What’s In My Kitchen

Items for a Natural and Organic Kitchen

After I wrote about what I keep in my purse, I’ve gotten several requests for a similar post about what my kitchen looks like and what appliances/health tools I keep there. Below is the list I wish I’d had before I got married so I could have put most of these items on my wedding registry.

Natural Kitchen Items

I feel that it is important to note that I cook 2-3 times a day and we don’t have or use a microwave. All of the items I have in my kitchen now are heavy duty and have multiple uses. Many of these items are pricey but we carefully budgeted for them and most have extended warranties. I should also note that because I am constantly experimenting with new recipes for the blog, I have some appliances and tools I would not have originally thought to register for.

1. Appliances/Big Items

Besides the usual refrigerator and oven/stove, I have a variety of small appliances that I use on a regular basis.

  • Vitamix: We have had a Vitamix since early in our marriage and it has been used multiple times a day for years! We use it daily for smoothies, sauces, blending coffee with healthy fats, chopping, etc. If I could only have one of the appliances on this list, I’d keep the Vitamix.
  • Food Processor (I have this one) I didn’t put this on my wedding registry because I thought “how much would I really use a machine that just chops and mixes?” Turns out, I would use it a lot. I thought it would be fun to chop everything by hand, which was true for a couple of years, but a few kids later when I often only have one hand to cook or I have a baby on my back, I don’t like using a knife and the food processor is really helpful. I also use this often for chopping items for soups, slicing cabbage for sauerkraut, pre-chopping salad items for the whole week, etc
  • Mixer (I have this one): Another one I didn’t get early on because I didn’t think we’d use it much (especially since I don’t bake much). While it is still not my most-used kitchen too, I do use it pretty often for blending things like homemade marshmallows or the dough for coconut flour biscuits, etc. Before we got this mixer, I just had the hand-mixer version and it worked really well too.
  • Dehydrator (I have this one): We went through several of the cheaper plastic type dehydrators but the Excalibur is considered the gold standard of dehydrators. Dehydrators are great for drying fruits and veggies, making beef jerky or salmon jerky, and more. My kids especially like apple chips made from dehydrated apples and strawberries. This appliance mainly gets used in the summer when there is excess produce that needs to be preserved.
  • Ice Cream Maker (I have this one): Not something I thought I would use all the time, but surprisingly we do. We do make actual ice cream recipes like this strawberry gelato, or butter pecan ice cream, but this is also just a great way to get extra healthy fats and nutrients  to my kids without a fight. I can even just blend watermelon and pour in to make a sorbet. For ice creams, I try to add coconut oil, egg yolks, and butter for good fats.
  • Crock Pot/Slow-Cooker (I have this one): This is one Item I had from the beginning. I’ve actually gone through several cheaper ones that wore out before I finally sprung for a high quality one. This particular crock-pot is also supposed to be tested to be free of lead (which is supposedly present in the crock of some slow-cookers).
  • Immersion Blender (I have this one): I use this all the time for pureeing soups in the pot, mixing batters (like almond flour pancake batter), etc
  • Berkey Water Filter (We have the crown size): Not an appliance per-se but we use this daily to filter our water for cooking, drinking, etc, as it is the best water filter option I’ve found.

2. Cookware

I cook all the time, so quality cookware was really important to me. I only use cookware that is natural/eco-friendly and also pretty easy to clean. This left only a few options, but my few versatile pieces get used all the time!

  • Ceramic skillets: (I have these) These cook evenly and are really easy to clean. The only downside is that they are breakable so I have to be careful when cleaning them. I use these especially for eggs as they don’t stick, but also for foods like stir frys or meats. [Note: Ceramcor has offered to give WM readers a 10% discount on all orders. Here are the details]
  • Cast Iron: A few good cast iron skillets can last forever. I use these for anything that has to go from stove to oven or for meats, bacon, sausage, etc. Another advantage is that trace amounts of iron are left in food to boost the body’s iron levels.
  • Enameled Cast Iron: I have a dutch oven and soup pot that are coated cast iron and use these for stove or oven roasting or cooking.
  • Large Stock Pot: I have a restaurant grade 5-gallon stock pot that I use for bone broth and for pre-cooking large batches of food.
  • Glass baking dishes– for everyday cooking and baking.
  • Steel Food Service Baking Pans (I have these) Since we try to cook in bulk when possible and since I now often have to cook large amounts even for single meals, these come in handy. I use them for roasting veggies, cooking large amounts of foods, and serving to large groups. They can also double as a roaster for large cuts of meat.

