A few years ago I went through my kitchen and did a major decluttering that resulted in giving a whole bunch of rarely used, bulky kitchen appliances to the Salvation Army or friends… You know, things like a breadmaker, food dehydrator, waffle maker, etc. Once I really started getting into the less processed thing a couple months ago, I ironically found myself at the local charity store repurchasing several of these things. Since starting on this journey, I’ve gotten a breadmaker, juicer, waffle iron, popcorn air popper and dehydrator. I also got a sweet deal on a chest freezer on Craigslist. This one has been pretty crucial. Since I still need to have convenient meals to feed my family, I end up freezing a lot of things like sauces and ready made meals and definitely needed the extra space. In addition, the food processor that I used to use maybe once every couple months has been used almost daily (since in order to eat less processed food I’m now the one quite literally processing my food). This one I found particularly humorous (not ha ha funny, but funny nonetheless).
I’m not saying that everyone who decides to venture into a less processed diet for their family would need all these bulky appliances. I know our grandmothers made due with considerably less. But for me these are helping quite a bit. And luckily for the pocket book I was able to find so much of it used (probably because everyday someone like my prior self goes through their kitchen and says, “I never really use this” and ships it off to the donation center.
My most valued appliances:
Freezer – Prior to getting the chest freezer we only had the plain old freezer above our fridge which was almost always full and hard to find things in. And that was before I started needing to freeze cheese, pizza and marinara sauce, homemade waffles, chicken nuggets, etc.
Food processor – I use this to puree veggies to hide in our food, shred cheese, make dips and sauces and make one ingredient banana ice cream.
Breadmaker – I mostly use this one for making pizza dough so far. But in the coming weeks I’m going to try making some actual bread with it (most commercially available bread is stock full of nasty unnatural stuff, or is quite expensive if it’s not). And my six year old wants to try making hamburger buns.
Crock pot – I started using this one a bit before even trying the less processed thing. Now I appreciate its ability to make meals more convenient even more.
Waffle maker – Pretty self explanatory, I make waffles with this. My boys used to eat a lot of freezer waffles, so this seemed like an obvious place for me to swap out some of our processed foods.
Dehydrator – I’ve yet to master a good fruit snack recipe, but I did come up with a pretty good one for fruit rolls and have used this a few times. I’m also planning on trying to dehydrate some plain old pieces of fruit.