One of the most effective and most important things you can do to eat healthier and lose weight is to simply cook at home. Cooking at home has so many amazing benefits; you get to control the quantities of all the ingredients, you know exactly what’s in your food (and more importantly what’s not, it’s easier on the budget and it often brings out more family time around the table. But if you’re not used to cooking at home, you may be unsure what kitchen tools you really need. Here are our top 15 kitchen items that will take you from novice to chef in no time.
1. Lemon Squeezer | $6.95
We love our lemon water! It’s a great way to hydrate and detoxify in the morning before you start your day or throughout the day for a more interesting drink than water. But who wants seeds floating around in their drink? That’s why we love this lemon squeezer: all the juice, none of the seeds.
2. Old Fashioned Garlic Press | $9.99
Mincing garlic with a knife is a pain, which is why a garlic press has saved us so much time in our cooking! And it doesn’t need to be fancy. This $10 one works great!
Silicone muffin molds are the easiest way to get creative in the kitchen! The flexible mold saves a lot of time. You don’t have to grease a tin, use liners or messily scoop the muffins out after they’re done. We love this muffin mold for your standard muffins, brownie muffins, egg muffins and so much more!
4. Microplane Zester/Grater | $12.89
This Microplane zester gets the job done fast. It’s long and narrow so you can hold it at an angle and keep your knuckles away from the blade. You can also finely grate parmesan or other hard cheeses with this!
5. Oxo Cookie Dough Scoop | $13.95
While this may seem like a silly invention, this scooper has saved us so much time creating perfectly even cookies, dropping dough into muffin tins or creating small ice cream scoops! It’s so easy and it’s great to hand over to a kid for a fun job in the kitchen!
6. Hamilton Beach Food Processor | $26.34
This food processor packs a punch. We were at first skeptical at the low price tag, but it grinds up food just as well as a higher end food processor does. However, if you want the different blades and gadgets to attach to it then we love the Magimix food processor!
7. Cuisinart Hand Blender | $26.99
From emulsifying soups right in the pot, creating a creamy hollandaise sauce or simply blending a smoothie right into your cup, this gadget works wonders. Our favorite use is emulsifying homemade dressings so that they’re fully blended and creamy!
8. Ozeri Stone Earth Nonstick Pans | $25.95-38.95
We get it. You see the word “nonstick” and you immediately wrinkle your nose. We did too, until we stumbled upon the Ozeri pans, which use an eco-friendly natural stone coating from Germany that is free of PFOA and achieves a non-stick, easy to wash surface! We use these pans daily.
9. Spiralizer | $29.99
This spiralizer is a dream tool and, despite its low price tag and plastic structure, has lasted us years. This is a great tool to create interesting vegetable dishes, and especially to make vegetables fun for kids to eat! We love using this to create curly sweet potato fries and zucchini noodles!
10. High Quality Chef’s Knife | $49.99
Even one high-quality knife will greatly improve your cooking. A sharp knife will cut with precision and less force, which is not only safer but also better on the food—especially delicates like herbs and tomatoes!
11. Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker | $51.34
Okay, honesty here. There’s no practical purpose for this other than that it’s extremely fun and allows you to create homemade, healthier ice creams—especially if you’re dairy free! You can get really creative and blow people away with this gadget!
12. Large Bamboo Cutting Board | Beginning at $54.47
A massive cutting board is a must in our eyes. Not only does it contain the mess to one spot, but it makes cooking faster and easier. There is always a safe, clean, large surface ready to use. Check out our favorite way to clean it using natural products only!
13. Vitamix | Beginning at $449.95
While the BlendTec and the Ninja are also great blenders, we are partial to the Vitamix, especially if you want to sneak greens into your smoothies. We’ve thrown a lot of surprises at our Vitamixes and they has never failed to mix everything together with perfection.
14. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer | $299.00
While the price tag hurts a bit, some of us have had our Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers for over twenty years and they still run like new! There’s just no better, easier way to fully incorporate dough without over-mixing or whip egg whites or marshmallow fluff! However, if this is not in the budget, in some cases using a food processor proves just as effective as stand mixer for incorporating ingredients, especially with gluten-free doughs!
15. Nespresso Machine | Beginning at $220.24
There may be a few coffee snobs on the GHU team so it says a lot that Nespresso pods are among our favorite espressos. Some of us make ourselves lattes every morning with homemade almond milk. You won’t miss Starbucks with this, truly!