20 Healthy Kitchen Essentials: A List of Kitchen Items Everyone Needs

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Ready to get inspired for healthy cooking? These must-haves on our list of kitchen items includes the best appliances, cookware, and kitchen gadgets in green living to make your life easier and more delicious! Whether a beginning cook or an advanced chef, this checklist of kitchen essentials ranges from affordable pieces to top of the line machines and the best non-toxic pots and pans.

Ready to get inspired for healthy cooking? These must-haves on our list of kitchen items includes the best appliances, cookware, and kitchen gadgets in green living to make your life easier and more delicious! Whether a beginning cook or an advanced chef, this checklist of kitchen essentials ranges from affordable pieces to top of the line machines and the best non-toxic pots and pans.

Welcome back to the #betterforyoucrew series! We’ve teamed up with our girls Suzi from Gurl Gone Green, Lisa from This Organic Girl, Caroline from Olive You Whole, Kristina from Love & Zest, and Sarah from Whoorl to highlight green, yet effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural mama worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series (see The Best Natural Hair Care Products to check out last month's topic). Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves, too!

We can't believe we've had a healthy living blog for going on four years but have yet to share a list of our favorite kitchen tools with y'all! Like… how did that happen?!

Finally, the time has come for us to share a list of our favorite kitchen items–we've got something for you regardless of if you're just learning your way around a kitchen or if you're a classically-trained chef.

We also include a range of price points on this kitchen essentials checklist (as cheap as $12!) proving that you don't always have to break the bank to stock your kitchen with helpful items.

Of course, this wouldn't be R+R without a healthy, green, eco-friendly twist! No Teflon, heavy metals, or BPA-plastic here.

Without further ado, let's get into it!

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1. Xtrema Cookware

We recently got this new ceramic cookware and can't believe we didn't have it in our life until now.

Did you know most non-stick, metal, and even some ceramic-coated and cast iron pans can leach heavy metals into your foods?! Ugh!

Xtrema‘s 100% ceramic pots, pans and bakeware are not only safe and free from toxins, but have the versatility to be used on the stovetop, in any type of oven, in the fridge to store leftovers, and can be served right on the dinner table. Plus they're also dishwasher- and microwave-safe! #BestPansEver

2. Soda Stream

Oooh, how We L-O-V-E our soda stream! Having bubbly water on demand without spending money for the rest of our life on Perrier or La Croiz, and not having all the waste of toxic BPA-laden plastic bottles or cans? Fan for life.

Try our Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic made with sparkling water, oranges, carrot juice and warming spices like turmeric and ginger!

3. Cuisinart Food Processor

An absolute MUST for any cook, beginner to advanced.

Essential for making so many things:

Not only is a food processor a major time saver, you just can't get the same consistency this appliance delivers with any other method. Not to mention it just makes prep SO MUCH easier!

Plus, we also use it for DIY beauty recipes, like this Homemade Face Scrub for Acne-Prone, Oily Skin.

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Superfood Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie

4. Vitamix Blender

Not to sound dramatic, but we're not sure how I'd survive without our high-powered blender, the Vitamix.

From blending our fiber-rich smoothies to making homemade lattes and all kinds of delicious drinks (hello, Superfood Frose: Frozen Rose Wine Slushy), a rare day it is that we don't use this miraculous machine.

You can also make sauces, grind coffee, and do food prep, similar to a food processor. The Vitamix is better when there is more liquid or volume that the food processor can't handle.

Yes, the Vitamix does cost a pretty penny; however, you can look at Certified Reconditioned models for a more affordable option (rest assured, they come with a 5-year warranty and a No-Risk Guarantee on every Certified Reconditioned blender), or take advantage of their three- or five-month interest-free payment plans.

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5. Salad Chopper: Trudeau Toss and Chop Salad Tongs

This may be the best $12 we've ever spent. Make fresh salads or chop veggies right in the bowl with these scissors that easily slice fruit and veggies, and somehow never need sharpening. So easy to use and makes any chopping infinitely faster and simpler!

We even use it to shred chicken for soups and salads (this salsa verde chicken soup is our fave!) or pork for tacos and bowls, like these life-changing banh mi bowls.

Instant Pot: Best Kitchen Tools and Appliances

6. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Some nights we honestly don't know what we'd do without our Instant Pot. When seven o'clock rolls around and you haven't thought about dinner yet… enter the Instant Pot! It cooks everything in a fraction of the time (although we will admit it does like 20+ minutes to pre-heat), and makes clean up SO easy since it's all cooked in this one pot. You can even brown meat and saute veggies in it before you pressure cook. LOVE!

