I think the hardest part of going vegan was just being completely unprepared. I struggled a lot at the start and I made it harder than it had to be, and I know a lot of people have done the same. Looking back now, there are a million things I would do differently, and getting my kitchen set up with gadgets and tools that I need would be my first priority.
I’m not saying you should go out and buy every single one of these products, but I am saying that having a few of these lying around in your kitchen is going to make your vegan journey a hell of a lot easier, because it has done for me. And if you’re low on money, then out of all of these products, I would 100% recommend buying a blender. I can’t express enough how many basic vegan recipes require a blender, and it opens up a world of options.
Now I’m going to be honest with you, my biggest struggle so far this year has been to eat a healthy whole-food plant-based diet. 2018 really put veganism onto the map, and were only 3 months into 2019 and the vegan trend is not slowing down any time soon. There are so many new vegan alternatives out there today, and although I am so grateful that big companies and big supermarkets have began creating vegan products, I’ve started to become too reliant on those easy go-to products.
I’m going to finally hold my hands up and say that I am slowly becoming a junk food vegan and I utterly hate it. I’ve got into this kind of mind frame that I am “treating myself” because I finally have all these tasty new foods I can suddenly eat again. But after inhaling a whole pot of the new Hellman’s vegan mayo in a few days, I think I’ve gone overboard… and I’m sure some of you guys can relate to the #veganstruggle.
So today I’m going to sit down and spend the whole day meal planning so that I know exactly what I’m going to cook for the new few weeks on my whole-food plant-based diet and lose some of this junk food vegan weight. And yes, I’ll be using all of my favourite gadgets to make some yummy & plant-based meals. I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes, but for now, here’s my guide to the kitchen essentials you need to make healthy vegan recipes.
I am always raving about my Breville Blender because not only is it one of the cheapest blenders on the market, but it’s so handy and I use mine nearly everyday. At first I thought it was only going to be able to handle a few smoothies, but honestly, this bad boy will blend next to anything. It even blends medjool dates & cashew nuts, which most recipes recommend a high speed blender. It’s also a good blender to have if you are lazy like me and don’t want to do loads of washing up after because you can blend whatever you want, and take it away in the same bottle because of the detachable blade.
Organising your cupboard/pantry ready for your new vegan essentials is going to be so much easier with stackable glass jars. Not only does it keep everything fresh, but a lot of vegan baking products come in packaging that easily leaks from the packet once you’ve opened it. So far in my jars I have ingredients like corn starch, desiccated coconut & black salt. Plus, when your cupboards look more organised it makes everything so much easier when you’re whipping up a new vegan recipe.
These are pretty good value for money, especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your kitchen. But if you’re looking for a cheaper option, then start collecting your own jars from the food you buy anyway. A good example is gherkins, as a big jar is £1, and you get all the gherkins plus the jar for storage once you’ve demolished them all.
Okay so you know earlier I said that I’m going to be eating more plant-based and less junk food vegan? Well I will be using a lot of these containers to do that. A lot of the preparation for eating as healthy and plant-based as possible requires a little bit of meal prep, just so that you’re not spending hours in the kitchen everyday when you can easily make a big batch of something for the whole week.
My favourite recipes to prepare for the week are things like my vegan egg yolk made with sweet potato & a filling soup like carrot & coriander or butternut squash & coconut milk. Or alternatively, you can just use the containers for your fresh fruit & veg, it’s up to you!
Spiralizers are great for adding more veg to your meals. And let’s be honest, they make your buddha bowls look more appetising & pretty cool. With a spiralizer the possibilities are endless, with healthy sweet potato curly fries, Greek salad with spiralized cucumber, butternut squash noodles & loads more.
I’ve got to be honest, I don’t use mine a lot, so this is definitely either a fun present idea or a luxury gadget.
If you have a small or medium size kitchen, then you’re more than likely going to want to save space with large gadgets like blenders and food processors. Which is why it’s quite convenient to buy a 2 in 1. This food processor/blender comes with a 1.4 Litre Blending Jug and 1.5 Litre Food Processor Bowl, which means you can easily swap and change depending on the recipe.
Whether you want to make some vegan breakfast muffins, or test out your vegan Yorkshire pudding recipe for Sunday lunch, you are going to need a muffin pan. They’re super cheap and definitely a must have if you love to bake!
If you’re interested in limiting your waste and saving the planet one meal at a time, then get your hands on some silicone baking mats. It saves you wasting your money on foil and limits the amount of waste you produce. Plus they’re cheap as chips and last ages! These are perfect for quick meals because you can chop up a variety of veg, shove them on your baking mat in the oven for 20 minutes and make yourself a nutritious lunch bowl.
Pressure cookers/instant pots are just perfect for people on the go because you don’t have to do any of the cooking yourself. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my favourite vegan recipes you can easily whip up in your pressure cooker:
The possibilities are endless with this cast iron casserole dish. I tend to use mine for a cheesy vegan bake using my homemade cheese sauce, jackfruit enchilladas or I use it to make a lasagne. Either way, it’s a must have for the kitchen and you can definitely use this to make one big meal for the whole family.
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