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Kitchen essentials for vegans

by tamarajune
Published: Last Updated on

Cooking delicious and nutritious food can take hours or less than 30 minutes.

It all depends on the recipes you choose, how you go about the cooking process and the tools you have available. 

While it’s certainly not necessary to have fancy equipment (you can make most recipes with basic tools you already have), they can make cooking more efficient and manageable.

Moreover, you can create a larger variety of meals, add interesting textures, and make meals more flavorful, satisfying, and beautiful. 

That’s why in this post we’ll explore 13 kitchen essentials for vegans that will take your cooking to the next level.

Naturally, none of these pieces is truly essential. You should only buy what your budget allows, and you can envision yourself using frequently. 

Moreover, it’s not necessary to go out and purchase all these tools at once. 

Gradually add items you think will be beneficial for you after you’ve done your research

Make sure that what you get is of good quality and will be useful to you for many years to come. 

Alright enough talk, let’s get to the good stuff.➡️

13 kitchen essentials for vegans that will instantly elevate your cooking 

Instant Pot

Instant Pot on a white surface  as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

The Instant Pot had to be first on the list because it is one of the things I use most often. I don’t think there ever is a week where I go without it.

The instant pot is an electric pressure cooker that allows you to prepare delicious and healthy meals with little time and effort. 

One of the most popular ways to use it is to make soups and stews. 

But I love love love to steam veggies in the instant pot. They come out so tender; they literally melt in your mouth. So good!!! 😍

Another great way to use the appliance is to cook dried legumes. After soaking them, they only need 15 minutes in the Instant Pot instead of hours on the stove.

Moreover, the instant pot is excellent for preparing and batch cooking grains. 

Another fantastic benefit is that cooking food in the instant pot helps retain nutrients. 

An instant pot costs around €100, depending on the size you get. So, it’s not cheap, but it will last you a long time and save you so much time in the kitchen that I think is well worth the investment. 

Summary: An instant pot is an electric pressure cooker that allows you to prepare delicious and healthy meals with little time and effort. It is most commonly used for making soups, stews, steaming vegetables and cooking grains and dried legumes.

Electric Citrus squeezer 

Close up of an electric citrus press

An electric citrus squeezer is well worth investing in if you use lemons, limes, and oranges regularly. Honestly, I never knew how much I needed one until I had one.😅

This tool saves so much time, extracts more juice, and requires less effort. 

I like to batch squeeze lemons, and then freeze the juice in ice cube trays, so I have it ready whenever I need it.

Moreover, if I want to treat guests to some freshly squeezed orange juice, I can do so with minimal effort. 

Electric citrus squeezers are not expensive. I’ve seen some for less than €10. I got mine from Amazon for just under €30, and I am so happy with it. 

Summary: An electric citrus squeezer allows you to juice citrus fruits with minimal effort and time while also extracting more juice.

Blender

Women preparing a smoothie in a blender as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

Whether you are a new vegan, want to step up your vegan cooking, or eat healthier in general, a blender is one of the best purchases you’ll ever make

Having a blender allows you to prepare a larger variety of meals as well as makes cooking simpler, faster, and more fun. 

They are commonly used to make smoothies, sauces, desserts, dressings, nut milk, among others.

Nevertheless, the process of buying a blender can be overwhelming. There are so many options, and the price range is enormous.

You can get good ones for less than €100. But prices can reach as high as €800+.

If you are buying your very first blender, it’s not necessary that you spend more than €200 on it.

I recommend this because when you are starting out, you don’t know yet for what purposes you’ll use it most often.

Thus, it’s difficult to know which model will best serve you. 

However, I recommend that you choose a blender with a power of at least 1200 W. Anything weaker may not get you the results you desire to be happy with your purchase for a prolonged time. 

Summary: A blender allows you to prepare a larger variety of meals (such as smoothies, sauces, nut milk) as well as makes cooking simpler and faster. Blenders can be expensive, but you can also find good ones for less than $200. If possible, choose a blender with a power of at least 1200 W.

Chef knife

Person using a chef knife to cut up a red bell pepper

For a long time, I didn’t think what knife I used mattered. I thought that as long as the knife cuts, we’re good, but I was wrong.😌

Having a good and sharp knife has made preparing meals easier and a lot more efficient.

 I also believe it has made my food look more presentable. It allows me to cut more evenly and precisely, which enhances flavor and texture. 

Moreover, given you use it correctly, a chef knife can be a lot safer because there is less risk of the blade rolling of the food and cutting your finger instead of the food.

There are many different kinds of chef knives, so you’ll have to do some research to determine which one will best suit your needs. 

One of the most important things to consider when buying a chef knife isn’t the price but how it feels in your hand. 

Here is a helpful post for choosing a chef knife that is right for you.

Further, it’s crucial that you learn how to cut correctly with a chef’s knife, so you don’t injure yourself. I think this article describes how to use a chef knife

I’m convinced that investing in a good chef knife is so much more valuable than buying an expensive knife set. A chef knife is very versatile; you can do almost all things with it.

Additionally, you can purchase other knives you may need on an individual basis and sort of put together your own knife set. 

This way, you can be sure that you’ll actually use all the knives you own and that they meet your expectations. 

Summary: A good and sharp knife makes preparing meals easier and a lot more efficient. It allows you to cut more evenly and precisely, which enhances flavor and texture. Given you use it correctly, a chef knife can also be a lot safer. There are many different kinds of chef knives, so you’ll have to do some research to determine which one will best suit your needs. 

Food processor 

Food processor grinding nuts

A food processor is another tool that will help you elevate your cooking. It increases the variety of meals you can make and improves cooking efficiency. 

