Here’s the definitive list of items we love and use with regularity. Life is better and healthier thanks to these products available on Amazon. If you’re anything like us you do most of your shopping online. It makes life easier. Let us know if you think we’re missing anything in the comments.
Small Appliances for the Kitchen
The Instant Pot is my favorite appliance for saving time and still getting delicious meals. It takes 10 minutes to hard-boil eggs, under an hour for minestrone soup and beef stew, and under 2 hours for a tender pot roast. And forget simmering bone broth all day. That’s under 2 hours now as well.
I like to keep chicken nuggets on hand in the freezer at all times. The kids dip them in honey mustard, or I use them in Orange Chicken or Sweet & Sour Chicken for at-home takeout meals. The FryDaddy keeps the splattery mess to a minimum with a capacity large enough to make a big batch at once.
We are big fans of leftovers around here and heating up the entire oven to reheat some ribs or chicken nuggets just doesn’t make sense. This Convection Toaster Oven is perfect for small leftover meals, as well as making single serving chocolate cakes.
Whether we’re making a large batch of smoothies for our family of 5, or I’m whipping up some mayo to make our favorite chicken salad, the Blendtec is always my go-to appliance. We also have the Twister Jar which is perfect for making creamy coconut or cashew butters, a favorite around here.
While the Blendtec works well for softer nut butters, I still use my Cuisinart Food Processor for the heavy duty stuff, like almond butter. I also love how fast and easy it slices veggies and shreds potatoes. It’s also perfect for making mayo if I don’t get around to washing the Blendtec.
I’ve had my KitchenAid Stand Mixer since I got married nearly 15 years ago and it’s still just as powerful and effective as it was the day we go it. I use it for cookies, cakes, frosting, shredding chicken, whipped cream, etc. The list goes on and on and one.
For smaller mixer jobs that don’t need the power and capacity of the stand mixer, I’ve got my handheld KitchenAid Mixer. Perfect for small batches of whipped cream, beating egg whites to fluffy perfection, and shredding small amounts of cooked poultry.
I put off getting an Immersion Blender for a long time because I thought it wasn’t worth it, but I was so wrong. We use it all the time for blending up our NutriKeto or Bone Broth Shakes, small batches of whipped cream, or chopping pickles and nuts in the included mini food-processor.
Whether you’re keto and trying to track your macros and food intake, or you want perfect baked goods, a kitchen scale is a must-have. I develop all of my cassava flour recipes using the scale, so my chocolate or carrot cake turns out perfect every single time.
Ok, so this is far from a small appliance, but we love our Traeger so much, I had to include it in this list. We smoke whole chickens (and make broth from the carcasses), turkey, ribs, pot roast, steaks, salmon, and burgers. Basically, we smoke everything as often as we can. There’s absolutely nothing better than slow-smoked meat.
Tools for the Kitchen
This mixing bowl set is my absolute favorite. Every possible size you could need, and it’s Anchor Hocking so you know it’s quality. My kids are pros at dropping things and they have yet to break one of these bowls yet. I also prefer glass over metal because they are non-reactive and you can see through them when weighing food on the kitchen scale.
The sharp, clean lines of these Stainless Steel Measuring Cups & Spoons makes it super easy to get an exact measurement each time. For flours, I like to stir them then scoop into the measuring cups and scrape off the extra with a butter knife for a nice, clean measurement. And the spoons fits perfectly in my spice jars.
I’ve got a couple glass measuring cups for liquids, but leaning down to get eye-level and see if the measurement is accurate is never that easy. These angled measuring cups make it an easy task. I often add multiple liquids at once (like water first, then oil, then vanilla, etc) because it’s so clear when you hit the measurement you need with each liquid.
I know, how many measuring cups do you need, but I promise this one is a requirement in a paleo kitchen. When cooking and baking with stickier sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, getting it all out of a regular measuring cup is a pain. This one slides up and scrapes every single bit of stickiness out so you get every drop that you need in your recipe.
I couldn’t like without my silicone spatulas. I use them for making scrambled eggs and omelettes, scraping cake batter out of the bowl, mixing granola, and getting the last drop of mayo out of the jar. And if you don’t want to get all the cake batter out of the bowl, it makes it easy to scrape it out and eat it while your cake is baking.
