Here is a list of products and items that I use all the time to make my life easier. Some of these are top-rated replacements since a few models that I own aren’t currently available.
Please note: the links below are through Amazon Affiliate, and I receive a small portion of each sale if you decide to purchase. I will never recommend a product that I have not used or do not like!
Digital Food Scale
I originally bought a food scale to use for brewing beer years ago, but it has become an essential part of my success following the keto diet. When I follow a recipe, I want to know exact weights and not just volume measurements. This way I can track my macronutrients properly and it makes the recipe easier to duplicate!
Body Weight Scale
I have a different model, but this looks very similar and it’s one of the highest rated on Amazon. Logging your body weight is crucial to understanding your health. Obsessing about your weight is a recipe for failure. Log, live and learn.
Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is probably the most versatile thing you can buy. Eat it, cook with it, use it as lotion. It has a melting point of around 76 degrees Fahrenheit and will be solid under this temperature because of the saturated fats. This is so much more expensive at my local grocery store, and the bottle is about half the size.
MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) Oil is usually derived from either coconut or palm oil, and it’s a form of fat that is more easily converted to ketones and available sooner to your brain. My preferred method of use is in a bulletproof coffee or an extra tablespoon on top of a big salad.
Maldon Sea Salt
This is a wonderfully crunchy and nice tasting finishing salt. It provides texture, and should not be used where the salt will be dissolved. Some sea salt flakes are big, and they look like snowflakes. One of my go-to snacks is nuts, 85% chocolate and a sprinkle of Maldon Sea Salt! Read more about how to use salt properly when cooking.
Himalayan Pink Salt
This is my everyday salt of choice for seasoning meat or vegetables. It has added minerals compared to the standard table variety, and when you’re on the ketogenic diet, it’s important focus on getting enough salt, potassium and magnesium.
Glucose and Ketone Blood Meter
This was recommended by several people as a great dual-function blood meter that can measure both your glucose and ketone levels. It automatically determines which you’re measuring once you insert the test strip. Then you only need a drop of blood and you get the results in 10 seconds!
Glucose Blood Test Strips
Precision Xtra sells glucose strips, and it’s good to measure everyday to monitor how what you’re eating is affecting your blood sugar. I admittedly don’t do this right now, instead measuring a few times a month. This is mainly because it’s a habit that I have not yet developed, but will in the near future.
Ketone Blood Test Strips
Ketone strips are a bit more expensive than the glucose strips ($3-5 each), therefore I don’t intend to measure this daily until the price comes down! I normally measure ketones when I’m curious after being strict with my carb consumption for several days.
Ketone Urine Strips
While not as accurate as blood test strips, urine strips are the perfect cost-effective solution to determine whether or not your body is producing (and excreting) ketones. They give you an indication within 15-20 seconds when you compare to their color chart for ketone level ranges.
Immersion Hand Blender
This may be my most used kitchen tool. I bought a cheap version at Walmart, and it broke within 8 weeks. Then I purchased this Cuisinart immersion hand blender – and it’s been working for over 5 years! It taught me a lesson. It’s normally a good investment to pay more upfront (even if it’s double), because the long-term benefits will outweigh the upfront cost.
My sister gifted me this exact hand mixer about 2 years ago, and while I used it for sugary sweets back then, it’s now the quickest way to beat egg whites for low carb bread recipes. Much easier than with a whisk, by hand!
Commercial Squeeze Bottles
Here’s another example where I went cheap with bottles, had them leak on me, and then decided to look for a commercial product. I have 5 of these filled with oils and vinegars – currently it’s MCT oil, light olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and champagne vinegar. Not having to unscrew a huge bottle for 1 tablespoon really does make cooking more enjoyable.
Organic Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is used in so many gluten free recipes as a substitute, and it’s my favorite ingredient for a perfect keto chocolate mug cake! It’s also relatively inexpensive when compared to other flour alternatives.
Organic Cocoa Butter
If I’m in a pinch and don’t have a chocolate bar, I’ve made my own going 50/50 by weight on cocoa butter and cocoa powder. I know it’s also popular for skincare and beauty products.
