6 Must Have Kitchen Gadgets for Living Sustainably
One of the most important things about living a sustainable lifestyle is to be careful how you spend your money. The whole point of becoming more self-sufficient is so you don’t NEED a lot of money, which can free up a lot of time to do the things you really enjoy.
Of course, it also means you cook…A LOT…which means there are certain necessary items you need in your kitchen arsenal.
While saving money is important, these are items you don’t want to skimp on. Buy good quality and they will last a long time.
If you are planning on separating food into individual portions for your special recipes later on, a food scale will help you determine how much of each item to store. It will also help with portioning before you vacuum seal food. Knowing how much is in each container is helpful later on when you are digging through that freezer. If you plan on having multiple serving sizes, mark your containers with the item and the weight. It will make it much easier later on.
Depending on what you plan on cooking, you’ll want a scale that has a good range in weights and can get down to grams. Some recipes call for precise measurements. You’ll want to make sure the screen is easily visible and easy for you to read.
Digital Food Thermometer
Thermometers are an extremely handy item to keep around. For humans, they can tell you if your body temperature is elevated possibly indicating an infection. For animals it can tell you whether a newborn lamb is in distress after it is born. But for cooking, a reliable thermometer is indispensable.
Yeast will activate between 110 and 120 degrees, when making cheese or soap you will need to maintain a certain temperature. Look for instant, easy to read thermometers. Keep one or two in your drawer at all times.
I tried for a long time to avoid buying a food processor. Trust me when I say life will be much easier for you if just break down and buy one. I do have a shredder attachment to my Kitchen Aid mixer, but a food process can do so many things that you are better off just getting one.
Food processors can chop, shred, puree and some even come with a dough mixer option. Do some research. Food processors can range in price from $30-$40 up to $400.00 or more. Cuisinart makes several industrial grade options, but they come at a premium. Hamilton Beach has a few mid-priced options that might cover your needs.
Determine what you want your processor to do and find one you are comfortable with.
In just the first year we had our garden we put our canning supplies to use. We had stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and apple pie filling. You can “can” almost anything and it will store for months.
For around $50 I was able to get my boyfriend a canning set that included a large pot with rack plus the tools he would need along with a package of jars.
We currently use the boiling method, but many people swear by the pressure cooker method and we may switch to that next year. Whichever method you choose, go out buy some decent equipment and get canning. You’ll be so happy you did.
I never owned a Dutch oven in all my years, but now that I have one, I can’t believe I ever lived without it. The recipes for Dutch ovens are endless, from roasts to breads. Pick up a decent one and then look for those recipes. Your family will thank you later.
We don’t currently have one, but this is something we plan on investing in. Food that is vacuum-sealed and then frozen lasts twice as long as food just stuffed into freezer bags. If you are going to be sustainable, you are going to buy in bulk or raise your own food. You can use a vacuum sealer for meats and vegetables.
Kitchen Aid Mixer
I bought my Kitchen Aid mixer as a Christmas gift to myself. I love it. It has made baking so much easier. We also have some different attachments I still need to learn to use.
The only reason I have listed this as a runner up, is because of the cost. I bought a step down from the heavy-duty professional version so I paid a little more, but I have already put it to good use and plan to use it regularly so, for me, it was worth it.
However, for years, a regular hand-held mixer worked just fine. The Kitchen Aid mixer is very handy as you can leave it while it mixes and do something else. It handles bigger items than a regular small hand-mixer. It also has many options for attachments you can use to slice and shred vegetables to stuffing your own sausage.
So there you have it. I’m sure everyone has that one kitchen item they can’t live without. Let me know what yours is.