A food processor is perfect for chopping veggies as well as preparing hummus, salsa, date paste, sauces, and so much more. 

Sure, for some of these, you may be able to use a blender. However, in my experience, a food processor gets the job done better and is easier to clean. 

But if you are just starting out, you don’t need both. 

Similar to blenders, food processor range from very affordable to expensive. You can find many high-quality ones for $50-$100. 

Summary: Similarly to blenders, food processors can widen the range of meals you can prepare. They are most popular for chopping veggies as well as preparing hummus, salsa, date paste, sauces, and so much more. 

Spiralizer 

Zuccini going through a spiralizer to make zoodles as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

I’m a huge fan of spiralizers because they make eating vegetables more fun. While I’m usually not a fan of zucchini, I could have zoodles with avocado every day.

I also like to add spiralized veggies to my salad or bowls because it adds a nice touch and exciting texture. 

Spiralizers are usually quite affordable. So it’s something you can implement without spending a lot, and it’s still going to have a significant impact. 

Summary: Spiralizers are most often used to make noodles out of vegetables. You can also spiralize veggies to add a nice touch to your salads and bowls. 

Steamer basket

Bamboo steaming baskets on a table

Steaming is one of the healthiest and gentlest methods to prepare your food. Also, most of the time, it cooks your food quickly.

Many people don’t like steaming because they think the food is less flavorful. However, that’s not true, given that you don’t oversteam the food and season it after. 

Besides all the health benefits steaming offers, it also leaves veggies with a vibrant, beautiful color.

Most steaming baskets are inexpensive; many are under $10. 

Summary: Adding a steaming basket to your kitchen equipment is an excellent investment because steaming is one of the healthiest and gentlest methods to prepare your food. Also, most of the time, it cooks your food quickly.

Garlic press or garlic mincer 

Garlic mincer with a clove of garlic laying next to it as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

I get it, garlic powder is convenient and does make the food garlicky.

Still, it can’t compare to real garlic, which adds so much more flavor to your dishes as well as more healthful components.

While you can chop garlic with a knife, a garlic mincer/press makes the process quicker and more convenient. 

Moreover, a good garlic press/mincer usually costs less than €10, so it’s likely well worth the investment. 

Summary: Using fresh garlic instead of garlic powder improves the flavor of your food and adds more healthful components. Using a garlic press/mincer makes chopping garlic easier and more convenient. 

Air fryer

Orange air fryer with fries in it

Air fryers have become very popular in recent years and indeed are amazing. They are a much healthier alternative to deep-frying and offer incredibly tasty and crispy results.

While there are still some health concerns (air fried food is still fried), it can be a great tool to elevate your cooking every once in a while.

Most air fryers are a bit pricy (usually around $100) though it always depends on the brand and the number of accessories you get.

So, as always, I encourage you to do your research to make sure the one you buy will be useful to you for many years to come. 

Summary: Air fryers are a healthier alternaf3f7fbtive to deep fryers and provide a delicious and crispy taste experience.

Mandoline slicer

Mandoline slicer in use slicing potatoes

A mandolin slicer is handy to have in your cooking toolbox because it makes slicing ingredients faster.

Plus, it cuts them more uniformly, which ensures even cooking and improves flavor and taste. 

Some mandolin slicers also allow you to create various shapes and textures, which adds a nice and fun touch to your meals.

They are usually inexpensive, though I would recommend investing in a high-quality one that will stay sharp for many years.

Summary: Mandoline slicers make slicing vegetables easier and faster. It also cuts them uniformly, which ensures even cooking and improves texture. 

Pizza Stone 

Vegan broccoli pizza on a pizza stone as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

I didn’t know a pizza stone existed until recently, but omg, it’s a GAME CHANGER. Seriously.

Homemade pizza never tasted this good. If you are looking to step up your pizza game, this is the way to go. 

Instead of a baking tray, bake your pizza on the pizza stone, and it will make such a huge difference. Trust me! If you like pizza, you will not regret this purchase. 

Plus, they are usually less than €20-30 but can get higher.

Summary: Using a pizza stone to bake your pizza will make it taste like it came from an authentic Italian restaurant. So, if you enjoy pizza, this will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. 

Tofu press

Cubed tofu in a wooden bowl

If you are not pressing your tofu before using it, you’ve been missing out on how great tofu can actually taste. 

Pressing tofu is one of the easiest ways to improve the flavor and texture of your meal.

There are many DIY ways to press your tofu. But if you do use tofu a lot, investing in a tofu press can handy.  

They are usually around $20, so it can be handy to have in your kitchen. 

Summary: Pressing your tofu before using it in your meal improves its flavor and texture. You can use DIY methods or invest in a tofu press (usually around $20). 

Immersion blender

Pregnant women preparing a smoothie with an immersion blender as an example of kitchen essentials for vegans

An immersion blender is another helpful tool to have. It’s excellent for puréeing soups, potatoes, and legumes, for example.

What I like most about it is that I don’t have to transfer the food to a blender or food processor to purée it, I can do it right there in the pot or mixing bowl. 

While immersion blenders can’t replace regular blenders or food processors, it can get a lot of the same jobs done.

Further, immersion blenders usually cost less than €30, so it’s not a significant investment, but the benefits are vast. 

Summary: Immersion blenders allow you to purée food without having to transfer it into a blender or food processor, which is particularly great for hot foods. 

Alright, so we just covered 13 kitchen essentials for vegans that will instantly elevate your cooking.

Here is a quick summary:

Infographic summarizing the 13 kitchen essentials for vegans

Now it’s your turn. Let me know which kitchen tools you could not live without?

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