Make Your Vegan Journey Easier with These Appliances and Tools

We have found the following appliances have really helped us on our vegan journey.  If you purchase through our links, we receive a small percentage back but you don’t pay any more!  Vitamix gives you free shipping as an extra bonus.  Win win!  🙂

The almighty Vitamix!

We have an affiliate relationship with Vitamix so if you purchase one of their products through our website, you get free shipping! And we get a small percentage back from them! If you or someone you know is thinking about purchasing a Vitamix, use our link, please! Thank you!

After years of wanting a Vitamix, Jeff finally bought me one for my birthday. It was bit of leap for me because I realize it’s an investment. A blender that costs over $500! What!? But the truth after using it is, I love it and I wish I had I bought it earlier. We use it pretty much every day. Most days I start my day with a smoothie and I feel like there is less waste with the Vitamix because you can throw stems of kale and stuff that a regular blender wouldn’t grind down enough. Gone are the little bits of greens that wouldn’t break down no matter how long I would grind it in the old blender. And it’s not just for smoothies. We also make quick soups, hummus, salsas, dips and vegan cheeses. We also use it to grind coffee and chop veggies finely for things like coleslaw or spring rolls. This thing really lives up to the hype, in our opinion. We love our Vitamix!

The BlendTec Total Blender

We hear the BlendTec is as good as the Vitamix and there are plenty of side-by-side comparison videos on YouTube to prove it.

Description from Amazon:
The all-in-one Countertop Blender to help you every day. Total Blender Classic makes smoothies, fresh juice, ice cream, milkshakes, cappuccinos, margaritas, soups, sauces, bread dough, dressings, salsas and more! It replaces up to 12 other appliances with one fast easy-to-use machine, at a fraction of the cost. Commercial Quality. For years professionals have used Blendtec machines in the best coffee shops, juice bars, and restaurants around the world. Blendtec is known for producing the best, most consistent results in taste and texture. With the Total Blender Classic, you’ll enjoy the same great results in your home!. Blend Cycles. The Total Blender Classic comes with our exclusive Smart-Touch Technology which means when a cycle button is pushed, the Total Blender Classic automatically speeds up and slows down, then shuts off when the cycle is complete, so recipes turn out perfect every time. Plenty of Power. Tired of your blender not being able to crush ice. The Total Blender Classic has so much power it turns ice to snow in mere seconds!. WildSide Jar. Our square design with the fifth side takes blending to the extreme! An extra-wide base, along with a more aggressive blade nearly 4-inches long, lets you make even faster, thicker blends than ever!. FourSide Jar. The FourSide Jar’s square shape and patented single-prong wingtip blade create a better blending vortex to micronize fruits and vegetables and make their nutrients more bio-available to the body. Engineered and assembled in the USA using some international materials. Specifications, 13 Amps, 120V, 1560-Watt, Direct-drive motor, Solid-state electronics, Dimensions 7-inch wide by 15-inch tall by 8-inch deep, Actual weight 7-pound, Shipping Weight 12-pound, 7-year warranty (US only). Commercial and international use will void warranty. Package Includes, Total Blender Classic Motor Base, WildSide Jar, FourSide jar, Vented Lids, Fresh Blends Recipe Book, Owner’s Manual.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

These things are amazing! We use ours for pizza dough, pancake and waffle batter, mashed potatoes – you name it. When the kids were young, we used it to make our own baby foods!

Description from Amazon:
The Professional 600 TM has a powerful motor that is crafted for commercial-style performance, the direct drive, all-steel gear transmission delivers unyielding power for professional results. The mixer can effectively mix up to 14 cups of all-purpose flour per recipe and produce up to 8 pounds of mashed potatoes. The Soft Start mixing feature helps minimize ingredient splatter and flour puff with gentle acceleration to selected speed after start-up. Electronic Speed Sensor monitors operation to maintain precise mixer speed. Commercial-style motor protection automatically shuts off the mixer when overload is sensed to protect the motor. Durable all-steel gears provide reliable service. The mixer includes a 6-quart-capacity stainless-steel mixing bowl with a contoured handle, as well as a professional wire whip, a burnished flat beater, a spiral dough hook, and a one piece pouring shield. Its multipurpose attachment hub with a hinged hub cover flips open to allow for easy installation of attachments. The Professional 600 Series bowl-lift design raises the bowl into the mixing position, and its solid, truly seamless one-piece motor head design is easy to clean and comes in a variety of fashionable colors.

Cuisinart Immersion Hand Blender

These make blending soups and sauces while on the stove top super easy. They’re kind of fun to use, too!

Description from Amazon:
You will find blending easier than ever with this Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender. Pick it up to blend cold drinks, hot soups, and crêpe batter – right in the pitcher, pot or bowl. It’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, and the blending shaft and beaker are dishwasher safe. Enjoy!

This Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender is designed to handle a variety of basic tasks. Elegant brushed chrome or a variety of bold colors houses a powerful motor, and the handy “stick” design lets you blend in a pot, bowl, or pitcher. Operation is easy and cleanup is quick. What could be better?

