Since going paleo; we’ve definitely been doing a lot more cooking around this house. I’m not a chef by any stretch of the imagination but sometimes I sit down to a dinner and think, “Dang! This is awesome!” Eating non-processed foods three times a day has pretty much forced me to learn how to cook. I did a sort of quasi-paleo last year before my wedding but never cooked a single recipe. It was a lot of baked chicken and steamed veggies. That gets old fast. You can only eat crappy “diet” food for so long till you break and give in to the daily donuts at work or the Taco Bell run on the weekends. Your body craves things that taste good! I 100% believe that the reason that paleo works so well for so many folks is that the food you are encouraged to eat (i.e. REAL food) is freakin’ delicious! So…get yourself a good paleo cookbook and actually cook good tasting food. If you can read and follow basic directions, you can cook great paleo meals! One thing that I do feel helped me sort of learn how to cook was hours spent watching the Food Network. They don’t always cook the healthiest foods but they do a great job of showing you various cooking techniques and how to use certain kitchen tools. Also YouTube has a bazillion videos on how to cook stuff. If you don’t know how…YouTube it!
As far as kitchen tools go, there are several tools (not many) that I do recommend you obtain. Now don’t go out and buy them all at once, but try to get one here and there. Build your paleo kitchen over time so that you don’t lose your kids college fund or your sanity. I find that putting them on your birthday/Christmas list is also a good technique. But, if you have a knife, a pan and a cutting board you can pretty much do anything in the kitchen. The other tools and gadgets just make tasks easier and maybe a bit more fun. But not necessary! Don’t wait to start cooking just because you don’t have ALL of the tools you think you need. Just start!
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the tools in my kitchen. I am always curious to see what other folks have in their kitchen so maybe this will be interesting for y’all. Maybe not. I promise that these are tools that I firmly believe are useful in the kitchen. Some of these tools I use every day. Most are not expensive or hard to find.
I’m not going to like blow your mind with my kitchen tools because cooking real food doesn’t really require anything too fancy. I’m just sharing what I use. I’m also not a gadget collector so keep in mind the fact that I don’t actually have a ton of kitchen tools to begin with. I hate clutter and hate having stuff take up space in my house and in my mind. Stresses me out. Ok…let’s get on with it shall we!?
My Paleo Kitchen Tools – Part 1 of ???
1. Battery Powered Salt & Pepper Grinders.
YES…totally unnecessary, but now that I have them I don’t know how I ever lived without them. I sometimes say that about my husband too. I love them both dearly. I bought mine from Bed, Bath & Beyond but this set from Amazon looks like it would do the trick.
Why are these so awesome? Well, when you’re cooking in the kitchen and have meat juice all over your hands you can easily grab one of these with the clean hand and douse your dish with salt or pepper. Fresh ground salt and pepper really does taste so much better and you have more options with the salts and peppercorns. We used to use a wooden set that you had to hold with both hands and grind. Meat juice got all up in that. Not good. I recommend using Himalayan Pink sea salt in this…it’s uber healthy! Don’t subject yourself to plain old salt and pepper anymore. You can do better!
Think of this like a really tiny cheese grater. Only you don’t grate cheese because you’re paleo and you know the detriments that processed dairy can have on your gut. Anyway…it’s like that. I have seen this used to grate fresh nutmegs into a dish. I haven’t done that yet. I use this to grate ginger (keep it frozen-lasts longer and easier to grate) and also to zest lemons. This is WAY easier than using those little zester tools and it creates a really fine zest. Plus I like having tools that can serve several purposes. Just run whatever your grating over the rough surface-watch your fingers. I love this little thing! Ginger is called for in a lot of recipes and this makes grating it so easy. I’m sure I’ll find other uses for this as my culinary world expands. Love it!
3. Cutting Boards
I know…snooze fest! But I use these cutting boards ALL the time. I recommend getting yourself a couple of nice cutting boards. We’ve got these two smaller ones and then a really big one that we use for cutting up deer and other dead things. I use these two smaller ones every day. The small light colored one is especially handy. It’s small, light weight and easy to handle. I usually reach for that one. I think it’s made out of bamboo. The darker one is some sort of fancy wood. My sunglasses are there to give you an idea about size. Search around and find one you like. This set on Amazon looks good and gives you a few handy sizes: Core Bamboo Cutting Board Set
If you can, stay away from the plastic cutting boards. They get all cut up and may start flaking. I’ve seen some bad plastic cutting boards in my day and they scare the bisphenol-A right outta me! I’m trying to keep as much plastic out of the house as possible and I especially don’t want tiny pieces of it in my food because of a plastic cutting board. Plus the wooden ones are so pretty that I can leave them out if I want. Also, do NOT put your wooden/bamboo/natural material cutting boards in the dishwasher. The same goes for your wooden utensils. Wood soaks up water and it breaks the bond in the wood causing splits and cracks where bacteria can have a hot tub party. Eww! I’d also recommend treating your cutting boards with mineral oil on a regular basis. It helps condition the wood and makes it more resistant bacteria. You can also designate a particular cutting board for meat only. I don’t usually bother with that. I just wash the surface with a quick soap between uses and try not to get meat juice on my veggies.
4. Apple Corer
Yes…another life changing tool. Not really, but it’s a freakin’ life saver when it comes to making apple chips! Firmly hold the apple and push the corer down from the top. It will take out the seeds and crunchy stuff you don’t want to eat. This is totally not necessary, but without this tool, I’m not sure that task would be possible to complete. We make apple chips in our dehydrator but you can also make them in your oven! There’s a recipe or two on my Pinterest page. You could just cut the apple in half and remove the core, but eating a whole slice of apple is fun! This is a super inexpensive tool that has been used several times at my house. Anyone know what else I could use this for? Here’s one from Amazon: OXO Good Grips Corer
So there ya have it. Four of my favorite kitchen tools. What do you think? Any tools in your house that you use everyday? Any taking up dust that you just don’t need? Clear out the useless and make room for the useful!
I will share more with you next week!
Have an awesome-healthy day y’all!