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Kitchen essentials: Everything You Need to Get Cooking

Updated: May 16

whole Naturals Kitchen Essentialas

My Dear Readers and Fellow Cleaning Enthusiasts,

When I think about kitchen essentials, versatility reigns supreme. This week, I was in a hyper cleaning mood, trying to organize, minimize and reduce the clutter in my kitchen. I was thinking about things in my pantry, cooking and cleaning equipment - what do I really use on a regular basis? What are things i NEVER use? I decided to adapt a strategic approach, organized by function, and thought I would take a moment to write my thoughts to share them here.

Pantry Staples

  • Grains: Rice (white, brown, or basmati), pasta (various shapes), quinoa, couscous.

  • Proteins: Beans (black, kidney, chickpeas), lentils, canned tuna/salmon, eggs.

  • Fats and Oils: Olive oil, a good quality high heat oil (avocado or canola).

  • Aromatics: Onions, garlic, ginger.

  • *Vinegar: White or apple cider vinegar adds acidity and depth to dishes.

  • Dried Herbs and Spices: Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, chili flakes.

  • Canned Goods: Diced tomatoes, canned beans (different varieties), broth (chicken or vegetable).

Essential Utensils

  • Sharp Chef's Knife: A good knife makes chopping, slicing, and dicing a breeze.

  • Cutting Board: Protects your countertops and keeps your knives sharp.

  • Mixing Bowls (various sizes): Essential for mixing ingredients, tossing salads, and prepping batters.

  • Whisk: For beating eggs, whipping cream, and mixing sauces.

  • Spoons (wooden and slotted): For stirring, serving, and scraping.

  • Spatulas (rubber and metal): For flipping food, mixing batters, and scraping bowls.

  • Can Opener: A seemingly simple tool, but crucial when those canned goods come calling.

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: One set - preferably the nesting type, to save on drawer space.

  • Peelers: As a lefty, i prefer the ones that have the blade at the top, rather than the side

Cooking Equipment

Large Skillet/Frying Pan: Suitable for sauteing, pan-frying, and searing.

Saucepan with Lid: Perfect for boiling pasta, simmering sauces, and making soups.

Baking Sheet: For roasting vegetables, baking cookies, and sheet pan dinners.

Dutch Oven / Stock Pot: A versatile workhorse for stews, soups, slow braising, and even baking bread.

Cleaning and Kitchen Essentials

This list has had the biggest upgrade the past few years! Before embracing the versatility and multi-functionality of Whole Naturals Castile Soap, my list included abrasive cleansers, chlorine bleach, glass cleaner, multi-purpose spray, gloves, and dish soap. With Castile Soap, the only things I really have:

  • Mop & bucket

  • Dish Rags

  • Sponges

When I inventoried my kitchen, I had about 4 sets of mismatched measuring cups, broken spatulas, and too many peelers to count. I tossed anything broken, but the excess of gadgets, that were in usable condition, were packed in a box, and donated to my local thrift shop. Next on my garage. Send in a search party if I'm not back in a week!

Did I forget anything? Please feel free to share your top essential that meet your lifestyle needs!

Yohan and Alex founders Whole Naturals Castile Soap

*Vinegar works great or cleaning too! But as I mentioned last week, there are some things you CAN'T mix with vinegar!

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