A plant-based diet doesn't have to be a struggle for you or your family. You just need to be prepared! And the one thing that can make your plant-based diet (and life) a whole lot easier? Kitchen tools that speed up the process!
Fill your fridge with love! Enjoy ready-made plant-based meals made with whole foods. No oil, no refined sugar! And kid-approved, to boot! Get started now.
When life gets busy sometimes (OK, or always), the last thing you want to worry about (and yet the one you tend to fret over the most) is to prepare a healthy meal for your family. And if you're new to a plant-based diet, it can feel even more overwhelming. Even if you usually love cooking, sometimes you just you need to get in and get out, not to mention avoid creating a battlefield in the kitchen that you'll be left to clean up later.
First, remember this: you don’t have to do everything on your own. Enlist the help of your family during meal prep and/or clean up if it feels like you've got the world on your shoulders. (Here is an awesome and potentially life-changing breakdown of age-appropriate kitchen chores for your kiddos.)
Second, there are some key kitchen tools that can make your plant-based family life run a whole lot smoother. So get your groove back in the kitchen and cut meal prep in half by adding these to your repertoire.
Every household needs a food processor. It is such a time saver when it comes to chopping, grating, slicing, and blending vegetables, fruit, spices, and anything else you need for your plant-based meals. No more crying over cutting onions, or needing a band-aid every time you chop carrots (because you know your little ones won’t eat them if they are not finely sliced). Throw everything in the food processor, sit back, and enjoy the process. It is oddly satisfying. Make sure to get a food processor with a high liter capacity and a powerful motor and it will grow up with you.
If you have been wondering if you should invest in an air fryer, consider this your sign from the universe. What can’t an air fryer do? You can cook meals with little or no oil - hello oil-free french fries your kids can finally enjoy without you feeling mom guilt -, reheat food without popping it into the microwave, and actually whip up healthy desserts! You will especially love how crispy and crunchy everything turns out without the slightest hint of added oil.
Another great kitchen tool for reducing your need for oil while cooking, a great nonstick frying pan is a must. Have you ever tried water-sauteing? With a nonstick frying pan on hand, you can actually “fry” vegetables without oil, making your family's plant-based meals a lot healthier. Look for nonstick pans without teflon when making your purchase.
"Boring" vegetables become a lot more interesting for your little ones when they are cut in fun shapes. (Admit it, they're more fun for you too.) It’s a different feeling eating a dinosaur-shaped red pepper or a heart-shaped watermelon slice! Spruce up lunchbox leftovers by using fun cutters and let your children play with their food...chances are they'll end up actually eating it, too.
Want freshly blended soup, perfect vegan smoothies, and delicious cashew cream in your plant-based diet? Time for a high-speed blender. A high-speed, or high-power blender, is considered any blender with a minimum of 1,000 watts of power in comparison to other less powerful appliances. Decrease blending time and cut down on clean up!
Pro tip from MamaSezz Chef Caroline: Make cleaning your blender a breeze. After rinsing the blender, fill with warm water and a dash of dish soap. Blend for an additional minute and then rinse out the soap.
Did you know that blunt knives are actually a lot more dangerous than sharp ones? Not to mention, high-quality knives can save you a lot of prep time, just make sure to sharpen them regularly to maintain their function.
At the end of a long, hard day, nothing feels better than knowing a delicious, healthy plant-based meal is waiting for you at home. Yes, I know you don't have a private chef; I am talking about your crock pot. Just add everything before you leave the house, set it to slow-cook and come home to serve and enjoy your warm dinner. Need some inspiration? Check out these 10 healthy vegan slow cooker meals.
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.