One of the things no one tells you when you start cooking vegan is that there are some key appliances that make vegan cooking super easy! I’m all about cooking at home and I’ve found these gadgets are essential. They won’t only save you time, but labor as well – and some will totally change the way your dishes turn out.
If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments!
Here are my top six kitchen appliances:
OK, this thing is my favorite appliance in the damn kitchen. But before I go on and on about how much I love it, I have one caveat: it’s expensive as all fuck. My first Vitamix was given to me by 8-9 friends who all chipped in to get it for my birthday.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: it’s a blender, gurl… chill. No, you don’t understand, this is no ordinary blender. It is a high-powered pulverizing machine. You could put coal in this shit and get a diamond, OK? Seriously, the Vitamix is incredible because of the textures it’s able to produce. Things like cashew cream and hummus turn out unbelievably smooth and creamy. Think of the soups and the smoothies and the nut-based cheeses you can make in it. It’s a gamechanger for any vegan chef – you just might have to skip rent that month.
2. Zojirushi Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are made by all different brands and come in all different forms, but the Zojirushi is the BEST. We’ve had ours for over 10 years and she’s still going strong. Zojirushi is a Japanese company that’s been around for over 100 years (literally) and they know their shit.
The reason why a rice cooker is so essential is because of the time and effort it saves you. Rice is an easy and healthy side dish to any meal and this makes preparing it so easy. Have you ever cooked brown rice from scratch? It totally sucks. It takes FOREVER and it never comes out right – it’s either too hard or mushy as shit. Who has time for that? With a rice cooker, you just put the rice and the water in the device, push a button, and an hour later you have perfect rice. This rice cooker also keeps the rice warm once it’s done. You can leave rice in there for a couple days if you like. It’s amazing!
3. Cuisinart “Mini-Prep” Food Processor
I love this little thing! It’s perfect for quickly chopping veggies, prepping chickpeas for chickpea “tuna” salad, and making my vegan parm – 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tsp salt (OMG! it’s so good). Here’s the thing, you can buy a full-size Cuisinart for $100, but this machine is only $30 and it gets the job done. You’ll use it so much more than the big one, trust me.
Gurl, if you cook with tofu you need this shit. We all know that plain tofu is usually packed in water and that you have to squeeze it to get the water out. This takes all the drama out of that process. Just put your tofu block in this device and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. The water gets pressed out and your tofu is ready for prepping. It’s genius!
5. Air Fryer
I don’t really have a brand preference for air fryers, but I will say that in general these things are wonderful. Air fryers create a healthier way to cook your food so that it’s crispy, crunchy, and amazing! My favorite thing to cook in the air fryer is sweet potato fries – OMG! It’s so easy. Just chop them up, lightly oil and spice them, and pop them in! My friend does buffalo cauliflower in hers and she said it’s insane. There so many possibilities. Air fryers are relatively cheap too.
6. Slow Cooker
Truth be told, I haven’t had a slow cooker in years – but I knew if I didn’t include a slower cooker here I’d be trashed in the comments for sure. Slow cookers make cooking super simple because you can just throw a bunch of ingredients in there, set it, and by the time you come home from work you have the most amazing meal ever. Because they use lower heat and cook over several hours, food becomes extremely tender and flavorful.
Another advantage to owning a slow cooker is that you can make beans in them – which makes life sooo much better. Slow cookers are especially fabulous in the winter for making the most incredible stews – and there are also endless vegan slow cooker recipes online People are obsessed with these things – Google and you’ll see what I’m talking about.