3. Kitchen Tools

Besides the bigger items like the appliances above, I have a variety of smaller kitchen items that I use all the time. I actually had a lot more of these smaller items and have weeded out single use items, especially those that took up a lot of room. The ones that made the cut and that I still have:

4. Random Items

5. Jars

I use jars for everything so they have a category of their own. We use them for storage, drinking glasses, fermenting things like beet kvass, water kefir and salsa, as well as for second ferments of kombucha. I love glass jars and have a collection of sorts in my kitchen:

6. Other Items

In addition to these kitchen items, the following unusual items can often be found on my kitchen counter:

What is in your kitchen? Are there any great kitchen tools that I’m missing out on? Do you have some of these same items? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Awesome list! And right in time- I’ll be moving in the next month and need to stock the kitchen from scratch 🙂 My sister recently invested in the Vitamix and uses it at least once daily, so I think that’s a great suggestion.

    I think buying a decent crock pot is also great for those who don’t have a lot of time to cook- just throw the ingredients together in the morning and come home a meal. I’ve been on the hunt for good crock pot recipes, if anyone knows of some!

  2. Great list 🙂 I never thought I would use an ice cream maker either, but I picked one up in a thrift store for $3.80 and have loved it. Even the expensive ice cream at the supermarket has so many nasty additives.

    I love glass jars as well, but mason jars are super-expensive in Australia, so I just reuse all the jars that come through my house. They are great for food storage, drinking glasses and fermenting.

    I would love a food dehydrator to make homemade dried fruit and jerky. One day…

  3. My husband recently discovered Hydro Flask (he bought it in 40 oz). He loves it and bought me one too…can’t say enough good things about this flask. It keeps your beverage cold (or hot) for hours even if you leave it in the car all day. I will usually fill it up in the morning, add a few ice cubes and by the end of the day, there’ll still be remnants of ice left. LOVE, LOVE it!

  4. I really enjoyed your list and might have to add a few things to my Wish List. One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is an electric kettle. I use it at least once a day or more and I like that it automatically turns off after the boil. No scorched kettles. I also love my Bosch Mixer. Back when the kids were home, I made 5 loaf batches of bread with it. Now we eat very little bread, but it’s still a favorite kitchen tool.

  5. Well, I thought i had posted and then it disappeared. I also use the following (frequently):
    Electric Pressure Cooker–I use the Cuisinart brand. It’s especially great during the summer months as it doesn’t make the kitchen hot like a crock pot. I use it multiple times per week and I make bone broth in it.
    Box Grater–It’s old school but i actually prefer it to grating in a food processor.
    Hand Mixer–I got a Breville one for a wedding gift (wasn’t even on our registry). I use it frequently for scrambled eggs, grain-free pancakes/baked goods.
    Simple Electric Citrus Juicer (not to be confused with those massive ones that people use for green drinks)–I bought a Juiceman brand one at Target for like $20. I use it to squeeze lemons/limes. It’s amazing how much more juice I can extract with it, plus it’s quick and easy to clean so I have found it to be far more usefull than those hand-held manual ones.

  6. Thanks for your list, Katie! What oil do you use to season your bamboo cutting boards? (Mine have cracked on me!)

  7. I can’t believe no one else asked this yet… how big is your kitchen/ cabinet/ storage space!?!?!? All of those items sound wonderful but in my apartment, near galley, kitchen I’m lucky to store my small crock pot, and the blender and food processor are always on the counter, taking up precious space there! Truly though, you’re blessed to stock such an awesome kitchen. I am curious as to how you store those larger items though, especially since you cook so often. Do you lug them out for each use? Or are you fortunate to have counter space to keep the most used items convenient? On a sidenote, you’re such an inspiration to me and I really appreciate the information that you give. I recommend you all the time to my family and love seeing their surprised looks when I mention information they didn’t know that i got from your site. Take care!

