Sustainable Kitchen Appliances for the DIY Fanatic

Any sustainable DIY fanatic knows the importance of having great kitchen tools.

The right tools are an investment in your DIY infrastructure. They help you create a healthy family environment by making your DIY projects come to life and helping you preserve them for use all the year round.

Note: This arsenal of sustainable DIY kitchen tools is being continually updated as we adopt, use, and trust new tools and brands.

In my current (small) kitchen, I try to keep big, bulky kitchen appliances to a minimum so we don’t have avalanches every time we open a cupboard or the small pantry closet. We survive with just a few appliances, and it’s pretty remarkable considering the many DIY projects we routinely undertake.

We just don’t see the sense in storing and maintaining a host of small appliances, especially when we can do everything with just a few favorites.

My favorite small kitchen appliances

Sustainable Kitchen Appliances

VitaMix

Hands down, the VitaMix high speed blender is our favorite kitchen appliance! Although very expensive, this kitchen work horse eliminates the need for some other space-consuming appliances. It has replaced our bulky ice cream maker and wimpy blender, and has almost totally replaced our food processor. We regularly use it to make sauces, nut butters, ice cream, smoothies, salsa, and much more. I have also used it for grinding spices and making moisturizer (after which I have to clean it extremely well).

We were fortunate enough to find someone selling their VitaMix for half the price a brand new one costs! I can’t imagine my kitchen without this gem.

Pressure Canner

Owning a pressure canner (that can also be used for the hot water bath method) is wonderful for it’s obvious use…canning the bounty of food from the growing season so we have a pantry stocked with healthy, delicious food all year long. Some of our favorites include refrigerator clean-out soups, diced tomatoes, applesauce, broth, salsa, and beans. I was nervous about pressure canning, having heard horror stories about explosions and food stuck on ceilings for months, but we purchased a heavy duty model that has been a cinch to use.

Bread machine

Although I have recently started making artisan loaves based on the book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day, I must admit my breadmaker was one of my absolute favorite appliances for several years. It baked large, soft, healthy loaves for us that guests would actually request when coming to visit. It allowed me to throw ingredients in a pan and let the machine do ALL the work. No mess, no kneading, no waiting for rise times, and no problem popping the loaf out of the pan. When the fun of baking artisan bread dies off, I’m sure I”ll reunite with my trusty breadmaker for a little DIY bread rendezvous.

Immersion Blender

I must admit that when I had excess kitchen space, I owned an immersion blender (stick blender) for probably four years without using it once. It was a visit to a friend’s house, who was making homemade soap with her (dedicated) immersion blender, that reminded me I had one resting in the dark corners of my cupboards. I now use this peppy little blender for anything requiring a little stirring when I’m feeling too lazy to get out the VitaMix. I also discovered it’s easier to clean than the VitaMix after making moisturizer. This appliance takes up very little space and can help out with many food products that need a quick blend.

Other useful appliances

Food Processor

If you don’t have a high speed blender (like a VitaMix), a food processor is a necessary kitchen appliance. It blends, chops, dices, purees, and creams ingredients. Although ours doesn’t make it out of the cupboard much anymore, we still love it for making salsa and other things we prefer chunky. (The VitaMix pulverizes things.) It saves loads of time for the home chef, but can also be used to make powdered laundry detergent, lotions, and a million other DIY projects.

Crock Pot

Although I haven’t tried it, I love the idea of homemade Crock Pot soaps. Using the Crock Pot cuts down on dishes and supplies you need for this messy DIY project. We currently use ours to soak and cook our dry beans, make roasts, stews, hot drinks, etc. If you’ve ever owned or perused a Crock Pot cookbook, you know there are a number of kitchen projects that are made easy with this wonder-cooker. From breads and cakes to scrambles and tasty oatmeals… the Crock Pot is a mainstay in our kitchen.

Remember: This arsenal of sustainable DIY kitchen tools is being continually updated as we adopt, use, and trust new tools and brands.

Your DIY Infrastructure

We recommend researching small kitchen appliances, saving for solid models that last a lifetime, and using each tool for multiple purposes.

As Matt always says, you should consider quality appliances “an investment in your DIY infrastructure.”

Looking for a special tool or kitchen appliance for your DIY projects?

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Comments

  1. It’s funny how each person is different. :-) I had a bread machine and I HATED that thing. I felt like it was a blight in my kitchen.
    I would not, however, do without my Nutrimill.
    Great list y’all! :-)

  2. We just bought a VitaMix after lusting after one for years and absolutely love it. One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my Excalibur Dehydrator. I’ve had cheap ones and they just didn’t last or do what was necessary. Here is a link to my blog about it and some of what we dry: http://www.bloombakecreate.com/2009/12/time-to-put-it-away/

    The other appliance we use is our yogurt maker – using it every week to make a batch.

    • Yes! The VitaMix is my fave! I’m currently lusting over dehydrators, but just don’t have another inch of space to store one. :(

  3. I love my stand mixer and I’m not sure how I ever did without it. It cuts so much time from so many tasks. And like Lynda, I love my yogurt maker as well.

  4. If I had to choose between my microwave and my Kitchen Aid mixer, the mixer would win.

  5. Yes I’m in agreement about the mixer … I love my kitchen aid mixer!! I am currently debating getting rid of my microwave and getting a toaster oven … I’ve heard bad things about microwaves, thoughts?

    • Ya they’re pretty awful for your health. They radiate your food and kill all the enzymes, etc… They were first used in world war 2 for the German soldiers so they could have a hot meal since they were likely to die anyway. They were also outlawed in the US at first. For more info you can do an internet search on “microwave health” also. When we got rid of ours it took me awhile to get used to but so much of the food tastes better if not microwaved. A small convection/broiler/toaster oven works really great to take the place of a microwave.

    • Get rid of it. We sold our house a few months back and the house we moved into didn’t have one – perfect reason to go without. Now we warm everything up in saucepans, dutch ovens, or the oven. We don’t have a toaster oven either but they work great. Here’s an article we wrote about alternatives to microwaving.

  6. I would love to buy a Vitamix. Which one do you recommend? I would love to juice, make smoothies, soups, make dough, basically everything.

  7. We bought a juicer last fall and I love it – it is now one of our staples. I’m trying to convince my husband we need a vitamix and an excalibur dehydrator too – Mmmm raw banana bread walnuts! :)

  8. Just ordered my Vitamix this week and received it yesterday! Wow! What an amazing machine!!! I can’t wait to see what all this machine can do! Thanks for your recommendation!