The possibilities are almost endless with this crazy cool machine. We also love it for making things like bone broth that are so expensive to buy in the store.

Check out our Instant Pot recipes:

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7. Microplane Grater

We're not sure how people grate without a microplane; fresh ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, citrus rinds, garlic, cheese–you name it, and the microplane can zest or grate it with ease.

No seriously, from the moment Rachael Ray first showed us how she grates garlic right from the microplane, we realized it saved SO much time, was so easy and not messy and we've never looked back. Thanks, Rach!

Simply hold it in your hand and the sharp blades do most of the work. Most models are dishwasher-safe too; yippie for less dishes! This kitchen tool runs about $12.

Intelligent Blends single serving coffee maker: Best kitchen appliances and coffee makers

8. Intelligent Blends single-serving coffee maker

Sometimes we just want to push a button and have a hot cup of coffee appear, like real-life magic. We all probably hate how much we love it, but the truth is, single-serve coffee makers are just too darn easy and convenient.

They’re also hella wasteful. Throwing away those plastic coffee pods that aren’t recyclable or biodegradable takes a real toll on the environment, especially when you consider that one in three households in the U.S. use single-serve coffee makers. (source)

That’s why we’ve made the switch to Intelligent Blends Universal Single-Serve Brewer. Not only is this single-serve coffee maker compatible with all types of K-cups® (2.0 and 1.0) as well as Unlicensed pods and refillable cups, but they have their own line of recyclable coffee pods, which is a total game-changer.

Read more in this post about how to reduce waste with sustainable single serve coffee.

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9. Nespresso Essenza

Speaking of coffee, we're also addicted to our Nespresso. Sometimes we just really want a fancy coffee-house drink, and being able to make lattes and Americanos at home as opposed to $5 a pop at Starbucks is a winning choice in our book. Plus, homemade is always healthier and you know exactly what's going into your drink!

We recently got the Essenza and we love how compact and sleek it is, yet powerful and makes killer espresso drinks in less than 2 minutes!

10. Milk Frother

Alright, while we're on the coffee convo, we also lovelovelove our handy milk frother! In just a couple of minutes, you can have warmed frothed cream or milk, cappuccino style (read: super foamy) or latte style (creamier and thicker!). We use this just about every day and we can't believe how much it makes our homemade coffee drinks taste like the real deal. We love that it heats the milk too!

On days when we're not making a full-on latte, we reach for our Power Creamer frother, no fancy machines required and this battery-powered gadget is less than $20! It's great for dissolving things like collagen, protein powders, hot chocolate mixes and other powders and ghee, butter or coconut oil. The Power Creamer frother is durable and made from stainless steel–you won't believe how well it whips up your drink into something rivalling Starbucks!

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11. KitchenAid stand mixer

Calling all bakers: a high-end stand mixer like this one from KitchenAid is a necessity for all things baking… Whipping up cream or egg whites? Frosting? Making dough? Baking cookies? Cakes? You NEED a powerful stand mixer, and KitchenAid is known for being the best on the market.

Over the holidays we love to use our stand mixer to make this Classic Sour Cream Pound Cake with Ghee (Gluten Free).

Even if you're not much of a baker, we also use mine for whipping up things like mashed potatoes, mashing meatballs, shredding chicken, or making quick breads or muffins.

Cuisinart immersion blender: best kitchen appliances

12. Cuisinart immersion blender and mini food processor

Forget having to transfer food from the pot to the blender to puree–this hand-held immersion blender is where. it's. at. when it comes to saving time, dishes, and generally making the blending process easier.

We absolutely love it for soups like our Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Easy, Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

What's cool about this model is that it's like a swiss army knife of kitchen tools: it also has a whisk attachment (read: easy omelettes for a crowd!), a chopper/grinder attachment, a beaker (perfect for throwing together salad dressings), and the mini food processor is so handy when you just have a small job to do and don't want to get out the more cumbersome machine.

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13. Thermapen digital thermometer

You don't know thermometers until you've met the ThermoWorks Thermapen digital thermometer, rated #1 by America's Test Kitchen for a reason.

Not only is it crazy fast (it reads in 2-3 seconds!) and accurate, but it has a rotating display that can flip to make reading the thermometer from any angle a breeze. It also has an automatic backlight, is waterproof, and has a motion sensor to save battery life (meaning one battery lasts 3,000 hours… so you'll likely never even have to replace the battery, ever).

