10 Essential Tools You Need in Your Whole Foods Kitchen

10 Essential Tools You Need in Your Whole Foods Kitchen

As a holistic chef who has cooked extensively in commercial kitchens and at home, I realize how important it is to have the right equipment to make cooking whole foods easy to do. When you have the best kitchen tools and equipment, you can make delectable, healthy recipes with ease and enjoy your time spent in the kitchen.


I only believe in using kitchen tools that are reliable, durable, time saving, and multi-tasking so you can get the best value for the money spent. I have put together a list of 10 essential tools you need in your whole foods kitchen. This list includes my favorite kitchen tools along with a description of how they can be used in your whole foods kitchen so you have all the help you need to be a better cook.


All of these kitchen tools and information comes from my new cookbook “Deliciously Holistic” which is for sale on Amazon right now. My book has 154 healing foods recipes and over 50 pages of holistic lifestyle tips to help you experience vibrant health and wellness!


10 Essential Tools You Need in Your Whole Foods Kitchen


Blendtec Blender designer_series_wildside.a4f10f6c



1. High Power Blender

I adore my high-speed Blendtec blender! I use it every single day and it’s truly an amazing blender that delivers day after day. Even though high-speed blenders are more expensive than a regular blender, you will get your money’s worth over the course of using it on a regular basis. I have had my Blendtec blender since 2008 and it’s still going strong! Blendtec blenders make the most delicious, creamy smoothies, silky soups, smooth nut and seed butters, hummus, soft serve ice creams from frozen fruit, salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise, puddings, and all sorts of whole foods recipes. Blendtec blender is totally computerized, compact in size, and a breeze to clean. This blender truly is a time saver for busy people who want to make healthy, homemade foods in minutes!


The other blender I have used and feel confident recommending is a Vitamix blender. I have used this fantastic blender in many commercial kitchens that I have worked in over the years and it truly delivers.



Vitamix Blender





Global chef's knife





2. Chef’s Knives

Knives are a important tool to include in your holistic whole foods kitchen. Knives are essential for doing all types of cutting, dicing, and chopping. Always make sure you keep your knives sharp and use them correctly to avoid accidents. Use a steel to keep your knife edges honed. My favorite knives to use in my kitchen are the 8-inch or 10-inch chef’s knife, 4-inch paring knife, and 8-inch serrated knife. I like using both Global stainless steel knives and Kyocera ceramic knives.



Lodge Cast iron skillet



3. Cast Iron Skillet

I have been using cast iron skillets since I started cooking with my mom and grandmother as a child. In our family, cast iron skillets were prized kitchen tools that were used daily and passed down from generation to generation. These durable and fabulous skillets are naturally non-stick from seasoning them before use. 10-inch and 12-inch skillets and sauté pans are very versatile pans for most recipes. Here’s my favorite cast iron skillet to use. I also like this enameled cast iron skillet too.

If you’re currently using non-stick pans in your kitchen, you need to switch to cast iron so you can avoid the issues that come with most non-stick cookware. Traditional non-stick cookware releases toxic chemicals when you cook with them like PFOA which stands for perfluorooctanoate. These toxic chemicals have been linked to many serious health problems. To find out more, check out these articles.  These traditional non-stick pans coatings also chip easily and can leach dangerous chemicals into your food.


core bamboo boards



4. Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are used in conjunction with your knife to cut a variety of different foods. It is very important to avoid cross contamination of your food. I prefer to have clearly marked, separate cutting boards for produce and meats. The cutting board should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with eco-friendly, safe cleaners after use. Here’s one of my favorite cutting boards.



Wide Mouth Glass Mason Jars



5. Glass Jars and Glass Storage Containers

Glass jars in 8-ounce, 16-ounce, and 1- or 2-quart sizes are good for storing dressings, fermented vegetables, cultured drinks, nut and seed milks, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and grains. I prefer the wide-mouth varieties. Glass storage containers are perfect for storing leftovers or cut up vegetables for salads and you don’t have to worry about glass leaching toxins into your food like plastic containers can. Here is my top choice for glass jars and for glass storage containers.


stainless steel cake pan



6. Sheet Pans/Baking Pans

Sheet pans are rectangular pans with shallow sides that are ideal for baking. Sheet pans are available in half or full size. Half size fits in most home ovens. Baking pans are great for a wide variety of baking tasks and come in many sizes. Baking pans are available in round, square, oval, and rectangular shapes. This is the brand of stainless steel baking pans I like.




All Clad stainless steel saucepan



7. Sauce Pans with lids

A variety of sauce pans are convenient for making soups, sauces, and many other foods. Sauce pans are available in many sizes and are good for cooking on top of the stove. 1½-quart and 3-quart sizes are versatile and good to own. Here’s the brand I use for sauce pans.