    • I have some counter space but not much cabinet space, so a lot of that sits out on the counter all the time. Also, since many things like the mason jars are used for everything, they don’t take up as much space…

  8. The link for the Berkey Water Filter isn’t working. Can you please fix it? I’ve been looking into getting one and am super excited to see that you use one too! 🙂

  9. GREAT list! So helpful in creating a healthy home. Does anyone have any idea where one can find affordable eco friendly kitchen chair cushions? I have looked everywhere (online, in stores…).

  10. I have a lot of the cooking appliances & untensils and such. I was wondering about the crock for fermenting. What is good about that verses just using a mason jar?

  11. I love the list, it gave me kitchen gadget envy. Some of the things I continue to hear about or see come up when looking at primal or paleo recipes especially is the use of a food processor. I’m the type that declutters regularly and really hadn’t used my food processor more than one summer since I bought it so I recently got rid of it. Would a high power blender do some of the same things a food processor does? I have a blender that does get much use and have considered purchasing a Vitamix or Blendtec. Would one of these be able to handle the same load that a food processor would?

  12. I loved the list, it has many things Im wanting like bamboo cutting boards, Vitamix, and Excalibur. However Im super surprised to see that there wasnt a juicer on the list! Is there a reason for that?

  13. I was looking at a vitamix, and it’s plastic. Don’t you put hot liquids in this if you’re blending coffee and soups? Did they used to be made with glass or something? All the ones I saw were plastic.

    • I’m a few years late with this, but Vitamix containers are made of acrylic, not plastic.
      Absolutely no BPAs. ?

  14. Hello,
    having these items in your kitchen,have you noticed any cognitive enhancement compared to the cheaper more toxic products you have used in the past,if you’ve ever even used them. Also,how’s that dehydrator? Thinking of obtaining one for fruit?
    Thanks

  15. I would replace the slow cooker with an Instant Pot pressure cooker! It has a slow cooker function so you get the best of both worlds. I loooove this thing! I get teased about how much I love it, in fact.

  16. I love the kitchen list. We aren’t quite there yet but getting close. We also have the
    Excalibur dehydrator.n Absolutely love it! We do all our own onion, garlic, tomato powders, cut cherry tomato’s in half (make a wonderful snack in place of chips), herb blends and anything else we can think of to try.

  17. Hi! I am currently doing my research on juicers, and I was curios to know the one you have in your kitchen, or which one do you recommend?. I know the best one is Norwalk, but not sure if we need such a heavy duty one… Thanks!!.

  18. I think you would love one of our client’s products: Ecojarz as much as I do. They have stainless steel and silicone lids for mason jar to-go drinks. They are in the process of making stainless steel mason rings!

  19. I have most of those items in my kitchen, I plan on getting a Vitamix one day but they are a bit expensive. I recently bought a Nutri-Bullet, its a nice addition. I have a water distiller that makes 3 gallons of water. I also keep Zeolite clay in a big glass jar to use as a agent for drawing out impurities for example: its ideal to put 1 cup in bath water for soreness and joint pain. I have bio-foot detox cleanse tub that draws again toxins via the many pores from the feet. I keep fillable capsules around when I mix herbs and add to them.

  20. I guess I’ll be adding to my amazon wish list with all this stuff. Hehe.

    Have you ever thought about doing videos for making stuff like cough drops? That way people can follow along with you.

    I feel like I’m gonna need to make a binder of recipes.. There is so much info on this site!!!

  21. Katie – I am considering making the big purchase of a Vitamix per your recommendation. If you were buying one today, would you get one with the variable speeds, the pulse control, and/or the programmed settings? How about a container for anything dry? Thanks!

    • I just have the one with variable speeds and I don’t have the dry container. Also, I haven’t gotten it yet, but I get a lot of questions about the Blendtec so I’m going to be purchasing one of those to review them side by side soon. 🙂

  22. Great list! I have been replacing my stainless steel cooking pots with enameled cast iron and seasoned cast iron. Now I don’t know what to do about steaming veggies! I don’t want to use my stainless steel one on the enameled surface (right?) and I’m not sure I trust silicone. I have heard that silicone can be a mix of plastic and silicone and is not usually pure silicone. Any thoughts? Do you use silicone in your kitchen?

