My husband, Chris, and I never enjoyed cooking before going plant-based. We spent as little time in the kitchen as possible, and ate a lot of takeout and highly processed foods. When I made the decision to go plant-based, I knew I would need to spend more time in the kitchen and was really unsure of how I was going to make it work.
We had a standard blender (with a food processor attachment that we never used) and a slow cooker, but no other small kitchen appliances. We purchased the Breville Juicer to kick-start my plant-based journey, but the other appliances in this list were gradually purchased over the last 5 years. As much as we enjoy these appliances, you do not need these kitchen gadgets to make a plant-based diet work! There are many ways to eat a plant-based diet: you can make meals as simple or complex as you prefer. You can use many gadgets and tools or very few. We highly recommend these products based on our experience, but take into account your own lifestyle and needs in the kitchen when considering purchasing new gadgets. Invest in appliances that you think will add real value to your kitchen and your life.
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As mentioned above, this juicer is what started it all! When I first made the decision to eat a fully plant-based diet, I decided I would kick things off with a juice fast to reset my taste buds and be able to appreciate the taste of fresh produce. The Breville Juicer was our first small appliance purchase after I decided to go plant-based (Chris wasn’t on-board with a plant-based lifestyle quite yet)! This juicer is simple to operate, and works really well. We don’t use the juicer as often as we used to, but we still love to make fresh juice from time to time!
Note: I am aware that some plant-based doctors will advise against juicing. We are more likely to make smoothies these days in order to retain the fiber content. However, juicing is how I got started on my plant-based diet and I do think it can be helpful for certain people with certain health conditions. Consult with your doctor prior to juicing or making any dietary changes. Also, do what works for you!
A Vitamix Blender is a large investment. Since we use the Vitamix so often and for so many different purposes, it was well worth the investment for us. The Vitamix is a high-speed blender that efficiently blends everything from frozen fruit to nuts and seeds. We often make smoothies, sauces, blended soups, nice cream, and pudding. We also use the Vitamix to grind flax and chia seeds and to grind up oats or millet to make flour. They have a great warranty, and when my Mom recently had issues with her Vitamix, she had a great experience with their customer service department.
Before we purchased the Instant Pot, we used a slow cooker to make chili, marinara sauce, and soups. We liked the ‘set it and forget it’ feature of the slow cooker and were excited to get a pressure cooker that would have that advantage plus much more functionality. We love to use our 6 quart Instant Pot to batch cook whole grains and beans. We also love to make soups, stews, chili, steamed potatoes, mashed potatoes, and even carrot hot dogs!
Unfortunately, our previous standard blender with food processor attachment broke when we tried to make burgers in it one day. We went without a food processor for a while and used the Vitamix in its place with mixed results. We decided to buy a larger food processor with more attachments for more versatility. To be honest, we typically use the ‘S’ blade for most things, but it’s nice to have the option to shred veggies and do more with the food processor if we want. The 11 cup works well for us since we like to make large batches of waffle or pancake batter, or bean burger or plant-based sausage patty mixture.
We thought about purchasing the Cuisinart Griddler for quite a while before we made the investment. We weren’t sure whether we would use it often enough to justify the purchase and were concerned about whether or not the non-stick would work. We’re so thrilled that we went ahead and purchased the Griddler and the waffle plates. The non-stick is truly non-stick! We use the Griddler at least once per week, but usually more often than that. We use it to cook waffles, pancakes, hash brown potatoes, tofu steaks, bean burgers, and vegan sausages.
If we had to choose, the Vitamix and Instant Pot are probably tied for our most used and most beloved kitchen appliances. We use them every couple of days at minimum. Sometimes we use them multiple times in one day depending on what we’re making!
We hope you found this post helpful. What is your favourite kitchen appliance? Do you have more than one favourite? Let us know if you think it is worth investing in an air fryer attachment for our Instant Pot or a separate air fryer.