Here are my ULTIMATE crunchy kitchen must haves…if you’re unfamiliar with the term “crunchy” it basically means a person who is more naturally minded. They have chosen to become mindful of the food their family consumes, they try to eat a “whole food” diet, cutting out processed foods, making things from scratch, less foods made from a box and or foods loaded with chemical ingredients. Believe me when I say this wasn’t always me, because it wasn’t. I’ve enjoyed cooking in the kitchen since college but I didn’t really understand how to cook healthy, with healthy food, or that the tools and gadgets that I chose to cook with are also equally important. For the past 10 years we’ve slowly made dramatic changes and in our home. We try to cook with clean pure water, pure clean ingredients, and clean non-toxic cookware. A lot of cookware can be loaded with lead, Teflon, heavy metals and chemicals like BPA, so we try to be conscious of what we are using. We also chucked our microwave (aka food radiation nuker) 8 years ago, and honestly I don’t miss it one bit.
The bigger gadgets…
If you’re like me and you try your best to make all the food for your family from scratch, then there are a few essential kitchen gadgets that I consider to be a must…Here are the bigger ones that I feel no kitchen should go with out. I realize that all these items are a big investment, but when it comes to your health and trimming down the costs of food, you just can’t go without. Slowly add these big guns to your kitchen. You’ll save so much time and money in the end. You will find that it takes less time to prep and prepare a home cooked meal and therefore you’ll be be less tempted to take the family “out” for dinner. So if you’re looking for a nice big ticket item to add to your Christmas wish list…add one of these.
- Berkey Water Filter (& future filters…these) this is how we get clean drinking and cooking water free of heavy metals, bacteria, fluoride, and chlorine. This is extremely important to us because the water we drink and cook with does in fact affect our health.
- Vitamix – a must for any crunchy kitchen. You can make amazing smoothies that taste like ice cream and have greens in them and your kids will never know. Make homemade soups, ice creams, nut butters and nut milks. The list of what you can do with a Vitamix is AMAZING. I’ve had mine for 8 years and recently I switched to a Blendtec just for fun and gave my sister-in-law my Vitamix (which she loved) and honestly I prefer my Vitamix. I’ll be going back to the old school style at some point soon!
- Cuisinart Food Processor – I use my food processor a few times a week to shred cheese blocks, chop or shred veggies, or mix up homemade granola bars or cookie dough. It’s definitely a must. I have the Waring Commercial one but I’ve heard this one is fabulous as well.
- Omega Juicer – store bought green juice is expensive, you can make your own for a fraction of the price, but you need a really good juicer in order to make it worth your while. We have this one and LOVE it. It is a slow masticating juicer which means it doesn’t destroy foods enzymes and your juice will stay good for up to 3 days. And it’s easy to clean.
- Breville Immersion Blender – last year I got two of the Kitchen Aid blenders, one for soap making and one for soup, and to be honest they are not worth the money. They are poorly made and extremely frustrating (the blender part falls off while blending! NOT COOL!). If you add one of these to your kitchen be sure to get a good quality one like this one, don’t go cheap, you’ll highly regret it.
- Instant Pot (the big one!) I got my instant pot before everyone went crazy for them and I love it, I only wish I had the bigger one so I could get one of my giant farm raised chickens in it. Get the bigger one if you can.
Other considerations not featured above: A really nice electric tea kettle (I love this one!) And a vegetable spiralizer (great for making zoodles-noodles out of veggies)
Kitchen Must haves…
- Kitchen Scale – if you are going to cook from scratch or be making homemade herbal products you need a scale. I personally LOVE this one.
- Dutch Oven – One really LARGE size dutch oven is all you need. I know they are a BIG investment but quality and the materials used to make your enamel coated dutch oven does matter. I have one of these and I love love it. There are other brands, so do some research before purchasing.
- Cast Iron Skillets – I love Lodge skillets, we know own six of them in various sizes. They are extremely cheap, easy to care for and healthy to cook on.
- All-Clad Pots – I’m really picky about the pots we cook in. I want them to be 100% stainless steal not just coated. I really try to avoid pots and pans that are “coated” and I do not want aluminum or Teflon in our food. So while this is another expensive investment, the amazing thing about a really high quality, well made item is it will last you a lifetime as long as you take good care of it.
- Organic Cutting Board – I prefer wood cutting boards for the look of them and also the feel. There is nothing more natural then wood. Be sure to get a good one coated with a healthy/food safe ingredient. Some prefer to use one for veggies and one for meat keeping them separate, so you may need more then just one.
- Really GOOD Kitchen Knives – If you hate cooking or find it frustrating and time consuming, it may be possible it’s because your knives suck and are not sharp and it takes forever to cut anything up. I’ve found this to be true with a lot of my friends. One good knife is all you need and a sharpening tool kit, I personally use and love the WÜSTHOF brand. My parents got me a whole set a few Christmases back and they are hands down THE best knives I’ve ever owned.
