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Here are some of my favorite things!
100 Days of Real Food on a Budget Cookbook

100 Days of Real Food: On A Budget

My third cookbook is available now! It has 100 recipes – all of which are $15 or under to make. See just how affordable real food can be!

Using Freezie Pop Molds by 100 Days of Real Food

Norpro Silicone Ice Pop Makers

Great for freezing smoothies, applesauce and yogurt…just call it a “make-your-own gogurt.”

Insulated Thermos Cup

Kid’s Insulated Thermos Bottle

Comes in boy and girl designs and keeps beverages cold for 12 hours…plus there’s no waste!

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Kid’s Insulated Thermos Jar

Comes in boy and girl designs and is great for packing soups, leftovers or oatmeal for school lunches instead of another sandwich.

Insulated Lunch Bag

I’ve discovered that the Ziplock divided lunch container will fit along with a Thermos cup in the Lands’ End soft sided lunch bags. They will also both fit in some rectangular lunch bags from Target and Old Navy. They will not both fit in (most) Pottery Barn lunch bags.

Animal-Shaped Ice Pack

My kids think animal (and flower) shaped ice packs are fun, and ice packs are a necessity when the food sits for a couple hours before lunch time.

Flexible Ice Pack

Flexible Ice Pack

In addition to the fun shaped ice packs I usually stick in a couple of these little (more practical) ones as well. These are lightweight and can be cut to any shape.

Silicone Muffin Liners

If you have a problem with muffins sticking to the paper liners then worry no more! Nothing sticks to these silicone liners plus they are reusable and can also be used for serving snacks other than muffins.

Set of Round Cutters

These cutters are the “trick” to making a perfect apple sandwich. I slice the apple longways then use a small circle to cut out the core piece. I also use these cutters to shape biscuits and other foods.

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Push Up Molds

Make your own “push ups” with homemade ice cream or peach sorbet.

snow cone machine

Snow Cone Maker

Instead of artificial snow cone syrup add organic fruit juice (or concentrate) to shaved ice for a fun treat…don’t forget cute snow cone cups!

glass plate for kids

Duralex Clear Glass Plates (for kids!)

If you’re trying to move away from plastics in your kitchen these durable plates for kids are great! This is what we use, and my daughters were very excited when they graduated to glass plates (my youngest was 3 when we got them).

glass tumblers

Duralex Clear Glass Tumblers (for kids!)

Along the same lines as the plates, if you want to do away with plastic then these glasses, which we use at our house, are also durable enough for kids.

jewel pop molds

Tovolo Jewel Pop Molds

My daughters love these little “make your own ring pop” molds!

cookie cutters

Cookie Cutters

“Cookie” cutters can be used for so much more than cookies! We use ours to shape biscuits, sandwiches, cheese, and pancakes.

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Salad Spinner

We’ve learned that a good bath is necessary before diving into a bowl of fresh, organic, local greens.

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Durable Mixing Bowls

The price may sound like an investment, but we’ve had our glass set of mixing bowls (that we use almost daily) since we got married…12 years ago!

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High Quality Pots & Pans

Now those mixing bowls sound like a bargain, but you can either buy this set once (because they will last a lifetime) or slowly add one new piece to your collection each year.

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Tortilla Press

I never realized how easy homemade corn tortillas were until I got this press!

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Rolling Pin

When making whole-grain flour tortillas I use a good old fashioned rolling pin (and some elbow grease).

Tortilla Warmer

And to keep all those yummy homemade tortillas nice and warm (and soft) nothing could be more perfect than this warmer.

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Cast Iron Skillet

This type of pan is what I use (and also what is traditionally used) to make both corn and flour tortillas.

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Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons

I seriously have 4 sets because that’s how much I use them…this is another product that will last a lifetime.

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High Quality Knives (and Kitchen Shears)

If you plan to do a lot of cooking from scratch you’ll be doing lots of chopping so good knives are a necessary evil.

Wood Composite Cutting Boards

What good are high-quality knives without their counterpart? I use our cutting boards daily, and it’s important to get good ones that don’t warp or stain.

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Mesh Strainer

I wouldn’t know how to make homemade chicken stock without my little mesh strainer and ladle (next on the list) because both tools are necessary for separating the gunk from the goodness.