14. Breville Tea Maker

Raise your hand if you drink tea like it's your job? 🙋

Not only are we a huge fan of antioxidant-rich and triple-toxin screened teas like Pique Tea (if you like matcha, their organic Sun Goddess Matcha is to die for!), but we also use our tea kettle for hot water in a flash on days we drink coffee and use our French Press or want to make an Americano with our Nespresso.

We love that you can choose your temperature and brew time based on what you're making!

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Lodge Cast Iron pans: favorite healthy cookware

15. Lodge Cast Iron Pan

What don't we do with our cast iron skillet? Another cooking staple, Lodge is a trusted brand that has actually been around since the 1930s!

Amazing for searing and frying, cast irons have also gotten popular for ‘one-pot meals' that make dinner much easier, as these pans work perfectly not just on the stove, but in the oven and on the grill, too!

Here are a few of our tried and true cast iron recipes:

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16. Cuisinart GreenGourmet Induction 10-Inch Skillet

You'll be shocked at how amazing this $15 skillet is! Not only is it scratch-resistant with a water- and ceramic-based nonstick surface, it's free of chemicals like PTFE and PFOA. We love how it cooks really evenly across the pan; this is our go-to for any high-heat cooking where sticking can happen (fried eggs, anyone?!)

17. Tramontina Stainless Steel Cookware

This past Christmas, we added this set of pots and pans to our wishlist after reading about how amazing AND affordable they were on The Wire Cutter, America's Test Kitchen, and just about every review out there. We couldn't be happier with Santa's gift!

Stainless steel cookware is another classic, go-to piece of kitchen equipment. Simple, reliable, and a great everyday pot for simple things like making pasta or heating up soup.

Le Creuset Dutch Ovens, the best non-toxic and classic cookware

18. Le Creuset Dutch Ovens

Cast iron meets beautiful enamelled French cookware with iconic Le Creuset dutch ovens. We're not sure cookware gets prettier than this!

Not only is it colorful, but these big pots are strong and durable, with an exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking. They can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making this cookware awesome for both stovetop and oven use.

The inside is cast iron that–unlike regular cast irons–needs no seasoning (hallelujah!), so is often used for slow-cooking, braising and roasting, thanks to its ability to maintain even and consistent heat. We love making soups in mine like this Gameday Buffalo Chicken Chili!

Plus you can get matching mini-cocottes with lids for serving that can also go in the oven, so you can make individual-sized portion of things like baked eggs, custards, and traditional French Onion soup (yea, that rustic kind with the broiled cheese that's to die for!), and as a bonus these beauties also look gorgeous on display.

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In 5 minutes, you can make this nutrient-dense chimichurri sauce recipe, bursting with flavor. Authentic, healthy and delicious! Perfect on steak, veggies, shrimp and chicken, this Argentian chimichurri recipe is full of detoxifying cilantro.

19. Chef's Santuko Knife

What would a great kitchen be without a great chef's knife? If you're currently using cheap knives, you won't even believe the difference once you get a serious chef's knife or two that is sharp and perfectly designed for slicing, dicing and all your cutting needs.

The one we're currently using, we got from a special market in Tokyo while on our honeymoon, but any high-quality Santuko-style chef's knife will do the trick–just be sure you keep it nice and sharp!

Slow Cooker: a must have kitchen appliance

20. Cuisinart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker

Last but certainly not least, the fan-favorite slow cooker. While the Instant Pot is having its heyday–and most models even have a slow cooker option built-in too–let's face it, people are just addicted to their slow cooker they have around in their kitchen for decades, and for good reason.

Homemade cooking doesn't get much easier than this, and the flavors are unbeatable when you cook something all. day. long. And personally, we think a Crockpot does a way better job for braising meats and giving you that fork-tender, fall-off-the-bone meat than the InstantPot. Need some slow cooker recipe inspiration?

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What's on your must-have kitchen tools list? Let us know in the comments below!


About The Author

5 thoughts on “20 Healthy Kitchen Essentials: A List of Kitchen Items Everyone Needs”

  1. Oh thanks, really useful tips. Totally agree with your tips. Loved the recipe for homemade soda. This is a really healthy lifestyle. I also love to use a pressure cooker for instant cooking. Healthy, low-fat meals can be prepared there. And it also saves a lot of time. All the equipment described in this article is very convenient and it is a real assistant in the kitchen.It is very cool that there is more and more information about a healthy lifestyle in various popular blogs.

