I've been working away on the content for my mini-course The Capsule Collective for the last few weeks which has had me in the kitchen a lot. And as well as ingredients that I recommend to have in your kitchen to eat well, it really got me thinking about products and utensils that make life so much easier if you've got them to hand.
Having a well-stocked kitchen with tasty ingredients aint gonna do you much good if you don't have the utensils to prepare them into delicious meals.
So here are my top three items in the kitchen that I believe will take you to the next level when it comes to making healthy food.
PS. If you want to know more about the mini-course read more here and sign up to find out when it goes live.
I promise this one is not all about aesthetics. Although who am I to deny that kilner jars do make your kitchen shelves look kinda gorgeous too if they're packed with lovely ingredients?!
The thing is though, putting your ingredients into clear jars so that you can actually see what you have is a total game changer.
Think about it... when you last went to the kitchen to contemplate what you were going to make for dinner, did you remember what you had packed in the cupboards? That half packet of pasta or that curled up bag of lentils with an elastic band around it? Probably not without really picking through the cupboards and pulling everything out to see what you have.
With your ingredients in clear jars you can open your cupboards and see immediately what you have to play with. They're a great place for starting a meal idea off: risotto rice is an instant meal in a jar, or maybe seeing how much plain flour you've got inspires you to make a batch of pancakes.
They're also perfect for when you're wondering what else you could add or sprinkle to add extra nutrients. Seeing all my nuts and seeds on the shelf makes me far more inclined to include them in my dish than if they were stuffed down the back behind three bottles of balsamic vinegar.
Getting clear jars for your ingredients will also encourage you to think about whether you could do more to go zero-waste and packaging fee. I'll admit I haven't quite reached this point but when I'm decanting my shop-bought products from their plastic packaging into the glass jars I do get a reminder that I need to find a more sustainable way of doing things!
Nutty Delights in Dublin is a great example of a store that caters for people wanting to reduce their packaging waste.
I cannot tell you how important it is that if you want to enjoy preparing food that you get a really good, sharp knife. At least one, if not more.
I remember going to my mum's house for Christmas one year promising I would cook the whole Christmas dinner for the family. To my horror I discovered her set of knives were all completely useless! The struggle of hacking through carrots, potatoes and Brussel sprouts with a blunt knife was so stressful and took the joy out of the whole process.
So if you're going to invest in one thing to love being in the kitchen I would definitely say a knife is a great place to start. Go for the most expensive you can stretch to and try for a nice big size knife because it's going to serve you well across a whole range of ingredients and needs.
I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of knives from Furi Global to help me write this blog post and I absolutely loved using them.
Furi's wedge-shaped handle is gorgeous to hold and the whole knife is made from one piece of metal which means they're easy to clean, with no food getting trapped in the handles.
The blades are made from high grade Japanese stainless steel and are super sharp and they're a favourite of Nigella Lawson, so that's always a ringing endorsement in my book! I found the blades really gripped to the food as they sliced. They were perfect for cutting things like onions, where sometimes I'm scared that the knife will slip onto my fingers as I press down. None of that with Furi!
The knife in my picture is the Furi Pro East/West™ Santoku Knife which I'm already obsessed with and grab it for cutting just about everything from onions, to chicken to fresh herbs.
Tupperware does not have to be fancy. The boxes that I use most regularly to pack breakfasts, lunches and dinners are the ones you'll get from a Chinese restaurant and I'm not ashamed to admit it!
It's so easy to get carried away with getting fancy boxes with dividers or compartments or other features. When really all your want is a receptacle that's big enough to get your portion of food in and that will seal tightly to travel with.
Honestly, spend your money on a good knife and use your leftover takeaway boxes to pack your food. They freeze really well too so for any batch cooking that's not going to get eaten I just throw the portion into the freezer and enjoy it in a few weeks when I'm short on time.
What do you reckon? What are your kitchen essentials that help you prepare healthy meals? Remember if you want to join The Capsule Collective to learn how to stock your kitchen for healthy eating and make hundreds of flexible meals then sign up here now.
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