• Jo Hall

Most Used Kitchen Items - what are your top 8?

Updated: Mar 24

Over the last couple of months I've been talking about kitchens, use of space within kitchens, kitchen clutter and how to organise your kitchen. I ran a free, four day kitchen challenge in my Decluttering Club and at the beginning of this month, launched the Chaos to Calm Kitchen DIY Guide, an online step by step guide to Decluttering, Organising & Maintaining a Stylish and Functional Kitchen.


Talking about kitchens so much, I started to wonder what people would consider to be their "can't do without" kitchen items. I asked three women to let me know, two who make a living "from their kitchen" and one who doesn't. I asked for their top five food items and their top three non food items. Here's what they said...


natural chef chopping herbs in kitchen

First up, Jo Keyes - Natural Chef and Healthy Eating Educator.

Founder of Time to Nourish and Menu&Mind.


When I was asked to choose only 5 most useful foods in my kitchen, I found it very difficult! There are so many items I couldn't do without in my store cupboards, but I had to be strict, so here we go….

Coconut milk - I don’t eat a lot of dairy so this makes a great dairy free cream option. I use it to create sweet or savoury dishes, ideal for Asian or Indian curries but also works well in baking, drinks and soups.

Tinned beans & pulses - If you have a tin of cooked chickpeas, black beans, butter beans, lentils or any other bean or pulse you are halfway to a really quick and easy, satisfying dinner.

Oats - a fantastic staple to have to hand, not only for making porridge or overnight oats but to blend into smoothies, create into flapjacks, biscuits, granola or even blended into flour to use in baking.

Ground Spices - my most used are smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon.

Nut butter - I get a little twitchy when the nut butter starts to run low as this is a bit of an addiction of mine!! I could put almond butter on anything! As a great source of protein and healthy fats, it always features at breakfast time to keep me going until lunch. Sometimes drizzled on porridge, fruit omelette, on a rice cake or toast with berries. It's also a fabulous addition to bliss balls, chocolate brownies, smoothies, ice cream or just straight off the spoon!!!!


Most useful kitchen kit:

Knife & Sharpener - training as a chef, I learnt very quickly the importance of a good knife and sharpener. There's nothing more dangerous in a kitchen than a blunt knife. When you've used a quality sharp knife you soon realise that the most tedious chopping jobs are so much easier and satisfying!

Julienne grater - when it comes to grating vegetables or fruit this is a must! I use it regularly to grate fruit like apple and pear for overnight oats or to add to flapjacks, but mostly for vegetables like carrot or courgette, sweet potato, parsnip etc to add to dishes (to bulk out the vegetables without the kids moaning!).

High powered blender - a must for me and used daily. Nutribullet, for quick easy blending jobs like smoothies, raw sauces and grinding small amounts of nuts or seeds to flour. Thermomix for the bigger blending jobs like hot soups or bliss balls.


lady drinking cup of tea in kitchen daffodils

Next, Michelle, Blogger Fifty & Fab


I’m no chef and I am not even a particularly keen cook, but I do enjoy baking and being in my kitchen, I love the zoom cookalongs from Jo (Time to Nourish). My kitchen is a family, social space too and most visitors end up congregating there.

Most useful store cupboard items...

Dark chocolate - for a quick but healthier sweet treat.

Tuna (tinned) - so I can always pull together an easy meal, add toast or a baked potato and some salad or cucumber.

Chopped tomatoes (tinned) - I panic if I run out! They're always needed as a sauce base.

Hummus with Nairns oatcakes - for a quick lunch or snack.

The kitchen tools I use the most...

Virgin Pure Water Dispenser - this gives me hot or cold water and with no space for a fridge with cold water on tap, this has proved to be a fantastic alternative.

NutriNinja - I use it every day, I prefer this to the bullet as it copes better with frozen fruit but it also has the food processor attachments.

Large saucepan/shallow casserole dish with lid - this can go from hob to oven and I can cook family portions or batch cook for the freezer.


Natural chef cooking with Instantpot

Last but not least Jenny Tschiesche, Founder of LunchboxDoctor, Natural Chef & Healthy Eating Educator


Most used ingredients:

Olive oil - the base for most of our savoury meals, also used as a dressing on salads and drizzled over homemade hummus. Passata - useful in making any kind of pasta sauce, but also lends itself to curries and Mexican dishes too. Miso Soup - a great in between meal snack, providing some protein and a lot of sustenance for a small cup of soup. Also useful as a base, we regularly have leftovers eg noodles, veggies or cooked chicken in a big bowl of miso soup. Spices - a meal isn’t a meal without some herbs and spices. The range in our kitchen isn’t wide but, used daily. Arborio rice - when there’s “nothing to eat” according to my teens there is ALWAYS risotto. That inevitably means using up leftovers in the process. Got to love arborio rice for that kind of flexibility!


Top three kitchen items: Instant Pot - one pot meals are just too easy in this pot, which is also known as a multi cooker. I use it to make everything and anything from no-stir risottos to perfect runny yolked eggs and from pulled pork to lentil curry. Adjustable spoon - with a small kitchen but constant recipe development, having two spoons that measure from 1/8th of a tsp to 1 tbsp means space saved, at the same time as being immensely useful. Apple wedger - we eat a lot of apples (one each per day keeps the doctor away don’t you know) in our household. Having the wedger means the apples can be chopped quickly and eaten smothered in peanut butter or equally easily made into apple purée.


What would be your eight "can't do without" kitchen items?

Let me know, leave a comment below ⬇️


Jo Hall is a Berkshire based Declutterer & Organiser, working on site 🏠 and supporting clients virtually 👩‍💻

To clear your kitchen clutter, get your kitchen organised and keep it that way, click here to find out more about the Chaos to Calm Kitchen DIY Decluttering & Organising Guide













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