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Kitchen Tools for Vegans Who Love to Cook!

Top 10 kitchen tools for vegans - Do you have these in your kitchen?

I came up with the idea of writing about kitchen tools for vegans when I realized that preparing healthy, tasty vegan meals requires a set of tools that not everybody has in a typical kitchen. As you start preparing more whole-food, plant-based (and sometimes even raw!) meals, you’ll see how these tools are not gadgets but really helpful companions on your vegan journey.

Not Your Basic Kitchen Tools for Vegans List!

In this list, you won’t find a chef’s knife, basic pots and pans, graters, etc. Anyone who loves to cook has these kitchen classics already on hand. Preparing vegan dishes sometimes involves cooking things differently, or cooking with ingredients most omnivores seldom use in their cooking. If you are going to invest in a new set of kitchen tools as a vegan, start with the #1 item on the list, as the tools below are presented in the reverse order of their usage frequency (#10 = used less frequently, #1 = used almost daily).

10. Sprouting Kit

Vegan kitchen tools: 4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter4-Tray Kitchen Seed Sprouter

Sprouts allow you to add greens to your dishes year round, but for some reason, I never liked buying them in stores. Fresh sprouts have a sweet smell and taste, store-bought sprouts often smell like they should be heading to my compost. It’s really easy to sprout your own grain at home, especially with a sprouting kit. Having a sprouting kit will enable you to give these tiny plants the perfect environment they need to flourish. Another reason to get a sprouting kit: grow your own wheatgrass! Shopping for gifts for a vegan cook? A sprouting kit is a nice, affordable option!

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9. Fermenting Kit

Vegan kitchen tools: Wide Mouth Mason Jar Fermenting KitWide Mouth Mason Jar Fermenting Kit

I currently have kimchi fermenting on my kitchen counter. If you’ve never tried this staple of Korean cuisine, you need to look up a few recipes online and get yourself a little fermenting kit to get started. Kimchi is made with fermented cabbage (and sometimes other veggies), as is sauerkraut. As such, the idea of fermented food might not seem appetizing, but it is said to be healthy for your gut. I have to admit, I was hesitant when I first tried kimchi but now I love it! With a fermenting kit, you can even make your own tempeh and kombucha! The kit featured here comes with two mason jars, but you can also get fermenting lids if you already have your own jars.

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8. Spiralizer

Vegan kitchen tools: Spiralizer® Spiral Slicer Complete BundleSpiralizer® Spiral Slicer Complete Bundle

OK, this might be one of the more gadgety items in the list, but having the ability to make spirals out of your vegetables can really take a salad to another level. You don’t like zucchini? That’s OK, you can spiralize carrots, beets, radishes, sweet potatoes, and many, many more vegetables. I once ate a delicious raw pad Thaï made entirely with spiralized veggies. In addition to being beautifully presented, the vegetable spirals mixed together nicely, allowing flavors and textures to mix and complement each other. And if you are going to eat raw more often than not, this kitchen tool might just become an essential. It’s also one of the best gifts for a raw vegan friend or spouse, if they don’t already have one 😉

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7. Dehydrator

Vegan kitchen tools: Excalibur 9 Tray Deluxe DehydratorExcalibur 9 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator

Yes, having a dehydrator around is great to make your own dried fruit, especially in the Fall when the harvest is abundant and very affordable. But there is so much more you can make with a dehydrator, including your own raw crackers (have you ever seen the price for these things in grocery stores?), drying fresh herbs from your garden, making raw vegetable chips (kale, zucchini, etc.) or dried tomatoes, preparing homemade fruit leather… The list of applications is long for this practical tool that gives you the chance to extend the shelf-life of many foods. You can dehydrate food in your oven, but a dehydrator is much more energy efficient, especially when you use a model with multiple trays. I’ve read many great things about the Excalibur series and don’t wait for these machines to show up on Ebay or Craiglist: people who buy them keep them!

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6. Rice Cooker

Vegan kitchen tools: Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice CookerAroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker

This item is definitely one of my must-have kitchen tools for vegans. I’ve written before about using my rice cooker to save time when I am cooking. I had to include this small appliance in my list of kitchen tools for vegans as it is not only practical to cook rice unsupervised, it can easily be used to cook many other grains, such as quinoa, bulgur and millet. As a healthy vegan diet includes whole grain, save yourself a lot of trouble by investing in a rice cooker. Mine is a cheap model, it does the job but the finish on the inside started to stick, which means it will probably need to be replaced soon. I would invest a bit more to get a higher-end model, especially with the kind of usage it gets in my kitchen!

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5. Nut Milk Bag

Vegan kitchen tools: Pro Quality Nut Milk BagPro Quality Nut Milk Bag

As a vegan, you no longer consume dairy products. Maybe you now drink soy milk, but there is no denying the popularity of nut milks, especially almond milk. Have you ever heard vegans raving about how homemade almond milk tastes much better than store-bought? Why not see for yourself. It’s easy to make your own almond milk (or other nut-based milk), but you do need a good nut milk bag. An essential kitchen tool for vegans, the nut milk bag is made especially to help you squeeze the liquid out of your blended almonds while retaining the almond meal. And while you are at it, make sure to have a milk bottle with a cap to keep your homemade almond milk fresh and chilled in the fridge. This item also makes one of the best gifts for vegan cooks!