I’ve had my Pampered Chef Bamboo Spoons since I was a consultant over a decade ago and they are still going strong. They are perfect making my Coconut Curry Chicken and they don’t even stain. I use them to sauté veggies, stir soups, serve salads and Brussels sprouts. A definite kitchen staple.
Cookie scoops are the secret to perfectly round cookies, as well as perfectly portioned muffins and cupcakes. They can also be used as a melon-baller, or to dispense just the right amount of batter for silver-dollar pancakes. I’ve also used them to make my 14-Layer Cake to ensure the same amount of batter in each cake pan.
A chef is only as good as her knives, or something like that. I’ve gone through quite a few sets of knives and these Cuisinart knives are my favorite so far. They have a nice weight to them and stay nice and sharp. And I love that this set comes with a sharpener, as well as kitchen shears. I use those all the time for cutting bacon into tiny bacon bit pieces.
It’s kind of hard to use those knives without a cutting board, and this OXO board is the best. It cleans easily, and the grips on the sides keep it from sliding around on the counter, which is an important safety feature for an accident-prone person like myself. They also come color coded so you know to always use the red board for meats and the black board for fruits & veggies.
Peeling and hand-mincing garlic is probably the most dreaded kitchen task, which is why I just never do it. I’ve loved my garlic press for nearly 15 years, it has saved my countless hours in the kitchen, and the little silicone peeler tube is like garlic skin magic. Just roll the clove in there and voila! no skin.
A Microplane is a tool that you may not think of often, but when you need it, you really need it. It’s perfect for getting fine citrus zest or Parmesan shreds. You can even use it to shave a chocolate bar for adorable flakes of chocolate on your beautifully frosted cake.
I used to have a big, bulky cheese grater that took up way too much space in my kitchen drawer, so when I found this space-saving folding grater, I knew it was meant for me. I often use just one side at a time, rather than using it assembled as a stand, and place it directly over the bowl. Makes grating carrots, potatoes, and cheeses a breeze.
A quality casserole dish is a must-have in any kitchen. Casseroles are fast and easy meals, and having both a standard 9×13″ and an 8×8″ dish with lids, that’s even better. I also love the little 1-cup dishes, they are perfect for making quick “baked” apples for breakfast.
I use my rimmed baking sheets on a daily basis. Mostly I use them for cooking bacon in the oven (so much less messy than pan-frying), but I add the rack when I make meatballs, bacon-wrapped chicken, or jalapeño poppers. They also come in handy for making my kids’ favorite breakfast sandwiches.
Even if you have a wonky oven that doesn’t heat evenly, you still have hope of evenly baked cookies with AirBake sheets. You may still need to rotate based on your particular oven, but you will get even heating throughout the pan. I’ve successfully made perfectly browned cookies on mine even in the worst of ovens.
While I use parchment paper on occasion, I love these Silicone Baking Mats much more. They keep my meringues, macarons, and dinner rolls from sticking to the baking sheet, and they are reusable so I’m not using more wasted than I need to.
Ingredients & Food
While I tend to make my own mayo most of the time, I like to keep a couple jars of this Chosen Foods Mayo in the pantry for those days when I run out of my homemade version and have no time to make more. It’s got all clean ingredients and no added sweeteners, just like my homemade version.
This is by far my favorite brand of avocado oil. I use it in all my cooking and baking, as well as in my homemade mayo. It has a clean taste, no strong flavor, and has a high smoke point so I can use it in all my high-heat cooking.
Apple Cider Vinegar goes pretty fast in this house. We use it on our salads on a daily basis, as well as taking a small amount as a daily supplement. Bragg’s comes with the mother and is pure and unfiltered, as opposed to the oddly clear versions of store brands you can find on chain grocery store shelves.
While you can certainly buy cheap tuna at any grocery store, we feel much more comfortable buying from a cleaner brand and making sure we’re not getting excess mercury and all the Omega 3 oils we can. In addition to being better for your body, it really does taste better than the cheap stuff and you can see the difference as soon as you open the can.
Not all almond flour is created equally. Honeyville has been my choice since the day we started paleo and although I’ve tried a few other brands, I always go back to Honeyville. They blanch their almonds and mill them to a fine flour, not a coarse meal like other brands have. You’ll get consistent and happy results every time with Honeyville.