More Kitchen Favorites…
- Hydro Flask Water Bottle – if you’re like me and you are on the go, headed out to play dates and hikes and other kids’ activities, you need a reusable water bottle that will keep things cold. This way you save money and trips of stopping for water and you always have water on hand when you need it. I’m adding this one to my wish list as I need a new one.
- Kids Hydro Flask Water Bottle – Pepper has been using a stainless steal water bottle since she was 2 and we bring it everywhere we go. To the park, to group homeschool activities, to church or ballet, everywhere! We save time and money by always having our own water with us.
- Stainless Steal Lunch Container for on-the-go Moms and picnics, along with the water bottle, having some food safe non-plastic containers to bring all your kids snacks/and picnic lunch will keep you away from going through the drive-thru for fast food. Just get in the habit of packing lunches and snacks before you leave the house.
- Waterless Airlock Fermentation Lids for Wide Mouth Mason Jars – these are great for the crunchy Mom who is wanting to ferment her own veggies. I only recently got these after years of going with out and I wish I had gotten them sooner.
- Fermentation Glass Weights – along with the airlock lids grab some glass weights to hold your veggies down. This is so much easier than doing the plastic bag method and you will have less ruined jars of fermented veggies from the bad case of mold on top.
- Mason Jars (wide mouth) ALL sizes – All crunchy kitchens have all the mason jars. We use mason jars to store food, store water for trips, make overnight oats, or store snacks or on-the-go salads. We also use them to drink out of and ferment our homemade veggies. We have little ones and really big ones (half gallon for our raw milk). We also make homemade body butters, sugar scrubs or chest rubs, or natural antibacterial ointments and store those in 4 oz mason jars. A crunchy kitchen can never have enough mason jars.
Kitchen Linens & more…
- Kitchen Hand Towels, I don’t personally own these yet but I’ve heard some amazing reviews on the Turkish towels, I hope to get some soon!
- Kitchen Tea Towels, you can never have enough organic cotton tea towels in your kitchen, they really are a necessity and the only towels I prefer to use. They may be old school, but they work like a charm for hand drying, cleaning up messes, drying dishes, and for straining cheese or covering up your sourdough bread mix. They are so versatile, if your grandma loved them then so will you.
- Kitchen Dish Towel/Rags, Norwex was all the rage for a while, and I tried it twice, and you know what, I’m sadly not a fan, just give me some old school hemp, bamboo. or cotton dish rags and I’m good to go. I try not to spend a lot on dish towels as I find they don’t last long, and I try to switch them out every other day for germ reasons and so they don’t get that nasty “stink” smell to them..you know what I’m talking about?
- Kitchen Oven Mitt, you need these, a few of them, unless you want to burn yourself, so you may as well get some cute ones, like these from Anthropologie.
- Strainers – I’m sort of obsessed with all things gold right now. I’d love to get a new set of strainers, gold ones please.
- Measuring Cups – gold measuring cups too, ugh yes please and thank you!
Naturally Clean kitchen…
- Thieves Household Cleaner – I got rid of all the toxic cleaners in my house 10 years ago and I haven’t looked back. At first I made my own with essential oils, water and vinegar but quickly decided I hate the smell of vinegar, so as soon as I discovered the Thieves Household cleaner I was sold and I’ve never looked back. Its highly concentrated and all you need is a capful (the top lid/cap filled with cleaner from bottle) added to your 16 oz spray bottle and you’re good to go. You can clean your kitchen and your whole house with this stuff.
- Thieves Dish Soap – We try to use the cleanest most non-toxic dish soap we can find. This stuff is great! It won’t suds much as it doesn’t have the toxic ingredients to make suds, so that will be different for you, for sure, and take some getting used to.
- Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak – I use this to wash our farm fresh eggs and veggies. Works like a charm.
- Thieves Hand Soap – Hands down my most favorite non-toxic hand soap, the new Christmas Spirit scent is even more amazing!!
- Bamboo Drying Rack – We got this drying rack for our kitchen a few months back and I love it.
- Hot Pads – Ok, Hello, how cute are these! I know these having nothing to do with a clean kitchen but….I need these!
So where do I buy my Thieves products? You can’t get them on Amazon sadly (if you find them they are not real Young Living Products but counterfeit as we don’t sell on Amazon) Get started with using Young Living by heading over to my Essential Oils post here.
Alright, that is my MEGA list, I know I’ve missed a few many items but this is what I have for you today and I hope this is extremely helpful. Other items I will personally be adding to add to my kitchen in the near future are an air fryer, dehydrator, canning equipment and maybe, just maybe an espresso machine, haha! A girl can dream right?
Well happy shopping and be blessed my friend. AND remember when it comes to living a more wholesome clean life, it’s important that we not get too overwhelmed, and rather just focus on making one healthy change at a time. I’m still doing this 10 years later. It’s a life long process of learning, growing and challenging yourself, because when you know better you do better.
Peace & love,
I did not know I needed fermentation lids and weights, but now they’re going on my wish list (along with everything else I don’t currently have from this post)!