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Soup Ladle

Perfect for pouring homemade chicken stock through a strainer and also great for all those homemade soups that you’ll get out of your stock.

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Whisk

From making a roux to scrambling eggs to mixing sauces…another necessity.

Olive Oil Sprayer

Since we now use unrefined high quality cooking oils we’ve done away with the store-bought sprays, which means we just make our own.

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Ice Cube Trays (with lids)

I bought these trays in the baby food days, but I still use them regularly for freezing small portions of applesauce, chicken stock, pizza sauce and pesto.

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Freezer-Safe Glass Jars

This school year I’ve been freezing individual portions of homemade soup in small freezer-safe jelly jars for school lunches…my 1st grader takes soup once a week and loves it.

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Mango Slicer

Confession time…I have no clue how to slice a mango without one of these, but what does it matter since we own one!

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Apple Slicer

This one makes apple slicing a quick and easy job.

Cooling Rack

I use my cooling racks frequently after pulling cheese crackers, cookies, homemade pop tarts and other goodies out of the oven.

Ebelskiver Pan

My family absolutely devours the whole-wheat Danish “filled pancakes” that I make in this special pan. What’s not to love?

Potato Masher

Funny enough I never had one of these before our switch to real food and now I use it frequently for everything from refried beans to homemade tomato sauce.

Canning Starter Kit

If you’d like to take up canning then you’ll definitely need a kit like this to help you get started.

Pizza Cutter

Since pizza delivery doesn’t fall under our “real food rules” you’ll definitely need one of these so you can make and slice your own! We use our pizza wheel for cutting quesadillas as well.

Pasta Drying Rack

This inexpensive, folding drying rack is the perfect spot to hang your homemade noodles until you are ready to throw them into the boiling water.

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Fat Separator

This tool is a must-have when making homemade gravy.

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Food Processor

This is probably my most used appliance…plus I got it 12 years ago and it’s still going strong.

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Mini Chopper

If I just need to chop something small like fresh ginger or a half batch of pesto I use this instead of getting my big food processor dirty.

Mini Donut Maker

What real foodie wouldn’t be excited about baked mini whole-wheat donuts? Here’s my basic recipe: 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 4 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil).

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Hand Immersion Blender

I used to puree soups in batches in my countertop blender (which made a huge mess) then I discovered this hand held version that you can stick right into the pot…worth every penny!

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Crock Pot

I use my slow cooker weekly for dishes like refried beans (made from dried beans), whole chicken, and flank steak fajitas.

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Panini Grill

I go through phases of obsession with my panini grill…there’s no better way to kick up the standard sandwich!

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Kitchen Aid Mixer

When I used to make cookies almost daily (before our 100-day pledge) I used my mixer all the time! I don’t use it quite as frequently now, but it’s still great for lots of recipes.

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Ice Cream Maker

I am officially spoiled and can never eat ice cream out of a box again…this machine is so easy to use plus you can control the type and amount of sweetener that’s added.

Oster Bread Maker

Bread Maker

I think I am finally getting the hang of bread making (don’t expect to get it right the first time), and this machine is similar to the one I use … my only complaint is that I have to be there to add raisins when it beeps.

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Wheat Grinder

I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do, but grinding your own wheat is as easy as grinding coffee, and I think it tastes much better than the store-bought version.

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Budget Espresso Machine

This is what I used to use to recreate Starbucks at home (before we were given a fancier machine).

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Milk Frother

I just got this for Christmas and I LOVE it…totally kicked up my morning maple mocha a few notches. And it makes the best hot chocolate, too.

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Waffle Maker

I could probably live without this appliance, but my daughters would disagree wholeheartedly…they love homemade waffles!

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Pasta Machine

For me making pasta is a labor of love…it’s just an added bonus that it tastes so much better than the boxed stuff.

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Dehydrator

I’d never heard of a “dehydrator” before our switch to real food, but now I know just how useful it is for everything from dried apples to homemade fruit leathers to beef jerky.

Thermos

It’s borderline embarrassing how much I love this thing…it keeps my ice water cold for days with no condensation or leaking (exactly what I needed to help me kick the plastic water bottle habit)!

Glass Storage Containers

If you are moving away from plastics in your kitchen then these are great for storage and nice enough to serve food out of as well.

