Surely everyone needs different things in their kitchen, yet there are 7 items that we, as lovers of cooking healthy plant based meals, definitely can't live without.
We are both lucky enough to have been brought up in families with a passion for good, healthy food and a certain attention towards cooking and eating. My dad being a chef and Mirkas dad being as good as a chef, but just for the family and friends, gave us plenty of reasons to want to learn how to cook and develop enough skills to be able to come up with funky, delicious and healthy recipes for ourselves.
Turning vegan was such an interesting journey for me as I had to relearn how to cook without the "safety" of having some meat or fish as the centrepiece of any meal. It's not hard to be vegan or cook vegan food but it does take some extra effort if you want to stay healthy and on top of your game for years after quitting meat and fish.
Throughout the last 8 years of being and cooking healthy and vegan, I've found some items that make my life so much easier, some that we use almost every single time we cook and some that we just love to have by our side even if they're not that useful.
Here we share with you 7 things that make our lives easier. You can definitely do without them, but having them will make healthy, plant-based cooking, a piece of (vegan) cake!
1. Magimix 3200XL
I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that this masterpiece of machinery is by far the best money we've ever spent. Not only it makes your cooking life, like 1000 times easier, but it also looks good and it's built to last a lifetime, or even more. True story: We stayed in an apartment once that had a Magimix in the kitchen which was over 20 years old and it worked as a charm. We made kilos of peanut butter with it and it didn't stall once.
2. Wüsthof Classic Chef's Knife
Now this might seem like a pretty obvious thing to have in a kitchen but the difference a good knife makes to a cheap, unsharpened knife can literally change your life and also save your fingers. It doesn't have to be a very expensive knife but if you don't own one already I highly recommend investing in a classic chefs knife that you can use all the time. If you have a local knife store I suggest going in and just handling one or two before buying one as the weight and handle of each knife plays a much more important role than you may think, especially if you use it a lot, like we do.
3. High Speed Blender
Whether it's smoothies, velouté soups, dressings or sauces, having a good quality high speed blender can mean the world in getting the perfect, smooth consistency. We absolutely love smoothies so we use our blender almost every day and we most certainly can't live without it.
4. Almond Flour & Oats
From pancakes, to cakes, to overnight oats and smoothie bowls, almond flour and oats are any vegan's best friends. Gluten intolerant or not, plain white flour is not that good for anyone. There are tons of options in flours out there that not only taste better but are also much better for your health. You can also check out tapioca starch, rice or carob flour.
5. Oat Milk
Whether you make it yourself or buy it in a store, oat milk is by far the best plant-based milk in terms of environmental impact and almost as good as any other nut-milk in terms of taste. We use this for almost all our smoothies, we add it in our creamy chai lattes and we also use it for desserts.
6. Maple Syrup and/or Dates
We're not fans of sugar in general and we generally avoid white and brown sugar at all costs, but if you love desserts as much as we do then you have to figure out what's best to use instead. For almost all of our desserts we use maple syrup as the main sweetener as it seems to be the healthier of options out there, unless of course you can make use of dates and avoid sugar all together.
7. Plant Based Protein
I feel like I've spent weeks, possibly even months researching the best vegan protein powders in order to find the one that ticks all the boxes. Minimum sugars, high protein content, high content of healthy, essential amino acids and good flavour so that you can drink it by itself. My top recommendations are these 2:
VEGA ONE Sport
Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest