While cooking for a plant-based diet may seem daunting at first, it's not all that different than any other type of cooking. You just need to know a few techniques here and there, and of course, have the right tools and gadgets to make your life easier!
Since we've become vegan, we've bought and tried all kinds of time-saving devices and gadgets, so we're pretty confident that we know what works, what's essential, and what isn't all that necessary. Below is our (long!) list on what we think is a nice addition to any kitchen, especially a vegan one.
Let's get to it!
Zesters are a super thing to have in the kitchen. They take up little space and they are very good at what they do. We use ours for zesting lemons, but we also like to use it for grating ginger (it actually grates frozen ginger) and it’s also great for (vegan) parmesan cheese and garlic! It’s also easier to clean than a box grater too.
We've been using this lemon and lime squeezer in our house for many years and it’s simply fantastic. It's so much quicker than the older one we had as a child where we would have to squeeze by pushing down the lemon and turning it. It’s also very easy to clean too.
I have used my nut milk bag mostly for making my soy milk because the soy milk maker didn’t not have a straining function. But this bag can also be used for separating the milk from the pulp when making almond milk from scratch, and also to make juice. You can blend up fruit and then strain it using your nut milk bag! Simple! 🙂
In our house a garlic press is not just something that's nice to have, but an absolute MUST-HAVE! I don’t have the patience to mince garlic by hand (#lazy). They can be tricky to clean even in the dishwasher, so that’s why I love this one with the built in cleaner.
Do you need a salad spinner? Not really. Dabbing your greens dry between two clean tea towels does the job really well. If you love to eat a lot of greens, then this might be something you would like to have in your kitchen cupboards. It can save quite a bit of time.
An Olive Oil Sprayer can be useful for those that want to use less oil in their diet, or to add just a little bit of oil to get items really crispy in the air fryer. While not super necessary in one's kitchen, this can provide for a less-wasteful alternative than the aerosol cans of canola or olive oil at the store.
We use our tofu press quite often. This design is actually a lot better than mine as the water drains away as it presses, whereas my tofu sits in a pool of water. To mitigate this, I turn it on it’s side and put it in the kitchen sink. Like drying greens with a salad spinner, you don’t really need this item. You can use clean tea towels, a chopping board and some heavy books to press your tofu, but this gadget can definitely make things easier, or for a fun gift for those vegans in your life.
When I first became vegan, I purchased a spiraliser as I was prepping lots of raw foods. However I only really used it for Zoodles (zucchini spaghetti) until finally realizing that I actually don’t like zoodles all that much! Since then, I don't use this gadget all that much, but if you like zoodles, then definitely grab of these!
If I am being entirely honest, I purchased my pestle and mortar with the expectation that I was going to make my own curry paste from scratch, but it turns out that I use it more often for pressing tofu and grinding up cumin seeds. The point is, it is quite versatile and definitely worthy of consideration.
I love this kitchen-top compost bin. While I don’t compost myself, I am vigilant about putting organics in my municipal compost bin. We find that it never smells (perhaps due to the charcoal filters) and if the filters are correctly placed then fruit flies aren't attracted to it as they can’t get in. I use mine with some compostable bags. If you live in a hotter place and you don’t want to have a bin like this, you can do what I used to do in Bangkok which is to simply keep a tupperware box in the freezer for your scraps. No smell, no need to empty often, no fruit flies, no problem!
There really isn't nothing that a mandoline can do that you can’t already do yourself with some good knife skills and a bit of practice, but it really does save you a lot of time. If you make a lot of sauerkraut, scalloped potatoes or want perfect onion slices, this will be super useful!
If you have a strong spoon that won’t bend under frozen ice-cream, or you're able to wait 10 minutes until the ice-cream melts a bit (we aren't!!) then you don’t really need an ice-cream scoop. Still, I definitely prefer this style of ice-cream scoop over a trigger-style scoop. I find they break really easily and are not as strong. And an ice-cream scoop is also quite useful when serving mash potatoes 😉
If you are one of the rare people that drinks coconut water and one of the rarer ones that actually opens their own coconuts, then this is a good product to invest in. Yes, you can use a cleaver to open up a coconut, but it requires some skills, practice, and in my opinion, nerves of steel. This tool makes it simple and easy.
If you are one of these people who makes pastry from scratch, you will know the importance of this little tool. The first thing you have to do when making your own pastry is to mix the vegan butter and the flour together. Yes, you can do it with your fingers but this can result in the butter melting due to the heat from your hands. This is even more the case with vegan butter as its melting point is lower than dairy butter. It also helps to keep you hands cleaner and you can also use this blender for smooshing together cooked fruits and vegetables, chopping up nuts and even making guacamole. Super versatile!
The only reason you need a cherry or olive pitter is if you need to keep the shape of the fruit intact, otherwise you can skip it! 🙂
Did you know that the stiff bristles of a pastry brush are often made of pig hairs? That’s not vegan! There are lots of other versions of pastry brushes if you really need one, including this one.
For that occasional bottle of wine with dinner, a regular corkscrew will suffice. But if you open up more than one bottle a week, then this is the absolute best opener ever. This opener, which actually looks a bit like a rabbit (hence the name!) can open up a bottle in mere seconds, perfectly every time. No more pieces of cork in your wine!
I absolutely love the Aeropress and we think it makes the best coffee. Even better than our fancy espresso maker we had in Bangkok... and this certainly doesn't break as easily. Those filters also last for months and months. Yes, it's a bit more fiddly and I would not want to make coffee for 4 people with this, but for my own cuppa in the morning, I love it.
When we first moved to Canada, I was drinking drip coffee and life was a little bit sadder because of it. When I moved to the Aeropress and added a milk frother, mornings became something more joyful! With a push of a button I have amazing frothy milk even from non-dairy milks!
If you are tea fan like me (I'm originally from the UK after all!), you will want a nice teapot. I was gifted a glass teapot this year, and I find myself gravitating towards this rather than my ceramic one. I especially like this one with the build in tea leaf strainer.
When I don’t want to make a whole pot, but want loose leaf tea, I find this tea strainer does the job!
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We'd love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Ideas? Any awesome kitchen time-savers and gadgets we might have missed? Let us know and we might add them to a future article update!
Let's have a discussion in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!