6 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances

 6 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances | cookeatbehealthy.com

Today I’m kicking off a new series I’m calling “CEBH…A Behind The Scenes Peek Into My Kitchen“! I thought I’d start by sharing my favorite, most-used, cannot-live-without, must-have small kitchen appliances.  These are the appliances that I’ve come to rely on after many years of building up my appliance arsenal to where it is now.  And while these are all indispensable to me now, there was a time when I managed to cook and bake just fine without any of them!  So take heart if you’re just starting out and cannot afford to equip the kitchen of your dreams.  I recommend saving up and investing in quality new kitchen appliances as you can afford them.  Quality equipment will reward you with years and years of reliable performance!  Plus there’s a real sense of satisfaction knowing you’ve worked and saved toward a purchase that, while clearly a luxury, will make your culinary adventures even more pleasurable…and perhaps even more adventuresome!

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

For many years I longed for a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but there was just no way I could justify the expense of buying the one I wanted – one with a large bowl and heavy duty motor.  However, several years ago my family went together and bought me my lovely mixer, which I use quite frequently!  I don’t bake much anymore, but when I do it is indispensable for mixing batters and doughs!  A real perk to owning a KitchenAid is the myriad of  attachments that are available for it, and honestly I’d say I use it more with those attachments than I do as the mixer itself! As of now I have the Spiralizer Plus, the Ice Cream Maker, and the Rotor Slicer/Shredder.  On my wishlist is the Pasta Roller and Cutter Set.  Check out these recipes for examples of how I put my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to good use!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies | cookeatbehealthy.com

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Avocado Pesto on Grilled Chicken & Vegetables

Avocado Pesto on Grilled Chicken and Vegetables 

Dairy Free Maple Walnut Ice Cream | cookeatbehealthy.com

Dairy Free Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Ninja Cooking System 

This is arguably my second-most indespensible small kitchen appliance (after my Keurig)!  I love it for it’s versatility and the way it simplifies my life by simplifying my cooking!  This little powerhouse has 3 settings: Oven, Stovetop, and Slowcooker…all of which I’ve used repeatedly and many times I’ve even used more than one setting for a single dish.  It’s perfect for braising and then switching to slow cooking or the oven setting,  slow cooking and then switching to the stovetop setting for the last minute addition of noodles to a soup for example, and the size of the cooking vessel is more than generous for preparing a meal to serve a large family.  Here’s three recipes I made using my Ninja Cooking System.

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Slow Cooker Red Curry Lentils and Vegetables 

Sugar Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Sugar-Free Spiced Crockpot Applesauce 

Polar Vortex Bison Chili | cookeatbehealthy.com

Polar Vortex Bison Chili 

Immersion Blender

This is a one of those simple kitchen gadgets that I really hesitated buying because I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but now that I have one I kick myself for not getting one sooner!  It makes blending hot soups a cinch, it works for making super smooth whipped potatoes, and I’ve also used it to make small amounts of whipped cream!  When my granddaughter had her tonsils out and was at the point in her recovery where dairy products were allowed I think I probably made her a dozen or more single serve milk shakes!  All in all I’ve found it to be really useful for many different applications, but I still find myself using it mostly for blending hot soups…saves transferring hot liquids to the blender, dirtying even more dishes, and reduces the risk of burning oneself with hot splattering liquids!  Here’s two recipes to try using an immersion blender.

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Roasted Butternut Chipotle Soup 

Grilled Zucchini and Vidalia Onion Soup | cookeatbehealthy.com

Grilled Zucchini and Vidalia Onion Soup 

Cuisinart Food Processor 

For many years I used an itty bitty baby food processor and it was fine for chopping nuts or grinding crackers, but not much else!  Finally I decided I was worthy of a “real” food processor and settled on this 14 cup beauty from Cuisinart.  It’s large and powerful enough to handle anything and everything I throw at it!  It’s uses are endless, it comes with slicing and shredding discs, and it’s dishwasher safe! One of my favorite things to make with my food processor is homemade mayonnaise!  The taste surpasses anything you can buy at the store and through trial and error I’ve come up with a foolproof recipe!  I also make all our own hummus so I can control exactly what’s in it…when you eat as much hummus as we do, that’s an important consideration!