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4. Tofu Press

Vegan kitchen tools: Gourmet Tofu Press / Marinating DishGourmet Tofu Press / Marinating Dish

I have seen some strange contraptions that people have set up in their kitchen to press water out of their tofu. Usually, it involves a few dishcloths (all that laundry!!), plates, and several heavy objets such as cans and books. Pressing tofu is a lot easier with a tofu press, and as a vegan, since tofu has a good chance of making a regular appearance on your menu, why not save yourself lots of trouble by investing in a press. The TofuXpress model below has received lots of great reviews, and I like the fact that it captures the liquid. Do you absolutely have to press your tofu before cooking it? No. Will it totally change how the tofu absorbs flavors of marinades and sauces? Oh yeah!

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3. Juicer

Vegan kitchen tools: Omega J8006 Nutrition Center JuicerOmega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer

Now you might think that having a juicer or not having one has nothing to do with eating a plant-based diet. Indeed, if you limit your juicer usage to… juicing, it’s something most health-conscious eaters will want to have on hand. However, the high-end juicer models will also allow you to make other foods, such as nut butter. And nut butter is a great ingredient to have in a vegan fridge, not just for toast, but also for sauce and vinaigrettes. My sister has the Omega juicer, and this baby is so powerful, it really maximizes juice extraction for any fruit or veggie, as well as being no fair rival to nuts. And don’t forget to use your juicing scraps in your baking (sweet breads or muffins)!

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2. Food Processor

Vegan kitchen tools: KitchenAid KFP0711CU 7 Cup Food ProcessorKitchenAid KFP0711CU 7 Cup Food Processor

My ex left with a decent Black & Decker food processor that I was using quite frequently. After having purchased a blender, I figured I did not need a food processor, but after almost a year without, I decided to bite the bullet and ask for one for my birthday (not a bad way to get small appliances, LOL). A blender cannot chop veggies finely for a pesto or a slaw (and chopping by hand, especially if you are cooking for a large group, is extremely time consuming!). A blender will not do well with sticky items, such as dates you want to break up in small pieces to make homemade granola bars. Anything that requires chopping or grating will benefit from seeing the inside of a food processor. Oh, and I did get a food processor for my birthday, a KitchenAid this time!

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1. Blender

My very first important purchase after becoming vegan was a good blender. I still remember trying to make green smoothies (especially with kale) with my old blender and ending up with a sad sludge that looked more brown than green and had kale bits floating around. Yummy 🙁 Now I am not going to tell you that one brand of high-powered blender is better than the other, as I believe several brands have solid products. I own a Vitamix and have nothing but praise for this machine. My friend Dina owns a Blendtec, and she is happy as can be with her appliance. My boyfriend owns a Ninja, and although it sits at a lower price point than the other two, it still does a great job. All three models, as we have them, are listed below. Trust me on this one, it’s worth investing a little bit more when it comes to blenders, not just for better-looking smoothies, but also for smooth nut milks and creams, for great silky soups, and much, much more!

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Vegan kitchen tools: Vitamix 1723 Professional Series 200Vitamix 1723 Professional Series 200Vegan kitchen tools: Blendtec TB-631-25 Total BlenderBlendtec TB-631-25 Total BlenderVegan kitchen tools: Ninja Professional Blender BL660Ninja Professional Blender BL660

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Top 10 Kitchen Tools for Vegans

10 thoughts on “Top 10 Kitchen Tools for Vegans

  • August 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm
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    Vegans like me appreciate that you make our Vegan life easier with article like this!

    Reply
    • August 26, 2015 at 6:38 am
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      That’s great Glen, I’m glad that you found this list useful, thank you for commenting!

      Reply
  • August 26, 2015 at 10:03 am
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    I’ve been interested in a vegan way of eating since being in pulmonary rehab and hearing the lectures from all the nurses and staff. This article was interesting knowledge that I needed to know. Appreciate it– Sandy

    Reply
    • September 9, 2015 at 10:03 pm
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      I’m glad you enjoyed reading the article Sandy. Best of luck in your journey back to health!

      Reply
  • August 26, 2015 at 12:46 pm
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    A good blender is sure a life saver! Thanks for this list.

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    • September 9, 2015 at 10:04 pm
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      Oh yeah, that was the first appliance from this list I purchased when I became vegan. I use my Vitamix every day!

      Reply
  • August 26, 2015 at 5:03 pm
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    I’m not a vegan but I do have the top three on this list and they are my staples. Couldn’t live with out them. Great article. 🙂

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  • September 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm
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    You just gave me a great idea for that vegan in my life. I think she’d love a spiralizer.

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    • September 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm
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      I think she would 🙂 It’s a great way to present veggies, and eat more of them!

      Reply

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