Organic Cocoa Powder
If I ever run out of cocoa powder, that’s a bad day. It doesn’t happen often. In fact, it just happened and I’ll be ordering more immediately after writing this! Eating chocolate is one of the reasons I’ve been able to stay sane while losing weight. If you don’t like chocolate, I just don’t trust you.
This gift came with the hand blender from my sister a couple years back. It’s perfect for storing a cut onion instead of using a plastic bag each time. If you enjoy cooking, onions should be a staple in most meals given their depth of flavor!
Who doesn’t have a slow cooker? They make delicious meals effortless, and allow you to cook all day without worrying about leaving the house for hours. My favorite is Italian style pulled pork with provolone and roasted peppers. Mmmmm.
I didn’t become a coffee person until I was 30 years old. Now it’s part of my morning routine, and I have 1 cup per day on average. When it comes to cooking, I do things the right way – for coffee, it means hand grinding. And this is the most durable, portable and inexpensive ceramic coffee grinder that gives you an even grind.
I started my coffee journey with a french press, but one day that smacked against my sink and the glass broke. So I replaced it with an AeroPress and haven’t looked back since. It’s awesome, and I think the easiest, fastest and most portable one-cup coffee making device.
As a science geek, I live on doing things by numbers. With cooking, this means you must have a thermometer. It will tell you exactly when your meal is perfectly done, and your job is to take in other indicators so over time, you don’t need to rely on a thermometer! I use this practically every other day.
This makes chopping effortless, and it’s gotten the most use from me by “ricing” cauliflower for a keto pizza. It can also be used to grate cheeses or cabbage, saving you tons of time dicing by hand.
Given that I grow food in my garden, my kitchen table has become a mess at times with vegetables. This little hanging basket is the best mix for me in terms of size and durability. On the bottom hanger, I can easily fit 3 onions and 3 avocados. I use the top for lemons, limes, garlic or tomatoes.
Rubbermaid Tupperware Containers
Instead of getting a ton of random food containers, I wanted a large set that was stackable to keep it simple. These rubbermaid tupperware containers were the perfect solution. They are dishwasher safe on the top rack, and I have a Lazy Susan in the corner of my cabinets which makes access to all of them easy. I may purchase another set soon.
This was the highest quality gum that I found on Amazon in terms of their ingredients. They used less of the ingredients which some deem to be harmful to your health. As a gum chewer, I get packs of these every couple months. Mainly spearmint, peppermint and cool mint.
Organic Peppermint Oil
I stopped buying chemical cleaners (and really all chemical products), and exclusively use baking soda, vinegar, alcohol and essential oils. Peppermint oil is used in my homemade mouthwash, in my diffuser, in my floor cleaner. Best of all, I use this for mint chocolate keto cookies. As opposed to peppermint extract, you only need a few drops of oil for a major taste difference.
When you’re eating keto, you’re probably topping salads and meals with cheese. If you don’t want to spring for the food processor, or if you’re like me and want both tools, a box grater is essential. You can also use this for vegetables like zucchini, carrots, beets or other firm varieties.
Wooden Citrus Juicer
I have a plastic juicer with a cup, but this is my favorite lemon/lime juicer. A piece of wood, and its better than any new creations that claim to work. The lemon juicers that use a lever will ultimately break under pressure. This one will last you years. I don’t ever wash it, only rinse with water immediately after using and let dry. It may crack if you leave it submerged for a long period.
Surgical Huck Towels
No, these aren’t for surgery. These are the perfect kitchen towel! Recommended by Tim Ferriss in his book and elsewhere, they are fast drying and great to throw over your shoulder while cooking. I also use them to clean windows and other surfaces.
32 oz. Nalgene Bottle
The first change I made towards better health was eliminating calories through drinks, and that meant I needed to up my water consumption. I’m a believer in two things – 1) having a large bottle filled that is next to you and 2) drinking with straw will both increase the amount you drink in a day. So buy a Nalgene bottle that’s sturdy and you can take to work or while exercising.