  23. FYI, I recently found out that a lot of bamboo cutting boards, although sustainable, are among the worst to use because they contain a high amount of toxic glues which contain formaldehyde that can potentially contaminate your food. I’m planning on tossing mine or re-purposing for non-food uses.

  24. Hi there,

    I’m currently at a point in my life where I want to switch over to as natural and chemical free a lifestyle I can. Since I’m still a bachelor, I only own the very basics as far as kitchen supplies go, but I’m looking to trade in my dishes and cups for natural and quality items that will be safe for my family in a few years. What do you recommend? I was thinking of maybe making my own clay dishes but I doubt those would be very durable. Are just plain ceramic dishes safe? I would think the varnish would leave chemical residue in food.

  25. I find that I need storage containers for my freezer to hold flours and nuts. What do you use in the freezer? Plastic? Glass?

  26. I am looking for a dehydrator and in my reading of the reviews people said that the Excaliburs fan was too strong for herbs and it blew them all around. Have you had this problem and were you able to solve it somehow? This will be my first dehydrator and I am worried its “too much”.
    Thank you so much,
    P

  27. Why don’t you use stainless steal pots? How do you cook your eggs and acidic foods like tomato sauces or wine sauces?

    Would you suggest getting a whole set of cast iron or just a few pots?

    Thanks for your advice & love your blog! Keep it up:)

  28. Hi Katie,

    why do you use an immersion blender if you already have a Vitamix? Does the immersion blender do something that the Vitamix can’t do?

    Thank you.

    Michaël.

  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!!!! My fiancé and I, unfortunately, can’t have a wedding registry because we live so far from home and won’t be doing a big wedding, but it’s a great idea lol. We do, however, plan to save for good kitchen items and this list is phenomenal!!! Especially since I’m very “holistic” (he calls me a hippie, and wanted non-stick coated pans!) so I’ll just have to show him this 🙂

  30. Do you have recommendations for safe dinnerware? Mine are made in China ceramic from Wal-Mart bought years ago. I’d like to replace them, but can’t decide if I should go with something like Fiestaware or stainless steel or glass (worried about breakage with kids). All seem to have some downsides.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

  31. Can you recommend some good quality knives? I have hard time choosing one for my kitchen. There are the new ceramic knives and some steel knives from japan? Can you recommend knives that are sharp yet easy to use in the kitchen?

  32. This post is SO helpful — thank you! I have a question about food storage — wondering if it is OK to use quart mason jars to store dry goods rather than the glass jars with lids (only because they are much more economical). Thanks!

  33. Thank you so much for this list! I am new to making homemade body products and building my supply list. I was looking for thermometer’s and decided to search your blog! Thanks, again.

  34. Have you ever tried stoneware from The Pampered Chef? It is AMAZING! It keeps your food moist and cooks evenly. And over time it naturally becomes non-stick. I LOVE mine. And my Vitamix 😉

  35. Hi Katie! I was wondering if you use the trays that came with your Excalibur dehydrator, or if you replaced them with stainless steel trays? I’m confused about which plastic is safe. I know you try to avoid plastic when possible, so if you use this product, I trust it will be safe for me and my family as well.

  36. Do you cut meat on your bamboo boards or on plastic? And if yes, then which studies did you rely on to make your decision?

  37. Hi Katie!

    I’ve been reading Wellness Mama for months and have been trying to make changes for a healthier lifestyle! I’ve just started to take a closer look at what is in my kitchen. I also have and love my Corelle dinnerware, but I’ve become very confused about the safety as it relates to lead – so if by chance you see this comment, I’d love to get information on how you made the choice to use (and stick with) Corelle!

    The World Kitchen FAQ site (http://www.worldkitchen.com/en/faqs-corelle.html#q2) includes the question about lead; this is what they posted in answer:

    “All Corelle® stoneware products and glazes are made of clay-based materials and glazes used throughout the industry. Decorations, if present, are made from low-lead enamels and fired at temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees F, which binds any heavy metals both physically and chemically so that their release is minimized.

