MY MUST-HAVE KITCHEN ESSENTIALS
It’s no surprise I love to spend most of my time in the kitchen. Cooking a nourishing pot of Ribollita or baking my all-time favourite Gluten-Free Banana Bread is simply therapeutic for me, and the results are amazing every time because I always make sure I’ve got my most loved kitchen tools handy.
Any tradesman will tell you that in order to produce a good result, you need the right tools for the job. Below is my ultimate list of kitchen tools that are “the essentials” to whip, chop, blend, squeeze, mix, grind, juice and store your delicious healthy creations.
There is no substitute for quality, so make sure you buy the best tools you can afford and they will last a lifetime.
When I walk into the kitchen to start cooking, the first thing I do is put on my apron. It sets me up for what I need to do and keeps my clothes clean from any splatters and spills from the blender or boiling pots on the stove. Make sure your apron is made from natural fabrics to allow your body to breathe and feel comfortable. Your apron also needs to also fit perfectly around the body, allowing a little extra room for comfort and movement.
2. HIGH-SPEED BLENDER
A quality high-speed blender is essential in any kitchen. It’s great for making nut milks, nut butter like my Naked Chocolat Butter, ice-creams and raw desserts. I personally love my Vitamix because it mixes everything into a smooth, creamy texture every time. Try my Superfood Breakfast Smoothie recipe for a delicious wholefoods breakfast that’s thick and creamy – similar to eating a cone of soft serve blueberry ice-cream!
Nut + seed milks are digestive-friendly, meaning they are incredibly easy to digest as well as being good for the body. Many store-bought dairy-free milks contain preservatives, thickeners such as carrageenan and sugars; ingredients I don’t want to put into my body. The Healthy Chef Nut Milk Bag is made from a fine mesh, for the smoothest and creamiest milks that will take your smoothies to the next level.
My cookbook Purely Delicious has recipes for 12 of my favourite dairy-free milks, including nut-free alternatives such as brown rice, coconut and the most luscious oat milk. You can read more about the health benefits of dairy-free milks in The Ultimate Guide To Dairy-Free Milks.
4. GLASS STORAGE JARS
Glass jars and bottles are great for storing your freshly made nut and seed milks, gut healing fermented foods, as well as an assortment of raw nuts, seeds, dressings and dips. I have an array of Kilner Jars and bottles at HC Headquarters and at my home for this very purpose and they make wonderful vessels for portable smoothies and restorative salads.
I bought my first set of Victorinox Knives over 25 years ago when I started my chef’s apprenticeship and I still have them to this day! A good set of quality knives will last you a lifetime and are an absolute kitchen essential. Victorinox chef’s knives are incredibly sharp and excellently balanced. If you get hold of one of these masterpieces, it will almost seem as if everything cuts itself. And that is the secret of a good chef.
6. MEASURING CUPS, SPOONS AND SCALES
Cooking and especially baking requires the exact measurements, so it’s important you have a good selection of measuring cups and spoons, as well as digital scales for accuracy.
7. THE HEALTHY CHEF TIMELESS COOKBOOK COLLECTION
Both Purely Delicious and Healthy Baking contain my favourite recipes of all time. No matter how many times I’ve made the Gluten-Free Banana Bread or my Hummingbird Cake, I always keep these handy for the notes and inspiration section that allows me to reinvent the wheel.
8. QUALITY POTS + PANS
In my kitchen, I have both stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans which offer some of the healthiest ways to cook. This type of cookware conducts the heat evenly on my gas stove at home and my induction cooktops in the office, where we do our cooking masterclasses.
9. WOODEN CHOPPING BOARD
I use Australian-made, The Big Chop boards, which are handcrafted from Tasmanian hardwood timber and are naturally hygienic. Every kitchen needs at least one good and sturdy large chopping board!
I’ve had a Smeg oven for years and they form a part of my home as well as my test kitchen at Healthy Chef HQ. A good oven needs to be simple to use and retain the heat perfectly to cook anything from the most delicate recipes to a classic roast turkey for Christmas.