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Salad Dressing Bottle

If you are trying to avoid overly processed store-bought salad dressings then this is for you…it tells you to fill “vinegar to this line” and then “lemon juice to this line” so making your own dressing couldn’t be easier. Just be sure to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil and omit (or replace) the sugar!

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Grapefruit Spoons

These little spoons are very helpful if you’re a grapefruit lover like us.

cold pressed olive oil

Cold-Pressed Olive Oil

For more info on what types of oils we use check out our “No Refined Oils” post.

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Ghee (Clarified Butter)

You can actually make clarified butter at home or if you like shortcuts (like me) you can buy it, too. :) It’s good for cooking at high heats.

Eco Grocery Bag System

I love these reusable shopping bags because they aren’t scattered all over the back of my car (since they zip up together) and they are sturdy and big enough to hold ALL my groceries!

buy Alba Kids Sunscreen at 100 Days of Real Food

Alba Kids Sunscreen

This stuff is thick and white, but it does the trick when it comes to protecting your skin without containing a bunch of unnecessary chemicals.

buy KidSport Sunscreen Spray at 100 Days of Real Food

Natural Sunscreen Spray

This sunscreen spray still requires some rubbing, but not as much as the thick, white cream we use as well.

buy Naturally Fresh Deodorant at 100 Days of Real Food

Natural Deodorant

In an effort to “clean up” our products outside of the pantry I’ve started using this Naturally Fresh crystal deodorant and so far so good! Just be sure to wet it first before using.

Quick Cooking Brown Rice

I’ve found that regular whole grain (brown) rice can take a LONG time to cook…so I highly recommend going the quick cooking route!

Whole-Wheat Pasta

Containing only 1-ingredient this is a very easy and cheap real food to add to your table.

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Ak-Mak Whole Grain Organic Crackers

Not only are these 100% whole-grain, but they are organic!

Coconut Oil

If you’re not sure what to do with coconut oil just check out our “How to Cook with Coconut Oil” post.

white whole wheat flour

King Arthur Flour, White Whole Wheat

This “white” whole wheat flour is in fact whole wheat, however it’s a variety that may be more palatable for those just switching to whole wheat.

buy Dr Bronner's Pure Castile Soap at 100 Days of Real Food

Dr. Bronners Castile Soap

I am not saying this natural soap is truly “magical,” but it’s pretty darn pure and totally does the trick.

buy Yes To Carrots Shampoo at 100 Days of Real Food

Yes to Carrots Shampoo

This is currently our favorite shampoo (and conditioner) after trying loads of other “natural” options.

buy Yes To Carrots Conditioner at 100 Days of Real Food

Yes to Carrots Conditioner

My daughters feel like such “big girls” now that they use conditioner like mommy – and this is the natural brand that I buy for all three of us.

buy Yes to Carrots Lotion at 100 Days of Real Food

Yes to Carrots Lotion

During the winter months we’ve got this pump style natural lotion in almost every bathroom in the house!

My Cookbooks 4

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook

How we did it, what we learned, and 100 easy, wholesome recipes your family will love!

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals at 100 Days of Real Food

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals

Maria Speck draws on food traditions from across the Mediterranean and northern Europe to reveal how versatile, satisfying, flavorful, and sophisticated whole grains can be.

In Defense of Food

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

French Kids Eat Everything

At once a memoir, a cookbook, a how-to handbook, and a delightful exploration of how the French feed children without endless battles and struggles with pickiness, it features recipes, practical tips, and ten easy-to-follow rules for raising happy and healthy young eaters.

Food Rules

This indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely.

The Unhealthy Truth at 100 Days of Real Food

The Unhealthy Truth

Both the story of how one brave woman chose to take on the system and a call to action that shows how each of us can do our part and keep our own families safe.

Food Matters at 100 Days of Real Food

Food Matters

A plan for responsible eating that’s as good for the planet as it is for your weight and your health.

Fed Up With Lunch at 100 Days of Real Food

Fed Up With Lunch

An eye-opening account of school lunches in America. She provides invaluable resources for parents and health advocates who wish to help reform school lunch.

Animal Vegetable Miracle at 100 Days of Real Food

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

Pandoras Lunchbox at 100 Days of Real Food

Pandora’s Lunchbox

A look at the scary truth about what really goes into our food.

