To cook real food daily, you’re going to need a few key items. Here are my top ten kitchen essentials for a traditional foods kitchen.
Y’all know I am a lover of real food. Give me all the fresh herbs, grass-fed beef, fermented veggies and raw dairy. The quartz countertops in this old farmhouse kitchen never look complete without a bubbly bowl of sourdough, a day old mason jar of milk with the whey separating, and veggies fermenting in the corner.
Some of the tasks of a traditional foods kitchen can sound daunting, but with the right routine and the right tools they just become second nature. Today I want to share those tools, that make these tasks flow smoothly, here in our home.
These essentials are work horses, that perform many different functions. They are durable and long lasting. I try desperately to avoid the unitasker in my kitchen. I like pieces that make my life easier, and are made with materials that will stand the test of time.
I’m going to leave out the really obvious things like silverware and knives. I also want to point out that there are other things that we definitely enjoy in our kitchen, like our ice cream maker, french press, coffee grinder, tortilla press and pizza stone, but I wanted to just include the essentials in this post. Arguably the coffee accessories are essential. 😉
My Top Ten Kitchen Essentials for a Traditional Foods Kitchen Video
My Top Ten Kitchen Essentials for a Traditional Foods Kitchen
1. Mason Jars
Oh the humble, lowly mason jar. Adored by many for its rugged simplicity, the mason jar serves so many purposes in our real food kitchen. I kid you not, I have seven different shapes and sizes of mason jars gracing my cabinet shelves. Wide mouth pint jars for drinking, the half gallon size for fermenting, half pint size for vanilla making and whipped body butter…the list goes on. My traditional food kitchen wouldn’t survive one day without mason jars.
I like that they are made of glass, not plastic, and the wide mouth are so easy to clean.
Oh and did I mention the interchangeable accessories? I have Mason Top fermenting lids and Ball Sip and Straw Lids that fit the wide mouth jars. The standard jars also fit directly into my blender base.
They are multifunctional and interchangeable.
For daily kefir smoothies, our blender is a staple in the kitchen. I have this cheap Oster Blender. It has served me well for many years, despite the small price tag. I like that it is made of glass. A lot of the more expensive brands are plastic. I also like that my mason jars can fit directly into the base, which is perfect for whipping up a quick dressing or smoothie.
3. Food Processor
If you’re going to be making sauerkraut on the regular, a food processor is a must. When I logged into Amazon to find the link for the exact one I have, Amazon popped up the order notification that said ” You purchased this item on December 13, 2011.” So there you have it, six years and going strong. The Hamilton Beach 14-Cup Food Processor. This bad boy has been ‘krauting since 2011.
I also use it to chop nuts for my grain free granola.
4. Instant Pot
This is relatively new to my kitchen, but has quickly become an essential. It has the ability to cook quickly under pressure, as well as slow cook. It also functions as a yogurt maker and works beautifully for gut healthy bone broth. I prefer it to a crock pot because it can do so much more, and for the stainless steel insert. I have read questionable things about lead in other slow cooker inserts. It may take up precious countertop real estate, but it definitely earns its keep.
I have the 6 Quart 9-in-1 Multi Use Instant Pot.
5. Stainless Steel Cookware
My husband’s grandma bought us a nice set of stainless steel cookware for our wedding shower over ten years ago. I use it to steam veggies, simmer soups and cook up quinoa. At this point it is hardly worse for wear, which is exactly what I want in my kitchen. Even if it costs a little extra, I go for quality every time. There is no room for junk in this 1200 square foot home. I imagine our set of stainless steel cookware will last us a lifetime.
6. Cast Iron
I talked about this extensively in a recent post. I looooove cast iron. My skillets live on my stovetop, and never see the back of the cupboard doors. Why lug them out three times a day? I use them for everything from over easy fried eggs in the morning to sautéed veggies and meat at night. We even use them to roast green coffee beans, and make sourdough English muffins. They are perfectly nonstick and oh so versatile. If you’re new to cast iron and want to know how to season them , cook in them and clean them, check out this post.
7. Berkey Water Filter
Clean water is essential to the health of your body and your ferments. Chlorine can kill the good bacteria in fermented vegetables and sourdough. Who knows what it can do to your body?! I have been using a Berkey water filter for seven+ years now. After a lot of research on water filters, I decided on this one. It filters out the most dangerous chemicals for the best price per gallon.
I have the Royal size Stainless Steel Berkey Water Filter and the optional fluoride and arsenic filters.
Berkey is currently running a bundle sale! You can find that HERE.
8. Glass Storage
Essential when you have no microwave, glass storage containers are excellent for reheating food. Every couple of days we have a leftover feast. I just put the glass containers they’re stored in, straight from the fridge to the oven, to warm them up.
I try to keep plastic far from our food.
9. Bosch Mixer
I don’t use my Bosch mixer daily, but for sourdough bread making its a game changer. It has dough hooks that knead the bread for you. I prefer it to the Kitchen Aid for its large capacity. Up to fourteen loaves of bread at once? Heck yes!
I have this Bosch Mixer.
10. Corelle Plates and bowls
I hesitated to share this one, because, you know, its just plates. But, since I’m a huge fan I figured you could benefit from knowing about them. I use Corelle plates and bowls for everyone in my family, including the kids. Since plastic leaches into food, especially when its hot, I just can’t see giving my kids piping hot bone broth soup in plastic bowls. These are far superior, in my book, to ceramic dishes, because they are nearly shatter proof. My toddler can drop it from his high chair onto the hardwood floor (and often has) and it doesn’t even break. I also like that they are super thin, so they don’t take up much space in the cabinets.
Shop my Top 10 Kitchen Essentials
Stainless Steel Berkey Water Filter (We have the Royal.)
Shop the Mason Jar Lid Accessories
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What do you think? What would you add to this list?
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