1. Vitamix Blender- $500+
This was a Christmas present (an awesome one at that!) for my wife and I and is by far my favorite kitchen gadget. I use this for making my smoothies, soups, nut milks, sauces and more! We recently bought a dry container for the Vitamix and now I can make a bunch of different flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, brown rice flours, etc. I absolutely recommend a Vitamix for anyone whose budget allows. It goes above and beyond what a normal blender can do.
2. Chef’s Knife and Knife Sharpener- $40-$400 (knife) and $10-$50 (knife sharpener)
I think those knife blocks are pointless for the most part. For the most part you don’t a big set of knives. All you need is a good chefs knife (see picture), a paring knife, and sometimes a serrated knife. I bought a 10 inch Victorinox chefs knife for $40 online and it’s been a fantastic knife. I also bought a knife sharpener (see picture) from IKEA for $15 and I can’t believe how good it works! When we brought it home we tried it out on some knives that were so dull they couldn’t cut through warm butter. After sharpening them, they could cut through onions and tomatoes so easily. If the budget won’t allow for a new chefs knife, at least go out and get a knife sharpener, it will bring your old dull blades back to life!
3. Le Creuset Dutch Oven-$300-$500+
If you are going to buy yourself a dutch oven, skip the cheap ones and save your pennies to buy a nice high-end dutch oven like Le Creuset. They are made much better and will last many lifetimes. I bought my Le Creuset dutch oven as a present to myself after completing my Culinary Nutrition Expert course. This thing is fantastic! I can saute on the stove top and bake in the oven with my dutch oven. It’s great for making soups, stews, killer risotto and more. This isn’t a must have, but it is versatile can take the place of many of your pots and pans. Plus, they look a lot nicer too.
4. Omega Juicer- $300-$400
I don’t have to explain why having a juicer is a good idea. I think being able to drink your vegetables and juice regularly is one of the absolute best things you can do for your body. I wrote a blog post on juicing if you want more info. You can find it here.
5. Mason Jars- $Cheap
Storing things in mason jars makes it easy to organize, easy to find, and it looks good! I store nuts, seeds, grains, flours, lentils and so much more in mason jars. Buy some mason jars (I like the 1L and 500ml sizes), and some labels and you are set. You can even pre-mix recipes in mason jars such as salads, dressings, and my favorite, pancake mix!