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3 Things Every Healthy Kitchen Needs

You’ll have a lot of fun creating recipes and meals when you have these three basics in your kitchen!

woman_smile_cook_kitchen_healthy_vegetables_picIn my world as both a health coach and a healthy lifestyle TV show host, I am often asked for my view about such things as which appliance brands are best, what sweeteners I endorse, and whether or not supplements are really necessary. I explain that my answers vary based on who is asking the question. Because different people have different skill levels, lifestyles, budgets, and needs, what I recommend for one person might not be the appropriate answer for another. That said, I do have a few universal things I think no healthy kitchen should be without. These are not expensive items, and you can even buy them used, but they are—in my humble opinion—“must haves.” Although this list morphs from time to time, these are my current top three.

Glass Jars

The absolute best, cheapest, and most environmentally responsible way to store most food—whether raw ingredients or leftovers—is in glass canning jars. Get them at the hardware store or supermarket, or pick them up used at flea markets and garage sales. I use pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes for ingredients, like nuts I buy in bulk, as well as for storing leftovers. I also use the quart jars to transport my juices and smoothies between meetings during the day. Be sure to buy the wide-mouth style; they’re much easier to pour things into and to clean. Also consider a hand-held vacuum sealer that will seal the jars airtight with the press of a button, giving you a few extra hours before your juice loses its nutrition!

The Right Knife

People are always asking me about kitchen appliances, yet the single most important kitchen tool is the chef knife. Now, I have my own biases about what I look for in a knife, and there are brands I prefer, of course. But at the end of the day, your knife is such an intimate part of your food prep arsenal you have to decide for yourself which one is best for you. Do you lean toward a slim and modern style knife, or a more rough and tumble model? How much curve do you like in the blade? How much weight and what shape of bolster? For food preparation to be the pleasure it can be, the first step is to take the laboriousness out of knife work. You can spend a lot of money on a knife, but you don’t have to. Just invest in one that fits your hand and your work style and then take proper care of it.

Good Books

woman_cook_book_vegetables_healthy_picThere are literally thousands of resources for every aspect of food preparation and consumption imaginable. From books to help you eat like you care, to juice fasting books (for when you don’t care to eat at all), I think it’s beneficial to have some good reference available, especially when you’re new to the world of whole food eating. Lately, one of my favorite genres is the food “spread sheet” type of book. Unlike typical how-to recipe collections, books such as Culinary Artistry—now nearly 20-years-old—provide food and flavor pairings to help wean everyday cooks from recipe-dependency. For me they give inspiration when I want to try something different, or help me use what I already have on hand.

Yes, I do have thoughts about which high-speed blender I prefer. I have a favorite juicer. And there’s a food processor brand I like. But I also know that to really make a healthy lifestyle work within a busy life, I’ve got to have the basics in place first.

Consider this article when setting up a healthy kitchen!

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