    The current limit for presence of leachable lead in order to satisfy certain requirements is no more than 0.100 ppm (1 tenth of one part per million) when obtained under test conditions. At no time have World Kitchens results exceeded levels permissible under the guidelines mentioned above (which are believed to be the most stringent in the world).

    Tests for the presence of heavy metals are conducted for World Kitchen by internationally certified, third-party laboratories under strict conditions, by trained technicians, and using atomic absorption spectrophotometry analysis following carefully monitored preparation. These steps are necessary to minimize any possibility of contamination or false reading during preparation, testing or analysis.”

    Part of my confusion stems from the fact that this appears to be a comment limited to stoneware (it certainly could be clearer).

    From the same FAQ page linked above: “The glass lamination process used for Corelle® ware is ideal for making plates and bowls, but it unfortunately does not work well for cup or mug shapes. That’s why we offer stoneware mugs with every Corelle® dinnerware set.”

    I’m not sure if you’ll see this, but either way – thanks for all of the personal research you’ve shared!

  38. I just received a set of the OceanStar bamboo cooking utensils for Christmas! Thank you for the suggestion. I’m wondering how you care for your wooden kitchen utensils. Specifically, what did you do as soon as you got them to clean off factory debris? I’m considering washing them in the dishwasher (I use a homemade soap nut detergent) or soaking them in the sink (also with soap nuts). And as for long-term care, do you coat them regularly with an organic oil? Any other information will be appreciated.

    Many thanks and happy holidays!

  39. Hi!! I’m wondering about the cloth napkins you use.. It says they are polyester… But I’ve heard polyester is fake fabric and not good to use. Is it ok to use Otis cotton better?

  40. Hi!

    This is a great list that I have used extensively in updating my kitchen. The one thing I haven’t been able to find much information on is non-toxic dinnerware (e.g. plates and bowls). I’ve read that clear glass is best, but I’m not sure if that is true and I’m not a fan of how it looks. I saw you recommended the Corelle brand. What criteria did you use to choose them or are there other brands you also recommend? Thanks so much!

  41. I love your blog and all the tips you share. Thanks for this list of kitchen items. I am looking to buy a dehydrator, so I wanted to find out what you use. I have heard that Excalibur makes excellent dehydrators. I am just trying to decide if a stainless steel one is worth the extra money. Do you worry about dehydrating on plastic? I also wonder if stainless steel is ok for drying acidic fruits and vegetables? Do you have any info or thoughts on this?

      • I bought a used Excalibur stainless steel dehydrator, and I love it. I still worry about dehydrating acidic foods on stainless steel, so I use silicone tray liners during the first couple of hours when dehydrating tomatoes or citrus fruits, until the top is mostly dry. Then I flip them over to finish drying on the stainless steel racks, and it seems to work well.

  42. I’m looking for a REAL stainless steel idli steamer (for making Indian dumplings of lightly fermented lentils and brown rice) – they’re delicious and offer good quality protein, but I’ve searched for an idli steamer that won’t stain the food. (They’re called stainless steel, but I’ve never found one that truly is.) They look like this: http://amzn.to/1T0DjcN

  43. Hi Katie, I see the baking sheets you use but what do you use for muffin tins? I want to get rid of my non-stick.

    Thanks!

  44. Wellness Mama, I am usually very satisfied with the things you recommend and trust your opinion. However I ordered the cermacor skillet and I have never felt so cheated. We saved for this skillet, and the second time I used it the handle broke and they won’t replace it. I understand they probably gave you free things for recommending them, but please do not recommend a company that makes extremely cheap things, for an expensive price tag like that. My husband is livid that he let me buy this skillet that was almost $150, for it to last two uses! I checked out amazon and it has 2 total stars. I will now be double checking your recommendations with amazon; you’ve lost my trust wellness mama.

    • Hi Kim, I am so sorry for your poor experience with them and I’ve emailed them to ask why they won’t replace it. I’ve always had a good experience with their products (though I did break one myself when I dropped it one time). I can absolutely understand why you are upset and feel it is poor quality based on your experience and will let you know what I hear from the company. That being said, even though I’ve never had a bad experience with their products, if they won’t replace the skillet, I’d like to personally send you a refund as you bought it on my recommendation…. please email me and I will also share what I get from the company as well.

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