Starting Out on the WFPB Diet – Kitchen Equipment

Expensive kitchen equipment is not needed in order to make great meals on a WFPB diet. This can be seen in the healthiest and longest-lived populations on the planet, such as the Okinawans, who tend to have very simple kitchen equipment. Let’s take a quick look at some basic kitchen kit.

The basics

You need a few pots and pans, whisks, spatulas, spoons, measuring cups, mixing bowls, colander, that’s it. Some of the healthiest populations in the world barely have electricity. So you really just need those basics.

Added convenience

A rice cooker and slow cooker are useful additions, but the one that I tend to use almost daily is a pressure cooker. Drs Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger make it clear that eating beans every day is one of the healthiest things you can do – particularly when bean-eating is linked to healthy longevity in several epidemiological studies 1 .

I would recommend something like this electric pressure cooker/ multicooker. 2 These are able to cook rice, be pre-programmed on a timer, slow cook, keep food warm and and, for me, most importantly, to switch off automatically once the beans etc are cooked.

We also have a traditional pressure cooker. This will do the job well enough, but you can’t just dump the beans in, press the timer and leave it to do its stuff while you get on with other activities.

Another piece of kit that I use almost every day is a small coffee/spice grinder. I include a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and chia seeds in my daily diet (along with 6 halves of walnuts) so that I get enough ALA to make the EPA/DHA long-chain omega-3 fatty acids 3 4 that our bodies need. Flaxseeds are so tough that eating them whole means that almost all of them will just pass straight through you. Grinding them (and the chia seeds) ensures that you benefit from their powerful nutrients and phytochemicals – gram for gram, they are also the highest source of lignans5 of any food.   As with most foods, freshly grinding them rather than grinding and storing the ground seeds is probably best.

I use a simple coffee/spice grinder6 . It’s efficient and easy to use and clean. I also use it for grinding black peppercorns (to be added daily to the turmeric and tomato juice ‘anti-cancer’ drink) 7 ,  nuts (to be integrated into salad dressings, sauces, etc) 8 9  , etc.

High-grade blenders, juicers and food processors are, of course, really useful if you can afford them and if you’re going to use them regularly. The cheaper end of the market in these products tend to produce results that are less than satisfactory a lot of the time. This is particularly the case if you are blending/juicing vegetables/fruits with little or no added water.

However, you simply don’t have to spend £100’s or £1000’s on new kitchen equipment to have pretty much all you need to prepare optimally healthy meals.

This is the same when it comes to kitchen tools. It’s always best to spend a bit extra on a really good quality sharp chef’s knife. Not only does it make such a difference in food prep, but it makes it more enjoyable and safer.

Also, having at least two chopping boards (one for fruits and one for veg) is important to avoid your strawberries having that onion or garlic taint! I use flexible, colour-coded polyethylene chopping ‘mats’ 10 . They’re easy to clean and, best of all in my opinion, once the food is chopped up on them, you can bend them and more easily scrape or pour into bowls, pans or whatever.

Other tools include a grater, peeler and a potato masher. By the way, a potato masher isn’t just useful for white potatoes; it’s great for making mash from sweet potatoes, swede, mooli, turnip, carrots, etc, as well as for mashing tofu, beans etc.

Finally, if you’ve never used silicone cookware, you would do well to give them a try – particularly important when eating a WFPBD without any added oils – something that’s strongly recommended 11 12 . I use silicone spatulas, sheets for baking, silicone bread tins for making bread, silicone muffin tins for making … yea, you get the idea 13 .

Silicone – non-stick heaven without any oil needed

That’s about it. There are lots of fads around and many people end up with often expensive kitchen equipment just gathering dust in cupboards.

The most important thing is the quality of the food, not the quality of the gadgets!


References

  1. Pritikin Longevity Center: Want to Live to 100? Eat More Beans! []
  2. PRESSURE KING Pro Digital Pressure Multicooker []
  3. Non-Fish Sources of Omega-3 []
  4. Omega 3 Supplements = Snake Oil []
  5. nutritionfacts.org: flaxseeds and lignans []
  6. Duronic CG250 Premium 250W Electric Coffee Grinder Motor Coffee Bean Spice Nut Stainless Steel Blade Mill []
  7. Why Pepper Boosts Turmeric Blood Levels. Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on February 5th, 2015 []
  8. Dr Furhman’s Almond Balsamic Vinaigrette []
  9. Dr Fuhrman’s Banana Walnut Dressing []
  10. Hygiplas Colour Coded Chopping Mats Set Large []
  11. Olive Oil Injures Endothelial Cells []
  12. No Oil — Not Even Olive Oil! – Caldwell Esselstyn MD []
  13. Tip 14. Use silicone and non-stick cookware []