10 Tools & Gadgets Repurposed For The Paleo Kitchen!

    

10 Tools & Gadgets Repurposed for the Paleo Kitchen | Popular Paleo

I noticed lately that as I’m cooking, I find myself using the same gadgets and tools that I’ve relied on for years in different ways now that I’m rocking a Paleo kitchen. This definitely seems like something I should share with you guys. Everything in this post is stuff that I already had in my kitchen and used frequently before Paleo.

Silpat sheet

My poor silicone baking sheet only saw the back side of cookies til Paleo came along. Now it’s the key tool for making awesome meals like Cauliflower Lasagne and Street Tacos where the trick is in manipulating cauliflower into a noodle or a tortilla. A silicone baking sheet makes it easy to be grain-free.

Cauliflower Lasagne | Popular Paleo

 

cocktail strainer

I was making carnitas about a year ago and wanted to add fresh citrus juices to the pot (see Crock Pot Carnitas for the recipe). I always see cooks on TV use their hands to strain pulp and seeds, but as a CrossFitter it’s a 50/50 chance I’ve got a callus starting to tear making that method a really bad idea. Looking around my kitchen I noticed that I did have an old wooden reamer… and a pint glass… and a cocktail strainer. Why not? Now this is the only way I strain my fresh orange, lemon and lime juices!

Strain Lemon Juice

Pastry Blender

Call me crazy, but did you know these things are great for shredding braised meat?  Rather than standing over a hot pot with two forks pulling a batch of Carnitas or Crock Pot Fajita Chicken apart, grab your pastry blender and go to town. It only takes minutes.

 

Classic jigger

Wait. What’s a jigger? It’s that little cup thingy that you once used to measure out booze for cocktails! But since we tend to lay off the sauce in magical Paleo land, I now use it as a convenient measuring tool for any recipe that refers to liquids in ounces or milliliters!

The smaller end measures anywhere from an ounce (called a pony) to a standard shot of 1 1/2 ounces. The larger end usually holds up to 2 ounces. The chart below shows conversions, including milliliters! Super handy.

Conversions from Salt is your Friend

spiral slicer

What was just for making awesome curly fries is now an essential tool for making pasta substitutes out of healthy veggies! Carrots, yams, cucumber, butternut squash — you wouldn’t believe what you can do with this thing!  Make some Easy Shrimp Scampi to drop on top of fresh zoodles (zucchini noodles) and dinner is done in minutes.

Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Shred disk for the Cuisinart

Move over, cheese! I can shred sweet potatoes like a champ with this thing! And considering that grating anything has got to be my absolute least favorite cooking task, I kinda need this tool in my life… especially when making Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole. Remember that if you pick up a disk, you’ll need the stem to attach it to your Cuisinart food processor.

Tex Mex Casserole | Popular Paleo

 

Food Processor

While we’re on the subject of food processors, I want to tell you how much I love making nut butters with mine. Since classic peanut butter is out (you can read this article), we turn to almonds and cashews, most commonly, to create this yummy treat. Both cashew and almond butters are awesome as a creamy Paleo dessert base or even just with some apple slices for a little snack. Here’s a recipe I whipped up one day — my kids love it and it’s super affordable!

Cinn-Van Cashew Butter | Popular Paleo

Incidentally, you can also make your own almond flour with a food processor, saving you a ton of money! Here’s one recipe using blanched almonds: Almond Flour in 5 Minutes.

And here’s a method using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix: Easy Homemade Almond Flour.

Don’t want to spring for a Vitamix to make almond flour at home? Don’t worry — a coffee grinder works too! It takes a little longer because you have to work in small batches, but it will get the job done nevertheless. You can reference this post.

 

Single serve blender

Yes, smoothies and shakes are awesome. But want to know what’s really awesome? Bulletproof coffee. (If that’s foreign to you or if you want to learn more, you can read this article.) Before Paleo, I used to rely on soy-based protein shakes as meal supplements for weight loss and a single serve blender was a daily tool for me. Now I wake up, brew some coffee, add it to my blender along with some grass-fed butter and coconut oil (and maybe some vanilla extract and/or cinnamon) and give it a whirl. The fats emulsify in the coffee creating a mysteriously creamy, pleasant cup of Joe that is quite reminiscent of a latte. I was a skeptic for a long time, but now I’m a die-hard believer. This stuff is fantastic!