Egg White Protein Powder
Many keto recipes online and ones that I’ve found in cookbooks recommend protein powder in their bread recipes. This seems to be the highest quality available, and I sparsely use it so it will last a while.
Organic Psyllium Husk
From what I read, if there’s something you want to buy organic, it’s Psyllium Husk. The reason is that it’s grown in India, and those not certified organic tend to have major pesticides use during production. This is pure fiber, and I love it to give egg-based bread recipes more of the “bite” that real bread gives you.
Black Tea Leaves
I prefer buying most items in bulk, opting to save money on higher quality items this way. In terms of tea, I truly don’t know enough to tell a difference. But this Scottish Breakfast tea had high ratings and it’s my go-to for unsweetened sun tea with lemon.
I wanted to diversify my tea, and this was supposedly an energy boosting green tea-like leaf from the Amazon. I really enjoyed this hot with lemon, and will often mix it with the Scottish tea leaves in my sun tea!
Magnetic Knife Holder
Chef knife blocks are bulky and unnecessary. Magnets are the way to go. It clears space on your counter-top and allows the cutlery to dry completely instead of harboring bacteria within a moist wood crevice.
Rada Cutlery Cook’s Knife
I thought you had to pay a lot to get a sharp knife. Nope, I was wrong. This is THE SHARPEST knife I have ever used. I absolutely love it. Now the handle is smaller and the blade more flexible, but I can’t imagine paying more after using this one.
Rada Cutlery Knife Sharpener
If I have two Rada knives, don’t you think I would grab the knife sharpener? Of course! And once again, crazy affordable. Even with this, I don’t need to sharpen the knives that often, they are still good. But if you want to bring new life into another knife, this will help.
If you eat keto desserts, real vanilla extract is a must. And since it lasts a while, spend the extra few bucks for organic! I use this with chocolate recipes, but another amazing way is with cream cheese and a bit of sweetener. It tastes amazing on a low-carb bun.
Cinnamon is known to lower your blood sugar, so it’s a great addition to both sweet and savory meals that you make. It can be used in Indian dishes and this sized container will last you a long time.
This is super concentrated stevia, and the serving size is 1/32 of a teaspoon! I literally sprinkle about a fingertips worth along with Erythritol, and this is the best tasting sweetener combination to me.
I recently purchased this organic cumin, which I plan to use mostly when making taco salads, but I’ll continue to experiement. There is a chinese restaurant near me that makes a spicy chicken stir-fry loaded with whole cumin seeds, wouldn’t mind recreating it.
Swerve Erythritol Sweetener
Powdered Swerve to me is the #1 best tasting sweetener. I haven’t tried them all yet, though. So maybe one day it’ll get passed. Until then, use Swerve and don’t overdue the amount of sugar alcohols that you consume. Make it an easy way to stick to your keto diet instead of cheating or relapsing!
This was probably the first purchase once I moved. I drink water like a savage, and go through a gallon or more a day. A pitcher was too small for me, and this was the perfect solution that I’m still using years later.
Bamboo Salt Box
I was using a small piece from the tupperware container listed on this page, but this bamboo box makes it even easier. It’s much larger, and it has a magnetic top that easily slides open and shut. I fill this box with Himalayan salt, and I may buy another soon for Maldon sea salt flakes.
Wooden Pepper Mill
Fresh ground pepper is just better than old pre-ground pepper. So buy yourself a good quality, wooden pepper mill and you’ll be set for years. I top nearly every meal with salt and pepper, and it always improve the taste. I didn’t grow up liking pepper, but it adds a nice subtlety even in small amounts.
Whole Black Peppercorns
Buying in bulk once again proves to be cost effective, because if you’re like me, a bag of peppercorns this size will last you 18 months! Once you have the pepper mill, you can choose the type of peppercorns and mix to find the combination that you enjoy the most.
Silicone Muffin Cups
I use these less for muffins, and more for gather small amounts of food while I’m cooking, or making keto Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cups. Years ago, I even cut the bottom off one and used it to seal a beer brewing vessel, making it watertight. Versatile little suckers these cups are.