People! We don't need tons of stuff. It clutters our kitchens and makes cooking complicated. I like a sparsely outfitted kitchen with plenty of space to move around in. I want to open drawers that are half empty and 100% organized.
This is the secret to kitchen success, and it makes cooking easy, fast, and fun! Below are my favorite kitchen tools, all multi-purpose, if they land a coveted spot in my line-up. You don't need more than this.
Fun fact? I've never owned a toaster. I set up my first toasterless home over 30 years ago. Each subsequent place has been the same. Why? Toasters take up space, contributing to a cluttered kitchen. More important, a toaster is a scary hiding places for crumbs of gluten. One piece of bread makes a danger zone for me and my older son who also has Celiac Disease. Finally, toasters are expensive, instead I use a cast iron skillet.
True confession! I haven't ever owned a stand mixer. Where do people keep those things? It's like an aircraft carrier in the kitchen. My favorite kitchen appliance, an all time multi-tasker, and WAY cheaper, is a food processor. I use it to mix cookie dough, and cake batter, latkes, coleslaw, pesto, and much more. My immersion blender is stowed away in a drawer for when I want to make whipped cream.
Guys, if stand mixers are an expensive way to clutter your kitchen, then skipping out on a dehydrator is a no-brainer. Use the oven with the light on and the temperature off. Dehydrating is like placing something in the sun, you want it to get crisp and dry out. Your oven does a dang good job of this. Mine has worked for this since I started seriously cooking during my Ayurveda and Yoga Teacher's Training back in 1993.
While we're on the topic of coffee, let's talk about coffee grinders. They're very cute…little Vitamixes. Anything a coffee grinder can do, a Vitamix can do better. And the Vitamix does far more than grind coffee!
Glass mason jars are perfect for making coffee, storing food, and pencils, and flowers, and everything else you can think of. Glass doesn't leach like plastic and is far safer when it comes into contact with food. But enough of that, to learn more about the benefits of using glass check out my article called, Why Glass?
While I do keep paper towels in my kitchen they're hidden away. Instead I keep reusable kitchen towels in easy reach. If something breaks or is messy to clean up I'll use paper towels, but for everyday wiping up the counter? Kitchen towels. I ran an environmental consulting company in the early 1990s and conservation is near and dear to my heart. I started using kitchen towels and hiding the paper towels a few decades ago. Reusable kitchen towels are a win-win for the environment and your pocket book.
We are spending money to throw things away. It's that simple. I've been making my own non-toxic cleaning sprays in the same plastic bottles for decades in order to avoid buying and throwing away single use plastic bottles. I also don't want to bring toxic scented products like Windex into my home. If you don't want to make your own cleaning products, use Branch Basics to save plastic and money!!!
The other day a friend walked in the house. I asked if she had been burning a scented candle. No, her clothes were “fresh” from dryer sheets. Unfortunately, with a compromised blood brain barrier things literally smell fifty times stronger to me than the average human. Some days this is torture. But I digress. Protect your sense of smell, reduce waste, and save money with these reusable wool dryer balls.
The holidays are a great time to clean out the clutter and giveaway what you don't use. Instead of buying a friend more stuff, give someone the gift of your time. You can bake together, organize together, do something fun! Offer to support a friend with an activity that will be a bonding experience to make their life easier. Right now is the time to buy less and give more.