It can be difficult to make real food when you’re busy. Trust me, I’m with you. These products make real food easier.
“Real food” has a rap for being time consuming and sometimes difficult to make, but it doesn’t have to. By utilizing my 10 favorite kitchen products you can make real food easier even with a busy schedule.
10 Products to Make Real Food Easier
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Slow Cooker – A 6-7 quart slow cooker is crucial to getting real food on the table in a busy person’s life. In fact, so much so that I have 3 slow cookers. All 3 are different sizes, and no, you don’t need 3, but you DO need 1.
I love my Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6 quart slow cooker. There are so many options that look enticing and do amazing things but if you need something that goes easy on the budget and holds up well, this slow cooker is a good option. My Hamilton Beach slow cooker has lasted for years. I finally have a new Set ‘n Forget as backup since I can’t be without one if this one stops working and occasionally need 2.
Immersion Blender – Did you know it’s dangerous to blend hot foods? My immersion blender is my best friend when I want to puree hot sauces or soups like this yummy carrot cumin soup or easy cauliflower soup.
I absolutely love my Calphalon Immersion Blender but they don’t make them anymore. I’ve heard good things about the KitchenAid immersion blender but haven’t had an opportunity to try it.
Blender – Choose a high powered blender that can puree things as fine as possible. I use my blender for pureeing fresh produce, grinding coffee beans, making smoothies, and so much more.
We all have a dream list for a blender, right? I definitely recommend you buy a high quality blender since it really does make a difference in how well food becomes pureed, but which to choose? This comes down to budget. I love Vitamix and Ninja and believe they are fabulous options, but I have owned a KitchenAid Diamond Blender for several years now and it offers great quality at a budget friendly price. It doesn’t puree as fine as the Vitamix but it is much better than the standard cheap blender.
Stand Mixer – From making breads to whipping cream, I couldn’t manage my kitchen without my heavy duty stand mixer.
My life wouldn’t be the same without my KitchenAid stand mixer. This is one of the most used small kitchen appliances in my house. I highly recommend the KitchenAid 6-Qt. Professional 600 Series , but if you can’t swing it with your budget, the KitchenAid 4.5-Quart Classic Series is good too. Just don’t try using it regularly for bread dough as the motor will burn out in much shorter time.
Citrus Reamer – I use lemons and limes in so many foods, but especially super easy homemade guacamole and salsa.
There are many options for juicers and reamers, but I love this wooden citrus reamer the most. It’s handheld and takes up very little space. It also is easy to use and clean.
Air Popper – Popcorn is one of the easiest (healthier) snack options. Making popcorn on the stove top takes time. An air popper makes snacking easier and older kids can operate it with ease. I know some would question how valuable it is, but this air popper offers convenient snacking and cuts down on prepackaged snack chips and pretzels so it makes my list.
An air popper I love? We just bought an air popper so I won’t have a good recommendation I can stand behind until I’ve used it more.
Food Processor – Chopping, slicing, and making homemade pie crust is ever so easy with a food processor. You want to choose one that has space for every job but isn’t so big that smaller amounts of food get “lost” away from the blades. I find a 6 cup processor to be just right.
I love my small Cuisinart food processor so I would say the large Cuisinart food processor is likely just as nice if not nicer. Mine has held up for many many years now. However, my large food processor is an old Hamilton Beach hand me down from my late grandmother-in-law and I treasure it. Not only because it reminds me of her, but it is a workhorse. I highly recommend reading many reviews before you buy a food processor because I have experienced some good and some not so good. If you want to get an all-in-one, Ninja has a blender with a food processor attachment.
Good Knives – Invest in a mid to upper line of knives. You’re going to be using them often and you want something that works for you. The investment will last for years.
I am a fan of Calphalon’s self-sharpening set as a practical set that will last, but if it was in my budget I would go all out on a Henckels or WÜSTHOF set.
Cast Iron Skillets – Some would call me a collector but cast iron skillets are magical and low maintenance if you care for them properly. They are also versatile as they transition from stove top to oven easily. I recommend having 8, 10, and 12 inch skillets.
I recommend either collecting cast iron skillets at yard sales or thrift stores or buying Lodge. Lodge is known for quality and they are quite affordable. You can buy them pretty much anywhere.
Large Cutting Board – There is nothing like trying to chop a large volume of produce on an itty-bitty cutting board. Invest in a good quality cutting board that is easy to clean. Better yet, invest in several – 1 for meats and 1 for produce.
I have too many cutting boards, but the one I linked above is my absolute favorite size and material. I like having a variety of cutting boards so I have the size I need for any job – from 4 inch to 30 inch and sturdy to flexible.
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