My tiny house makes me happy in so many ways. It’s like having a luxury condo everywhere I choose to roam. I never have to pack a suitcase. Whenever I get to where I am going, I just put the slide-outs out, hook up my electricity and water, and POOF! Instant home.
Since I cook A-LOT and very often, I usually have plenty of dinners and baked goodies in the freezer. But my kitchen is only equipped with a 2-burner induction stove and a combo microwave/induction oven, so I rely heavily upon appliances to make cooking a pleasure and keep my 95% Vegan Diet fun and delectable. Today I am rounding-up the 10 appliances I wouldn’t want to live without, to help my 95% Vegan Dieter friends who may also be considering going tiny. [Hint-hint: these are also great gift ideas as house-warming gifts when you visit your 95% Vegan Dieter friends who are moving into their own tiny house, or any house for that matter.]
So, in the style of the David Letterman Top Ten countdown (going from least to most important), here goes…..
#10 The simple toaster, but with “bagel” and “defrost” features. The tiny counter space just doesn’t allow for the large toaster oven I had in my home in Atlanta. Not only that, but there is something wonderful about a toaster that will defrost and toast my frozen bread and bagels to perfection without my personal supervision. My pick for this appliance is the adorable retro Vremi slice/bagel toaster.
Okay, it’s not exactly an appliance, but it replaces a space-consuming appliance from my sticks and bricks home: the air popper. It’s collapsible, food-grade silicone, and comes in many gorgeous colors. I was never a huge popcorn fan before this little gem came into my life. Now, I can hardly get enough! For delicious, satisfying vegan popcorn, I start with organic popping kernels. Then I melt some Earth Balance margarine, throw in some nutritional yeast flakes, and then O-M-G – cheesy vegan deliciousness follows. I am literally a happy camper!
#8 Rice cooker – other than the boil-in-bag rice, I have never been able to make rice in a pot on the stove without burning it. I just can’t. Go figure. But with a rice cooker, I can rock perfect rice every time. AND, it frees up a stove burner to cook something else. I just love the sushi rice recipe from Kansha, my favorite digitalized Japanese cookbook. Thanks to my Aroma Digital Rice Cooker, I can make the perfect batch quickly and reliably.
#7 Yogurt maker – 95% Vegan Dieters know very well how difficult it can be to find organic vegan yogurt. Add on traveling to parts unknown, and I could really be hurting. I believe strongly in building my microbiome as a means to defend against illness, and my homemade yogurt is one way I routinely support that quest. My creamy-dreamy yogurt recipe (published on our second book The 95% Vegan Weight Loss Solution) is delicious plain or used as a base in smoothies. I use the Yogourmet 2-quart yogurt maker so I always have yogurt in the fridge.
#6 Hand Mixer – just go ahead and ditch the countertop hands-free mixer. You don’t need it, and you won’t want to sacrifice the space for something you don’t use every-single-day. But what I find helpful is to have a multifunctional mixer with a small footprint; the mixer and it’s attachments all fitting into one compartment. My Cuisinart 9-speed multifunction handmixer is everything I need, without consuming valuable countertop real estate.
#5 Nutribullet – it would be almost silly not to have one of these in your tiny kitchen. It has a small footprint, and it makes delicious smoothies almost instantly. Add some ice to that smoothie, and it practically replaces my need for the occasional non-vegan ice cream.
#4 Air fryer – when these first came out, I thought, “sure, just one more appliance to go in the appliance graveyard”, meaning, I didn’t think I would ever use it. But now that I am in a tiny home, it’s an appliance I am finding indispensable. I always have organic potatoes in the fridge, so when I get those cravings for French fries in the middle of nowhere, out comes the air fryer. I get my crave on, but without a ton of fat, and totally sans the greasy kitchen mess, which is an even bigger challenge in a tiny kitchen. And just so you know, there are a couple of cookbooks that are indispensable along with the air fryer: The Vegan Air Fryer, and Asian Vegan Air Fry. As for me, I didn’t feel the need to buy an expensive model, especially since I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. The good news is that Gourmia delivers an awesome model for just $49.99!
#3 For this one, I am putting together two appliances that go together like peanut butter and chocolate. First, the Breville Milk Frother – This is an appliance you would have to pry from my cold dead fingers. It makes my mornings magical. Make no mistake: you cannot have a huge cappuccino machine in a tiny home. Not gonna happen. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice those delicious soy cappuccinos, nor will you have to always find the closet Starbucks. Save your money and make your own delectable cappuccinos every-single-day. If that isn’t enough, you can also use this amazing little worker to make the best hot chocolate you will ever taste.
Along with your milk frother, you will want to snap up a tiny espresso maker that will work on your tiny stove. The Minos Moka Pot Espresso Maker fits the bill, even with induction stovetops like mine. A nifty feature of this little gem is that it comes with different color handles you can change out at any time.
#2 – The Instant Pot – it is a 95% Vegan Dieter’s dream! Remember the days when we used to have to soak beans overnight, then slave over a stove for hours to make our own organic beans? This baby solves this dilemma, which is an even bigger dilemma if you are driving all day or all night to get to your next destination. It makes your beans quickly because it is an electric pressure cooker. But no worries – it is so easy to use, and clean-up is easy-peezy. I use it to make soups and stews, mostly. I have not tried it yet to make rice, because I am so attached to my rice maker. But if it turns out a great batch of rice (which is a setting on it), I may just ditch the rice maker altogether. I have ditched my several crockpots in favor of this amazing appliance!
And the #1 appliance no 95% Vegan Dieter should ever live without in a tiny house IS….
Vitamix – no way, no how could I do without my Vitamix. It is not your average blender. It is high-speed and TOUGH. One of the best parts of it is that it has a self-cleaning feature, which means you will never have to take your blender apart to clean it. I use it to make SOOOO many things. From vegan cheeses and yogurt, to nut butters, to making my own flour from organic grains I score along the way, to my favorite beach cocktails, my Vitamix is essential to my happiness, no matter what size house I live in!
I hope this helps those of you who want to know what appliances will rock your world as a 95% Vegan Dieter, particularly, if like me, you are in the process of down-sizing or moving to a tiny house. If you are already a happy 95%-er and have a favorite appliance that I have not mentioned, please share in the comments so we can all learn from your experience!