10 Kitchen Essentials For Vegan Cooking

Image 10-2-13 at 9.39 PMAs I was preparing dinner last night, I was thinking about how invaluable many of my kitchen tools are for my vegan lifestyle. There are quite a few which I have been using “day in and day out” for many years, and I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of my favorites with you. You never know, you may want to add one or more of these items to your own plant-based kitchen.


1. A Great Vegetable Knife

61gw9gh8yaL._SL1500_Owning a great vegetable knife is key to preparing plant-based meals at home for obvious reasons (including the safety of your fingers). I like the style and shape of the knife shown in the photo above, but you can choose any vegetable knife which you are comfortable using. I have two favorite vegetable knives: one from a brand called Cutco, and the other from the Samurai company, NHS. My NHS knife looks exactly like the knife shown in the photo above, and I often refer to it as my “Samurai sword.”

2. A Garlic Mincer

13665421Everyone needs a garlic mincer, don’t they? So many recipes call for minced garlic and I can’t imagine living without one of these gadgets.

3. A Vegetable Scrub Brush

Image 10-2-13 at 3.12 PMI don’t peel as many fruits and vegetables as I used to because I keep reading that many skins are nutrient dense. I always keep a few vegetable scrub brushes in my kitchen for the best possible cleaning of my produce. They’ll come in extremely handy this Fall with all the seasonal root vegetables I’ll be buying and preparing. As you can see from the photos above, there are many varieties of vegetable brushes, so it’s just a matter of preference as to which one you choose to buy.

4. A Vegetable Steamer Basket

Image 10-2-13 at 3.15 PMEveryone should have some type of steamer basket in their kitchen so that simple meals could be made in a snap. Why does every meal have to be complicated? Sometimes there’s nothing better than some simple steamed vegetables with a side of brown rice or quinoa (my old standbys).

5. A Rice Cooker

41B0sSfI7nL._SL190_CR0,0,190,246_A rice cooker is a great appliance to have for many reasons. First of all, it makes the perfect rice. Secondly, you can use it to cook other grains such as quinoa or bulgar. Thirdly, it is one less item sitting on the stove top when you are preparing many foods at once. I use the Aroma rice cooker shown in the photo above, although I’m sure that there are many other excellent brands. Mine has a steamer basket too, and is extremely easy to clean. I highly recommend that you consider purchasing one if you eat a lot of rice and grains.

6. A Sturdy Fruit & Vegetable Peeler

255457The fruit & vegetable peeler shown in the above photo is the style I recommend because it is stable enough to use when peeling squash. And who wants to shy away from cooking with delicious squash simply because peeling it is too much trouble?

7. A High Powered Blender

5200-standard-modular-packageA high-powered blender is an expensive item, I know. I have a Vitamix, but there are other great brands such as the Ninja and the Blendtech. I love my Vitamix for making smoothies and simple soups, as well as homemade vegan desserts like my favorite Peanut Butter Banana Frozen Dessert. If you could afford to splurge on one, please know that it’s great for an instant “smoothie” meal with “no fuss and no muss.”

8. A Tofu Press

box_product-300x287I make a lot of meals using tofu, and I got tired of pressing my tofu between a stack of books with a water-filled teapot on top. Yes, I know! That was a ridiculous way to press my tofu. I finally splurged and bought a Tofu Xpress Gourmet Food Press, and it was worth every penny. Click here to read my Tofu Xpress Gourmet Food Press review.

9. A Heavy Pot For Cooking Beans

41cnEYb-GxL._SL190_SY246_CR0,0,190,246_In my opinion, freshly cooked beans taste much better than beans out of a can. A heavy pot is essential for properly cooking beans, and there are so many varieties to choose from. I love my enameled cast iron round dutch oven from Le Creuset, although there are much less expensive brands. Also note that Dr. Neal Barnard recently stated on the Dr. Oz Show, that stainless steel is always the best option for cooking to help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. So a stainless steel pot would be a good (if not better) option too for cooking your beans.

10. A Large Skillet

PRO-964296_Default_1_200x200You should have at least one large skillet to accommodate various cooking methods such as sautéeing and stir-frying. Once again, stainless steel would be an excellent option according to Dr. Barnard, although many people love to cook with properly cured cast iron or enamel-coated cast iron skillets. I love my All-Clad triple-ply stainless steel skillets, although there are many other good brands. Even Costco has a great set of triple-ply stainless steel cookery which may be worth checking out.

There you have it…my 10 essential kitchen items which I use every day. Please note that if you are serious about doing a lot of cooking, there are many other items you may want to consider purchasing. These would include a juicer, a dehydrator, a pressure cooker, an immersion blender, and a spiral slicer. These kitchen items would also come in quite handy for making raw vegan foods too.

Anyway, I hope I gave you some ideas to stock your own plant-based kitchen. I would love to hear about some of your favorite kitchen items, so feel free to share in the comments’ section below.





  1. After reading this, I feel so ill-equipped! I am running out to get the Tofu Press, the rice cooker and the vegetable cutting knife. I’m sure I won’t believe how much easier it is to be vegan after I start using them! 🙂

  2. I find a pressure cooker to be indispensible. It cooks dried beans without soaking overnight in 18-25 minutes and a large artichichoke cut in half in 9 minutes. It’s also great for making soups and stews and can be programmed to shut off or switch to warm within a specified time so you don’t have to babysit it. The same benefit holds true for a bread machine which allows you to make bread with wholesome ingredients, preservative-free and gluten-free if you need.

    • I agree! I love my pressure cooker to, but don’t know how many other people would consider using one. I’ve never cooked an artichoke in one. That’s a must try for me. Thanks for the great tip!


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