Homemade Mayonnaise | cookeatbehealthy.com

Homemade Mayonnaise 

Layered Hummus Dip with Crispy Tortilla Strips | cookeatbehealthy.com

Layered Hummus Dip with Crispy Tortilla Strips 

Vitamix

All well equipped kitchens need a high powered blender.  It can do so much more than make milk shakes!  I use mine most every morning from March through October to make smoothies, I make homemade cashew butter in mine, it crushes ice, it makes soups, and it blends a mean margarita!  I also use it to blend cashew cream!  A few months ago I featured a series of recipes using cashew cream…check out a couple of them here!

Cashew Cream | cookeatbehealthy.com

Basic Cashew Cream ~ Dairy Free

Raw Chocolate Espresso Torte | cookeatbehealthy.com

Raw Chocolate Espresso Torte 

Keurig Coffee Brewer

Perhaps the most frequently used, most beloved, most completely necessary small appliance in my kitchen is my Keurig!  To quote Lorelai Gilmore…”I can’t stop drinking the coffee.  I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the putting into sentence doing.”  But seriously….coffee is life blood and I am just not myself without it!  One of my favorite desserts features coffee….go figure! 😉

Coffee & Kahlua Dairy Free Popsicle Affogato | cookeatbehealthy.com

Coffee & Kahlua Dairy Free Popsicle Affogato 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my 6 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances, and I can’t wait to share some more peeks into what makes my kitchen work for me!  I’d love to hear about your favorite kitchen appliances…leave me a comment below so I can check them out.  I mean…if there’s another must have appliance out there, I need to know! 😉

12 Comment

  1. I totally agree on the immersion blender and the food processor! (Although my food processor is an itty bitty Cuisinart one lol). I WISH I had room for a stand mixer… but I don’t. Yet. And oh man- I’ve been eyeing that Ninja slow cooker setup! If anything happens to my crock pot.. that’s what’s happening!!! And I have a different coffee setup. Love your list!!

    1. Itty bitty is better than none at all! And maybe someday soon you’ll “accidentally” drop your slow cooker on the floor and then you’ll be forced to have to replace it…with a Ninja, of course! Seriously though…I’m not exaggerating when I say I LOVE mine…I use it all,the time, all year long! Thanks for reading! ❤

  2. Thank you for putting together the 6 Must Haves!! Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and Food Processor has been on my list for while..

    1. They are totally worth the investment – but definitely wait until you can afford a quality machine…you won’t be sorry!

  3. Other than the coffee one, I don’t drink it, I have and agree with every one of these! I use them all constantly and the are the perfect must haves! Great list!

    1. Thanks! No sense having a Keurig if you’re not a coffee drinker!

  4. I really want a Kitchen Aid mixer!

    1. I hope you get one soon then! 🙂

  5. Fantastic list! I was in the same boat in terms of a stand mixer… I just couldn’t justify it, but then my family pooled together and surprised me one year for Christmas. I wouldn’t say I use it all the time, but when you need a stand mixer, it’s hard to do without. I also adore my blender (not a vitamix — yet!) and immersion blender, which I use alllllll the time. I’ll have to check out the Ninja cooking system, because I haven’t even heard of that one!

    1. Thank goodness for families, right?!? Definitely check out the Ninja when you get a chance. I really like how versatile it is – a little bit more expensive than the average slow cooker, but it does so much more! Thanks so much for reading!

  6. After going through yet another blender, I finally bit the bullet and invested in a Vitamix. I love it! What power! Wish I had done so sooner.

    1. It’s a lot of money, but hopefully they’ll last a loooooong time! Hope your foot is feeling better!!!

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