Cuisinart Food Processor

We have a little Cuisinart we love for small jobs. Karen’s 25+ year old Black & Decker has served us well, though…it’ll be sad to see it go. These make chopping, mixing and blending a snap. Great for hummus, homemade ice banana ice cream, and mmmm burger mix.

Description from Amazon:
A perfect gift for new homemakers, the food processor has become an integral part of modern cooking, speeding up a multitude of processes, including kneading dough, slicing, chopping, shredding cheese, vegetables and meat, mincing garlic and parsley, mixing batters, and emulsifying mayonnaise. Cuisinart’s Pro Classic comes with a 7-cup work bowl, four basic attachments for slicing, shredding, chopping, mixing, and kneading, and large feed tube. This processor comes with a compact cover for use when the feed tube isn’t needed and a pulse control that allows the desired degree of fineness when chopping and puréeing. Remove the detachable stem for compact storage of discs. All the parts are dishwasher-safe and the motor base wipes clean. In addition, a custom-contoured spatula, a 50-page recipe booklet, and a 30-minute video designed to familiarize the new owner with the care and use of the food processor are included. –Victoria Jenkins

Wusthof Santoku Knife

We chop a LOT of veggies. Nothing makes it more enjoyable than chopping with a good, sharp knife. This one is terrific.

Description from Amazon:
Tough polypropylene handles with full, visible tangs and the traditional three rivets distinguish Classic knives from Wusthof’s other cutlery lines. Otherwise Classic knives are identical to other Wusthof knives, embodying all the virtues that have earned the German manufacturer world renown. The principal parts of a Wusthof knife–blade, bolster, and tang–are forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, and the blade is precisely tapered from bolster to tip and from back to hand-honed edge. The blades and beautifully formed bolsters are not as thick as on some knives. As a result, despite their heft, strength, and durability, Wusthof knives are pleasingly delicate and marvelously balanced in action.

This 7-inch santoku is a Japanese cook’s (or chef’s) knife, featuring a low-tip style with a broad blade. The cutting edge is minimally curved, so it provides less rocking action than a European-style cook’s knife. For straight-down slicing and precise chopping, however, it’s superb. Alternating hollows on each side of the blade create air pockets, allowing slices to fall away cleanly. This knife should be hand washed.

Toaster Oven

We use this a lot for breakfasts and heating up left over pizza.

Description from Amazon:
Hamilton Beach 2-slice extra wide 1-1/2-inch slot toaster with mini-oven. Unique bottom compartment bakes like an oven, perfect for flat foods, large enough to fit two large slices of pizza, two pop-tarts, or two 5-inch single serve pizzas. Includes auto-shut off and chrome accents.

Excalibur Food Dehydrator

This is really fun. We’ve made homemade crackers and granola, fruit roll-ups for the kids, sun-dried tomatoes, dried herbs and dried fruit.

Description from Amazon:
Dehydration is the healthiest, easiest, and most economical way to preserve foods. Load the trays and set the temperature, the Excalibur dries the contents of all trays evenly so everything’s done at once. Dehydration concentrates the natural flavor, sweetness, and aromas of your food. Leaving you with a flavor that’s far healthier than high-fat snacks and high-sugar candies that are filled with chemical preservatives. The Excalibur 9-Tray Large Dehydrator provides 15 square feet of drying space making this the biggest and best there is. Ideal for large families, large gardens, craftspeople, and sportsmen. Includes flexible polyscreen tray inserts to prevent foods from sticking to trays, 7-Inch fan, built-in on/off switch, and adjustable thermostat.

Freshlife Sprouter

This thing is AMAZING. You can almost see the sprouts growing in front of your eyes! And they’re so flavorful and good for you!

Description from Amazon:
Effortless gardening right on your kitchen countertop! Just fill the FreshLife automatic sprouter with water, add seeds, plug it in, and in 5 to 8 days, you’ll be enjoying your very own fresh and organically grown wheatgrass, micro-greens and sprouts—it really is that easy! For only pennies a day, you’ll enjoy these delicious and nutritious “baby vegetables” without using soil, chemicals, special lighting, wiring or plumbing. Not only are sprouted vegetables delicious, but they contain 10-50 times more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes than at any other time during their life cycle. An entire spectrum of flavors await as you’ll produce sprouts of radishes, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onion, sunflower, wheatgrass, fenugreek, buckwheat lettuce, mung, alfalfa, clover, sweet pea, and many, many more.

Presto Griddle

Making pancakes or several no-cheese quesadillas is a snap with this simple griddle.

Description from Amazon:
Extra-large cooking area makes enough for the entire family. Textured cooking surface provides enhanced nonstick performance. Removable handles for easy cleaning and compact storage.

Waffle Maker

There was a time when everywhere we went we saw the movie Shrek playing. Everywhere. Grocery stores, friends’ houses, electronics stores…and, yes, our own home. Donkey says, “I’m makin’ WAFFLES!” The Krups waffle maker makes it easy to have a fun breakfast with the kids.

