk and curry powder and you have a great simmer sauce to toss with steamed veggies and grain of choice).
Use this over salads, buddha bowls, veggies and grains…
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Tahini (stir well first)
juice from 1/4 lemon
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder or grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste
mix well together – add a little water if too thick
9. Herbs and Spices – having these on hand is a game changer for your holistic kitchen! *Tumeric* , ground cinnamon, rosemary, vanilla, garlic (fresh is best or Dorots is a fav of mine), ginger, curry powder, onions, sea salt, fresh pepper grinder, basil, sage, parsley, cilantro, cayenne and oregano. Fresh is best but dried will certainly do.
10. Nut butters – keep a couple of different nut butters on hand for sandwiches and snacks and baking. I love almond and peanut butters and raw hazelnut butter. Just read your labels to watch out for added sugars!
11. Dark Chocolate > 70% Cacao for a sweet treat or try these Honey Mama bars – WOW!
Phew, got it all? Great. Let’s get started!
Here is a cheat sheet for the grocery items to jumpstart your holistic kitchen – take it with you next time you go food shopping.