10 Tools for New Vegans

With the right tools, planning, preparing, and cooking healthy plant-based meals is easier than ever. While some of these suggestions require a bit of an initial investment, they’ll ultimately save you both money and time.

  1. A cronometer, or an online site that helps you to track your calories, vitamins, and macros. While everyone fears not getting enough protein, this is rarely a problem. Instead, new vegans (just like our omni friends) can be deficient on certain key nutrients, or we can be eating too much fat or Omega 6s (thanks to vegan junk food). The cronometer will help you make adjustments to your diet so that your nutritional needs are being met. You can even track your weight, fitness goals, and water intake. See: https://cronometer.com/
  2. A good chef’s knife. There is no other tool that you will use as frequently as this. It will help you to quickly perform uniform cuts, mince, and chop vegetables, fruits, and herbs so that you spend less time prepping– and what you do prep cooks evenly. I recommend going to a culinary store and trying several knives to find the one that best works for you.
  3. An Instantpot.  This multi-function device could take up several slots on this list on its own. It is a pressure cooker, crockpot, steamer, rice cooker, saute pan and some models even make yogurt. It will elevate your legume game to new heights, and cook perfect grains every time.  An if you share your life and/or home with an omni, you might just want to get a second one for them.
  4. An oil sprayer. This handy little device lets you spray  tiniest amount of oil onto your food on those occasions that you need it (say to crisp up some oven fries). It allows you to use oil that is free of preservatives, and you can keep refilling the bottle so there’s less waste.
  5. Silicone Mats. Use these handy mats to keep food from sticking to baking trays. They are great for helping to caramelize potatoes and roasted vegetables.
  6. Parchment Paper: Though I try not to overuse disposable items, there are times when parchment paper is a must-have (like when baking bread). It doesn’t crisp things up like the silicone mats, and sometimes that is preferred.
  7. A quality vegetable peeler. I have wasted the better part of my life peeling potatoes with a knife for no good reason. Peelers are cheap and efficient.
  8. A julienne peeler. Similar to the standard vegetable peeler, this handy gadget has a simple blade and handle, but it has grown to be one of my favorite tools. Cutting julienne strips is not a sport I recommend for the novice (or anyone, really). This is the better way.
  9. Facebook. Yes, the home to your embarrassing pictures is also the place for connecting with lots and lots of vegan groups where you can get advice, share recipes, and be part of a strong and vibrant vegan community that is growing every day.
  10. An electric tortilla press. Whether you are gluten free, or just want a healthier tortilla or wrap that doesn’t have preservatives or excess fat, a tortilla press will make it possible. You can use a variety of gluten free or wheat-based flours, and a little water and salt to create wraps or tortillas that will taste better, and be fresher than anything pre-packaged.

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