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Last year (2011), my husband Damien and I bought a 19th Century Victorian home about an hour from London down by the sea.
We are in the process of converting it into a space that will have a healthy café downstairs as well as a boutique yoga studio upstairs for me to run my regular yoga classes and detox weekend workshops...
We have spent the last year renovating. Right now, I am absorbed with designing the kitchen that will play a key role in our own healthy living lifestyle. With kitchen space being so precious, I have had to get really clear on what is most important to me in the kitchen.
Below I share what I believe to be the 7 must-have items that every health-conscious kitchen should have…
1. A juicer
My juicer is the first thing on this list. One of the best ways to ensure that your body gets micronutrients is to start juicing fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition to the health benefits, you can easily make the most delicious drinks in your juicer. To be honest, there is nothing quite like the taste of a fresh juice.
One trick I have found is that when my juicer is accessible, I have more inclination to use it! If your juicer is hard to reach, you may find yourself making excuses to skip your daily juice. You don’t want this to happen. So make sure that you are on-track for creating vibrant health by placing your juicer on your bench, in a visible place, which will make it easy to access and a pleasure to use.
2. A blender
Having a blender in your kitchen has the power to radically transform your health. With a blender you can quickly and easily create healthy meals that can help you heal yourself from the inside. Wherever possible choose a high-powered blender.
I used to use a traditional 600 watt 2-speed blender but today my number one blender choice is the Vita-mix. I use my beloved Vita-mix for almost all my meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner and even my snacks! Due to it’s high blending power not only does it blend, but it also has the capability to grind and mix practically anything.
With a Vita-mix you can easily and quickly create a wide range of yummy dishes including smoothies, nut butters, pesto, hummus, ice cream, soups, sauces, dressings and drinks.
3. Glass storage jars
One thing I like to do is to buy my dry food ingredients in bulk. My experience is that things such as superfoods, dried fruit, oils, nuts and seeds can all be bought in bulk, which can help save you time and money.
Once you have bought your ingredients in bulk, invariably, the next thing you might find yourself wondering is, ‘what should I do with them?’ The size of the bags that they come in are so big that it is impractical to put them in your kitchen cupboards.
I recommend storing these foods in large glass jars (preferably dark glass). Glass is a healthy storage container and dark glass helps to protect their valuable nutrients being damaged from bright sunlight. Choose jars that enhance the look of your kitchen. This way you can have them on display (or in an easy-to-access kitchen cupboard). Having them accessible will make it simple for you to create fast, fabulous and healthy food.
4. A salad spinner
Salad spinners are a great addition to your kitchen. A salad spinner is a big bowl with a lid and a handle that when spun clock-wise will dry your greens in seconds.
With the advent of heavy chemicals and pesticides being sprayed nowadays on fresh produce it is important that you take the time to wash your vegetables thoroughly. But who likes to eat soggy greens? Not me!
In the past, I have tried everything to dry my greens, but more often than not it resulted in bruising or damaging them. Nothing beats the simplicity and effectiveness of a salad spinner for fresh and crunchy clean greens! This is one item that no kitchen should be without!
5. A vegetable spiralizer
A what?! A vegetable spiralizer is a wonderful machine that can create the curliest of vegetables you have ever seen! This is the perfect way to make delicious raw pasta or fun salads. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. My favorites are firmer, long vegetables such as carrots and zucchini, but even cucumbers work great too.
There are several different types of spiralizers that are available and with a little bit of research you can certainly find one that will suit your needs, as well as your budget.
Having a vegetable spiralizer in your kitchen will aid you tremendously if you are looking for a simple way to boost your vegetable intake and look and feel healthy.
6. A water filter
Drinking plenty of fresh water is such an easy way to create health and wellbeing. Your body needs fresh water to stay hydrated and energized.
Buying a water filter for your kitchen may be easiest way to drink fresh water without the unnecessary worry about what chemicals are in your drinking water or the damage that plastic bottles are doing to the environment. The easier you can have fresh water to hand, the better! There are many different types of water filters available ranging from a simple water filter jug (cost about $20 plus filters) to the fancy ones that you connect to your main supplies filtering all the water that you use in your whole house.
Having a water filter is a great investment in your health and one that has the ability to add tremendous value to your health and well being, as well as your friends and family.
7. A compost bin
One of the things I am most excited about is the addition of a compost bin. I have never had one before, so this will be a new addition for me.
Damien and I juice everyday and in the past, much of the pulp from our vegetable juices often goes to waste. With the compost bin we are excited to be able to reuse the pulp and vegetable peels by composting it on our new vegetable garden.