Crock Pot Slow cooker



8. Slow Cooker

Slow cookers cook food at low temperatures in a stoneware crock. I use my slow cooker to make stews, entrees, stocks, soups, oatmeal, chili, and fruit butters. Slow Cookers use less energy than stoves and run about 2 cents per hour in energy costs on high. This is the slow cooker I use in my kitchen.



stainless steel mixing bowls



9. Mixing Bowls

Round bowls are used for mixing a variety of different foods. My personal favorites are made of glass or stainless steel.


 OXO stainless steel measuring cups




10. Measuring Cups/Measuring Spoons

Measuring cups are used to measure dry or liquid ingredients. I use glass for liquids and stainless steel for dry ingredients. Measuring spoons are great for measuring small amounts of ingredients like dry spices and sea salt. Here’s a durable brand for measuring cups and spoons.


I hope this list of my favorite kitchen tools will help you enjoy your time spent in the kitchen!


What are your favorite tools to use in the kitchen to be a better cook? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.


Share this information with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!


If you enjoyed my post, check out my new cookbook that’s packed with 154 tasty healing foods recipes and over 50 pages of holistic lifestyle tips for more energy and better immunity! Deliciously Holistic is for sale on Amazon right now!


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Kitchen picture courtesy of Thermador.

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  1. I’d adore some lovely mason jars for juices! People seem to have such cool ones, decorated and in all shades!
    LifeOfBun recently posted..FOTD: Zero To HeroMy Profile

  2. Hey Shelley,

    As I reviewed your list I’m thinking to myself, got that, got something similar to that, hmmm need that. We don’t have the high powered blender but do have a Cusinart that’s been pretty reliable.

    I think a good knife sharpener is essential. Got a lesson in knives once that the sharpen actually takes off the burrs from the microscopic serrated edges. I like the Pampered Chef’s manual sharpener. A couple of swipes and we’re back in business. Hate dull knives. Grrr.

    My wife and I are pretty handy in the kitchen and operate well in there. It’s a fun place to create.

    Appreciate your input!

    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..105 Pounder Considered Obese! You May Believe It, You May NotMy Profile

  3. nick catricala

    as always, when coming to your lovely blog, I get this wonderful feeling that allow me to enjoy the food I prepare even more…

    This article is one of this article that makes preparing great meal very easy.. and simple.

    Your list of essentials helps a lot..
    I start to eliminate many of what I considered “essentials” but actually they were only collecting dust and taking lots of space… so now I only have what I use and need.. and most of what you have listed here is in my kitchen (except the great looking kitchen you have as a main kitchen Image, but I am working on haha 🙂

    Thanks so much as always..
    you truly inspire great health living…
    nick catricala recently posted..Let’s Take Control of Our Life and charge towards our dreams!My Profile

  4. Totally agree with all these. I would add at least one dutch oven like Le Crueset or a similar porcelain over cast iron for those lovely winter braises and stews!

  5. I love smoothies. So having a blender is a must.
    David Ryan recently posted..Tennis is my bagMy Profile

  6. Forget the gadgets, I’ll take the kitchen. :-))

  7. Shelley, Great choices and advice! I would say a good skillet is very important, they are extremely versatile. You are totally right that people should get an iron one, you can put the whole thing into the oven or under the grill (unlike those ones with plastic handles!). My black iron professional is still going strong after 15 years hard labour 🙂
    The Food Curator recently posted..Kenwood Chef ReviewMy Profile

  8. This is a remarkable check list. I have everything and more yet keeping it simple has helped with your prior article that has made me a funny guy with my great blender. I make healthy smoothies now and they have a natural sweet taste.

    You are great healer and we love the help all these years thank you!
    William Earl Amis, Jr. III recently posted..Focus On What Is To ComeMy Profile

  9. We should have one of those cast iron pans, instead of the silly “non stick pans” we have. We tried cooking poached eggs this morning, and they even stuck.
    I like all the recommendations you have here, if I cooked more I would definitely have them all.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Flat Out Like A Lizard Drinkin’My Profile

  10. I think in my opinion the most important for myself is the vitamix. I love my vitamix and could now live without it. That and my kitchen aid. My wife and I use those on practically a daily basis. Slow cookers are awesome too, set it and forget it!
    Kyle Nelson recently posted..The Time You Have In Jelly BeansMy Profile

  11. A really inspiring share. I must admit that your tools look so nice that I guess at least a half of your readers would impress their dear and near with awesome dinners to day (me too).
    As to the tools – I would sign under every item in your list. I totally agree with you that good cooks need good tools.
    Diane (Overnight Essay) recently posted..Warning: Use These Free Essays Online at Your Own RiskMy Profile

  12. Thanks Diego! Sounds like your kitchen is pretty well equipped. A good cookware set is essential to making cooking easier and enjoyable.
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..Simple Strategies for a Healthy Holiday SeasonMy Profile

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