Otto’s Naturals has done an amazing thing with their cassava flour. It is the closest substitute for wheat flour that I’ve ever used. I can almost always sub it 1:1 by weight (using the kitchen scale) in any recipe with great success. Now we can have our chocolate, carrot, and lemon cakes and eat them too.
Coconut flour is an excellent high-fiber flour that works in a variety of recipes, but is not a 1:1 sub like cassava. You need far less coconut flour than wheat, cassava or even almond flour, and it works best when you use it with eggs for good structure and texture. Combined with almond flour, it makes an amazing “corn”bread.
Just like almond flour, maple sugar is not all the same. I thought I’d cut corners one day and buy a cheaper brand on Amazon. Big mistake. It was clumpy and rock hard. Coomb’s Family Maple Sugar is always just right, perfectly scoopable, and has an amazing maple flavor that works in place of white sugar in all recipes. It takes my Banana Bread to a whole new level.
If you’re looking for a brown sugar sub, coconut sugar is it. We love this in chocolate chip cookies and quick breads. It has a nice, warm, molasses-type flavor that is missing with honey or maple syrup. It’s also great combined with maple sugar for a depth of flavors.
Although we do use grass-fed butter on occasion, ghee is a staple in our kitchen. It has a different flavor profile due to being clarified and also keeps our dairy intake to a minimum. I love to sauté veggies or scramble eggs in it for an amazing flavor. It’s also a suitable lactose-free replacement for butter in baked goods.
I’ve tried various brands of canned coconut milk and non compare to Thai Kitchen, the flavor is just perfect. I use it in my Coconut Curry Chicken and Banana Chia Pudding, as well as a replacement for milk in pancakes and smoothies.
Coconut oil not only has it’s place in the kitchen, but in the bathroom as well. My favorite uses are sautéing veggies, deep-frying potato chips and chicken nuggets, as well as using it as a skin moisturizer, hair mask, and oil pulling for better dental health.
We can’t really go a day without drinking a cup of herbal tea. The kids love their nightly cup of Chamomile or Wild Sweet Orange, and I’m pretty partial to the Passion and Mint teas. We add either a bit of honey or a drop or two of Stevia to sweeten them up a bit.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are known as “healthy fats” that may help your body achieve Ketosis – the process which your body burns fat for energy.
Although we live in one of the sunniest states in the country, we still need extra Vitamin D (mostly in the winter), and you probably do too. We make sure that our whole family takes this Vitamin D3 supplement daily if we don’t get outside (which is pretty rare).
Every night before bed, we take a spoonful of Natural Calm to help us wind down and sleep well. Natural Calm also has a kids version that our younger children take that has added choline from brain development and vitamins B and D as well.
Shilijat (a natural source of fulvic acid & trace minerals) sounds weird and looks/smells even weirder, but it’s like a little miracle in a jar. Extracted from crevices in the Himilayan mountains, shilijat has a long list of benefits like balancing both estrogen and testosterone levels, reducing the need for pain medications, boosts energy levels (especially in a fasted state), and promotes brain health. We take 50mg daily, but you could take 100-20mg daily for 1 month, then stay off of it for 4 months before taking it again.
Getting older is unavoidable and to put it bluntly, it’s a pain. Literally. My shoulder and knee joints aren’t what they used to be and while we try to stay active (by working out, hiking, and stretching), we still need some help with our joints. Since taking this Glucosamine & Chondroitin supplement, there are far fewer creaks in our bodies.
Everyone knows about probiotics, but prebioitics are just as important to your gut health. They are what help those probiotics do their thing, plus you’re getting the added benefit of more fiber in your diet. We take this mixed in with water, but also add it to some recipes like our Breakfast Sandwiches and Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.
Since we participate in Intermittent and Extended Fasting, we make sure to supplement so our bodies get the nutrients they need to perform. This Amino Acid Complex helps boost our energy in a fasted state so we can make the most of our workouts.
Exogenous ketones are beneficial when you’re trying to get into ketosis (either getting started or getting back in after a carb-binge), and this blend of ketone salts with BHG gives you more than just ketones, but calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium as well.