Are you looking for ways to reduce the packaged food you buy at home without making your life more difficult? Below are our favorite kitchen tools that make purchasing package-free items and cooking at home easy, and quick.
- Nut-milk makers. We have an Almond Cow, but there are others as well. You can even use a blender -- but let's be real! If you're not going to dedicate the time using a nut mylk bag... you might want to consider making the investment. Make super cheap, gum-free mylks at home with bulk grains like oats, rice, or your favorite nuts and seeds. Mix your pulp with oats to make delicious oatmeals, or look up vegan cheez recipes like these here.
- Rice & grain cookers. There are some $20 grain cookers out there, which will save you so much time and energy making sure that you have grains to serve as a base for your meal each week. Grain cookers will make it easy for you to make anything from quinoa to rice to lentils at home -- or a blend of each! Set it and forget it, with one of these babies by your side, meal prep is a piece of cake.
- Crock pots. Crock pots are a great place to put odds and ends of your veggies to use in stocks and soups. They can also be found on the cheap - some for less than $20! It’s another way to set it and forget it when you’re in a hurry but want to make flavorful stews (and a million different other meals). You can also use a crock pot to cook your grains.
- Immersion blender. If you’re cooking with your odds and ends, you may be wondering how to make a thick and creamy soup from all the bits. Use an immersion blender to blend your soups right in the pot. You can find immersion blenders for less than $20, and check out eBay or other resale sites to buy used.
- Blender. We love the Ninja, because it’s a food processor, handheld blender and larger batch blender all in one. You can use a blender to make all kinds of hidden veggie desserts, again with your odds and ends. For example, freeze your chopped up cauliflower stalks and leaves and throw them in a smoothie. Same with the stems of your greens like kale.
Some of these household machines are cheap, some expensive… but trust me, they’re worth the spend if you’re ready to commit to cooking more at home, buying more in bulk and reducing waste at home. Collectively, these machines have saved us countless hours prepping meals and making sure we’re covered for the week.