When I’m in a pinch for time (or just being lazy) and want to short-cut my Bulletproof coffee, this frother comes in handy. It emulsifies the fats to get the job done.

 

Mason jars 

Bye bye, jam. Helllllooo LARD! One of the biggest changes I’ve made when it comes to Paleo has been with my choice of fats. First off, I was always afraid to eat them (calories in, calories out, right?), though it was evident how much better I felt when I was eating adequate amounts. Secondly, the idea of rendering down my own lard just seemed ridiculous and old fashioned. Surely olive oil was sufficient enough in this department? Nope. Beyond Bacon changed my life in terms of how I approach fats, particularly lard, and now I render my own regularly. (Want a snap shot about why you should eat lard? Read this article.)

I had a stash of half pint mason jars and found they are the ideal serving sizes for lard. Cracklins are also stored nicely in them as well. I portion out a big batch of lard into the jars, secure the lids while still warm, and allow to cool at room temp before transferring to the fridge for long term storage. When I’m done with a jar, I just wash and set it aside until it’s time to do the next batch — perfect!

Making Lard | Popular Paleo

slow cooker 

I swear by my slow cooker and I still cook just as often with it now as before Paleo–just without the cream-of-something-rather canned “soup” and handfuls of cheese. Now I’ve learned that slow cookers are an ideal way to prepare rich bone broths!  Chicken and beef are the most common, but don’t forget that you can use those holiday turkeys just the same. Here’s a recipe for how to make it and why homemade bone broths are a critical component to a healthy lifestyle.

 

Do YOU have any tools or gadgets that you’ve repurposed in a creative way to accommodate your Paleo lifestyle?? Share your tips and tricks in comments below!

Hope you guys found this helpful! Happy cooking!
   ~ Ciarra 

 

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7 thoughts on “10 Tools & Gadgets Repurposed For The Paleo Kitchen!

  1. Katie

    It’s the oddest thing to be asking for “more mason jars” for Christmas! I actually use these to blend my coffee in the morning but it can sometimes be a mess so I’m grateful for the mini blender suggestion!

  2. Alicia Johnson

    I appreciate your post! Thank you- There are two things I recently came across and am sure I can use them in a paleo way, but not quite sure so I would love any ideas… my rice cooker and a wilton 6 cavity king size muffin pan… I keep thinking the muffin pan should be good to create 6 individual meals but I’m not very good at creating… I can make a meal if I have a recipe LOL

  3. Sarah @ Average Belle

    I’m so glad you included BP Coffee in your list! I just bought a new bottle of MCT oil and delicious beans so I’m gonna get bulletproof again in just a matter of days. I always had trouble blending my coffee though. In single serve it leaked out the lid from the steam buildup (hot coffee + cold butter), and in my blender it literally melted the rubber around the rim of the lid. What am I doing wrong? Is there some step like -let the coffee cool- that I’m spacing on? Or do I just have terrible tools…

    1. popularpaleo Post author

      Hot liquids in a blender seem to swell like a batch of wet gremlins! My first guess is that your blender may be on the full side… I only blend one cup at a time and I move quickly. Here’s how I do it:

      1. Add fats and flavorings to blender
      2. Pour in single serving of hot coffee (that’s about 6 – 8oz), leaving as much space empty as is full (if that makes sense?)
      3. Cap and blend for 30 sec (or so…)
      4. Pour into serving mug right away.
      5. Rinse blender and set out to dry (or make a second cup for another person)

      Hope that helps ya!

  4. Kristen @ MIX wellness

    AWESOME post and thanks for including my body nourishing bone broth! :) I’m with you on the mason jars – my kitchen is overloaded with them for all kinds of real food goodness – from pureed pumpkin, to lard, to broth and everything in between.

    Thanks for the tips – I’ve got your Silpat baking sheet in my Amazon cart. I’ve been crushing on one for some time now. ;)

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