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Tips for a healthier home

Here are some eco-friendly home care tips for a healthy and green living:
  • Switch your cleaning products to eco-friendly options. You can find many of these in the grocery store and online.
  • Use sustainable materials for furniture, such as wood instead of plastic or metal. This will help create less waste and reduce the amount of natural resources that are used to produce them.
  • Choose lightbulbs with little or no mercury. These not only create less waste but also have an impact on climate change by using less electricity.
  • Plant trees around your property. Trees benefit the environment by providing shade, absorbing carbon dioxide, and purifying the air with their leaves. They also provide fuel for firewood during colder months and a habitat for wildlife. The benefits of planting trees go far beyond what you see right in front of you!

Green cleaning products

One way to make your home more eco-friendly is by switching over to green cleaning products. These products aren’t as harsh on the environment as traditional household cleaners and are less likely to cause allergies or other health issues. Plus, you can find a variety of green cleaning products that work for every type of surface in your home.

Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products

There are many cleaning products that you can use in your home that are environmentally friendly. One of the best ways to start is by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. Many people don’t know that there are many types of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today, including laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. A switch to green cleaners can be a simple way to create an environmentally friendly living environment.

Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean your home

If you want to make your home safer and more environmentally friendly, then you can switch from using toxic cleaning products to using eco-friendly alternatives. For example, if you want to clean your toilet, then you could use vinegar instead of bleach or other harsh chemicals. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, so it will do the job without harming the environment. You can also use baking soda as a healthy alternative to many household cleaners. Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner that breaks down dirt and grime; it’s also non-toxic, so it won’t harm people or the environment. It’s also inexpensive, so you can use it liberally without worrying about running out of supply too quickly.

Sustainable living

Most people are more aware of the environment these days and want to do their part to make it a better place. Homeowners and renters alike are doing everything from switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products, to using sustainable materials for furniture. Here are some tips for living an eco-friendly lifestyle in your home:
    • Clean with white vinegar – You can use this as a natural disinfectant that is also eco-friendly. It is also inexpensive and easy on your pipes because you won’t be putting harsh chemicals down the drain.
    • Avoid aerosol cans – Aerosol cans contain harmful chemicals that will release into the air when sprayed. Try switching to an eco-friendly product or find another way to clean.
    • Use reusable napkins – Napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, even facial tissue all come wrapped in paper (or other packaging). Reusable napkins or dish towels will give you one less thing you need to throw away every day!
    • Put up a clothesline – Even if you live in an apartment or condo where putting up a clothesline isn’t possible, there are many ways you can still dry your clothes without using electricity or gas. For example, hang them outside on a sunny day or turn your oven on low heat and hang them from the top rack.

Living with less waste in your home

One of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint is by reducing the amount of waste that your household produces. Take a look at what you’re throwing away and try to find alternatives.
For example, instead of buying disposable napkins, use cloth napkins that you can throw into the wash. If you need face wipes for removing makeup, consider making them yourself from reusable materials like cotton rounds. And if you want to stop using plastic bags, use canvas bags or have bags made from recycled material. There are many other ideas for eco-friendly alternatives in your home as well.

Sustainable materials for furniture

Did you know that the average American generates over 4 pounds of waste every day? This means that we are throwing away a lot of furniture and other items in our homes. To stop contributing to this problem, it is best to use sustainable materials for furniture. Sustainable materials are made from recycled materials which can be up-cycled into new products. Not only are these items better for the environment, but they also save money because the items will last longer.
Sustainable materials for furniture include:
      • Recycled plastic
      • MDF
      • Plywood
      • Timber reclaimed from old buildings or driftwood
      • Bamboo
      • Faux leather (made from cotton)
The pursuit of a healthy, green and sustainable home is achievable for anyone. It will require more time and effort, but the payoff will be worth it.
Start with the small things. Make a conscious effort to recycle, turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them, and check your thermostat. It’s easy to get into a routine of living without giving it much thought, but the more you make an effort, the easier it will be to live sustainably.
After you’ve made changes in your everyday life, look for furniture that is made with sustainable materials. You can also buy an eco-friendly houseplant for your home that requires little care.
    1. Tips for a healthier home:
      • Turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them
      • Check your thermostat
      • Make a conscious effort to recycle
    2. Green cleaning products:
      • Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products
      • Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean
      • Sustainable living:
      • Living with less waste in your home
      • Sustainable materials for furniture
  • Sustainable materials for furniture:
    • Consider buying furniture made with sustainable