Description from Amazon:
This sleek, chrome-finished Krups Belgian waffle maker makes four delicious, deep-pocket Belgian waffles in just four minutes–and the nonstick-coated plates make cleanup easy. A “ready” light indicates when the machine is preheated and set for baking. When your waffle maker first arrives, just wipe the plates clean with a damp sponge, grease them lightly with butter, margarine, or cooking spray, and heat. After seasoning, you can make several batches of waffles without any sticking. The machine stands upright for easier storage.
The thicker batter that’s used for making Belgian waffles makes them crispier on the outside. For a dessert with the taste of the carnival midway, try putting a slice of ice cream (natural strawberry works well) between two waffles. –Irene Svete

Hand-held Beater/Mixer

We use an old West Bend brand hand-held beater/mixer primarily for mashed potatoes. We’ve also used ours for mixing cake batters and icings, too. We couldn’t find a West Bend on Amazon, but Cuisinart is a great brand.

Description from Amazon:
Thanks to its powerful 220-watt motor with automatic feedback, this convenient hand blender can take on almost any mixing task–from whipped cream to dense cookie dough. The unit shifts speeds with just one touch and offers seven speed options. It also comes equipped with an exclusive swivel cord, which allows for either right- or left-handed use, and extra-long beaters that have no center posts, making cleanup a snap either by hand or in the dishwasher. Accessories include a spatula and an instruction/recipe book for getting started. Durably built and sporting a chrome-plated Cuisinart logo band, the hand mixer measures approximately 8 by 3-3/4 by 5-3/4 inches.

Black & Decker Food Steamer

We bought a Black & Decker steamer years ago mainly for making rice, but we use it for broccoli, to soften tortillas and many other uses now. Seems they don’t make the kind we have anymore, but this one looks good. This is a set-it-and-forget it for perfectly steamed food.

Description from Amazon:
Steamers are healthy, convenient way to fix vegetables, rice, seafood and more. Fill with water, wine, juice, or broth; place herbs or spices in the flavor scenter; add food; and set the timer. Your deliciously steamed food is ready when the bell rings.

Compact Ice Maker

We’re no strangers to entertaining or cocktail mixing. This little guy churns out ice FAST.

Description from Amazon:
Produces ice in under 10 minutes.Use tap water or bottled water.Versatile white finish.E Lightweight and easy to transport.Excellent for RVs, cabins, boats, etc.Electrical: 230W / 115V / 2.0Alectronic controls.

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About Jeff Wiens

This is where I should write stuff about myself, right? Haha, here goes! I'm trying to choose a happier life daily. I have love and want to nurture it. I seek new experiences. I have community and a playful spirit. I am grateful and try to give back. Life is good. Let me never forget. Connect with me on Google+ Jeff Wiens


  1. Diana says:

    Small appliances are the best! I love my blender, rice cooker and waffle maker. But FYI, I was reading this story about immersion blenders yesterday… be careful!

    • Karen Wiens says:

      Yikes! Thanks for sharing Diana! Good to know! I haven’t noticed our immersion blender being trigger happy but yes, definitely shouldn’t leave it plugged in and laying around on the counter. And I’ll be sure the kids know about this… We don’t touch it to clean it. We just fill a glass with water and put it in there. A couple presses of the button and it’s clean. It’s actually one of the things I really like about it.

  2. Anne says:

    I’ve just been vegan for a couple of months now (was vegetarian before), so I’m very excited to find your site and try some of your recipes. I was wondering if you can tell me whether the Vitamix does things that couldn’t be done with a food processor. Thanks in advance.

    • Karen Wiens says:

      Hi Anne,
      I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the site! We’d love to hear what you try and how you like it.

      The Vitamix… You can certainly do pretty much every recipe with a “regular” blender or a food processor. The beauty of the Vitamix is just how smooth and quick it is. I made smoothies for years in a regular old blender and I loved them BUT with the Vitamix the blending is much smoother and it can process harder veggies. I can throw the whole piece of kale or a whole carrot in and not have any identifiable little pieces. Also with recipes like the alfredo sauce or the cashew cream marinara, you don’t have to soak the cashews if you don’t have time. And the Vitamix blends so you don’t see or feel any bits. And one last thing, I love to make soup and sauces in the Vitamix. You can blend it until it’s hot and you don’t have to transfer it to a pot and have another pan to clean. Which brings up one more awesome thing. Clean up is so easy! You just put a couple drops of dish detergent in the Vitamix with warm water and blend it clean. The ONLY thing that is a little difficult is getting some of the thicker blends out of the blender. I wanted a Vitamix for several years before I took the plunge because I realize it’s an investment but I’m so glad I finally did. I use it every single day and usually more than once!

      I hope that’s helpful. You certainly don’t HAVE to have one but it sure is nice. Just let me know if you have any other questions I can help with. Thanks for stopping by the site!

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