What is an Ideal Plant-Based Kitchen Setup, especially through the winter?
Being successful at sticking to a new vegan or vegetarian diet is very easy if you have the right tools and get set up for success. In a perfect vegan kitchen, you would have your own indoor sprouts, microgreens, herbs, and grasses growing for fresh food year round, along with other fresh produce as available. On your patio, just off the kitchen, or out in your garden, you could have lettuces, veggies and fruits growing and if you are super good at growing your own food, you might even have a greenhouse for year-round growing. This would be a lot to take on right at first, but once you have it going it would take minimal daily effort to keep it up and save yourselves many shopping trips to get fresh food. It is also fun and satisfying to grow and eat food that you have grown yourself.
A Plant Eater Must Also be a Plant Grower
A fun component of embracing a plant-based diet is to grow your own food. In fact, it is so fun that each and every day we wake up and try to think of new ways to inspire the vegan and vegetarian leaning crowd to join us in growing living whole foods.
Here are some of the awesome things you can grow indoors, on your kitchen countertop year-round:
- Grow Microgreens - Check out our grow at home hydroponic microgreens starter kit
- Grow Herbs – We have starter kits for culinary, medicinal, and herbal tea herbs
- Grow Sprouts – This basic sprouting kit is the perfect way to get started.
- Grow Wheatgrass & Barley Grass – Not much grows faster and easier and is as healthy for your body.
Because these amazing living foods are easy to grow indoors. They can be grown all year long, providing a constant source of fresh, delicious living foods. In the picture to the right are microgreens growing in our indoor seed lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Ideal Vegan or Vegetarian Kitchen Appliances and Tools:
Excellent Blender: An excellent blender goes a long way in almost every meal. We use ours for breakfast shakes, garden soups for lunch, and raw cashew Alfredo sauce for dinner. We also make nut butters and sorbets. We grind fresh wheat flour in our blender. While the Vitamix and Blendtec blenders are very popular, they are also very expensive. Our favorite blender is the Omni Blender because it is every bit as tough and effective as the others, but at a much more reasonable price.
Food Dehydrator: This is a necessity if you want to preserve many of the foods you are growing. Here are the two brands we recommend:
- Excalibur – tons of options and price points. Each option will do the job well! You can get them with or without timers, with a small or a large numbers of trays.
- Hanging Food Pantrie - This is a solar, non-electric food dehydrator that you can hang outside or inside and let foods dry naturally. This product is an amazing gift for a gardener. In the summer, you can harvest your apricots right outside, rinse them off, pop them inside out and throw them on the trays. Herbs also do extremely well. There is a lot of space and black netting to both attract the heat of the sun, and keep the bugs out at the same time.
Nutmilk Bag: A Nutmilk Bag is extremely nice to have around for squeezing liquid out of tofu, making "nut milks" and "nut cheeses". You might also look at our line of vegan milk making kits and supplies.
Tofu Making Supplies: As a vegetarian, you will go through lots of tofu unless your diet is fully living or raw. It does take some time to make your own tofu, but you will be very surprised at how fresh tofu is so much better than store-bought with respect to taste and especially texture.
Soymilk Maker: Some blenders and juicers will make soymilk, but the Soymilk Maker does most of the work for you! With this machine, you just add soybeans and the flavorings you want, and in no time at all, you'll have fresh soymilk ready to drink!
Juicer: A slow masticating juicer is the ideal juicer to own. These juicers will not only be great for juicing veggies, fruits, and grasses, but you can also make your own pasta, nut butters, and sorbets.
Vegetable Fermenting Supplies – Preserve your garden harvest easily and inexpensively by making your own sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Not only is it a great way to preserve vegetables in their raw state but also one of the best sources of probiotics for digestive health.
Sealable Bins or Buckets: I recommend having a good storage system for all of your beans, rice, and grains. You can buy things like quinoa, beans, wheat, Kamut, and rice in bulk. Store them where you can access them easily.
If you use your buckets often, you can get gamma seal lids that screw on and off easily.
What are some cooking supplies and food every vegan and vegetarian kitchen should have?