Salt Sugar Fat at 100 Days of Real Food

Salt, Sugar, Fat

Moss takes us inside the labs where food scientists use cutting-edge technology to calculate the “bliss point” of sugary beverages or enhance the “mouthfeel” of fat by manipulating its chemical structure.

The Honest Life at 100 Days of Real Food

The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You

Jessica Alba she launched The Honest Company, a brand where parents can find reliable information and products that are safe, stylish, and affordable.

Food Inc at 100 Days of Real Food

Food, Inc. – Documentary

Food, Inc. reveals surprising and often shocking truths about what we eat, how it’s produced and who we have become as a nation.

Deliciously Organic at 100 Days of Real Food

Deliciously Organic

Each recipe features only organic, unprocessed and whole ingredients that everyone will love (including kids) and for all occasions (even for hard-to-please special guests).

Super Natural Every Day

Heidi Swanson helps us make nutritionally packed meals part of our daily repertoire by sharing a sumptuous collection of nearly 100 of her go-to recipes.

The Sprouted Kitchen at 100 Days of Real Food

The Sprouted Kitchen

Sara Forte showcases 100 tempting recipes that take advantage of fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins, and natural sweeteners—with vivid flavors and seasonal simplicity at the forefront.

Weelicious at 100 Days of Real Food

Weelicious: One Family One Meal

Dozens of recipes and tips for creating quick, easy, healthy, and fun food that moms, dads, and young children of any age will absolutely adore—from the most persnickety infants to the pickiest grade-schoolers.

Cooking From The Farmers Market at 100 Days of Real Food

Cooking from the Farmer’s Market

Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market will show you how easy and satisfying it is to practice “farm-to-table cooking” in your own home.

The Homemade Pantry at 100 Days of Real Food

The Homemade Pantry

The Homemade Pantry was born of a tight budget, Alana’s love for sharing recipes with her farmers’ market customers, and a desire to enjoy a happy cooking and eating life with her young family.

Super Natural Cooking at 100 Days of Real Food

Super Natural Cooking

Offers globally inspired, nutritionally packed cuisine that is both gratifying and flavorful.

Organically Raised at 100 Days of Real Food

Organically Raised

A cookbook with a conscience, it shows parents how to replace bland processed shelf staples with flavorful, pesticide-free meals that babies will love, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good nutrition and enthusiastic eating.

Organic Family Cookbook at 100 Days of Real Food Shop

The Organic Family Cookbook

This inspiring cookbook answers the call for healthy recipes for family-friendly organic meals — snacks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and extras.

The Fresh 20 at 100 Days of Real Food Shop

The Fresh 20

Using just 20 organic, non-processed ingredients per week, home cooks can create 5 wholesome, delicious meals in just minutes.

Weelicious Lunches at 100 Days of Real Food

Weelicious Lunches

Innovative solutions for quick, delicious, easy-to-make, kid-friendly lunch box meals that little ones and their older siblings won’t be tempted to swap.

Joy of Cooking at 100 Days of Real Food

Joy of Cooking

JOY remains the greatest teaching cookbook ever written. Reference material gives cooks the precise information they need for success.

Six O’Clock Scramble

A family focused website featuring simple meal plans to help busy parents cook 4 – 6 nights per week while saving money.

Once A Month Meals

Fill your freezer by creating monthly menus using freezable seasonal recipes.

Plan To Eat

Weekly meal planning, recipe sharing, and shopping list all in one; create and share your own recipes within and add them to your planner.

Super Healthy Kids

Kid-friendly meal plans that include 4 meals for each day, recipes, and instructions at your fingertips. 3, 6 or 12 month membership options.

The Fresh 20

Meal plans based on 20 fresh, local and (when possible) organic ingredients.

Momables

Healthy school lunch ideas and family plans including Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, and Nut-Free in addition to the Classic.

100 Days of Real Food Meal Plans

5 real food meal plans from 100 Days of Real Food, free!

Fresh Cinnamon + Grater

Add maximum flavor with fresh cinnamon sticks and specially-designed grater. Check out our Overnight Oats post.

Lunchbox Love Notes

Positive notes and fun trivia on adorable cards. Perfect for your kids’ lunchboxes and more!

Molly’s Suds

When it comes to laundry, these are products that I feel good about using; you should, too! Use coupon code 100DAYS15 to save 15%.

Our favorite lunch boxes on 100 Days of #RealFood

Our Favorite Lunch Boxes

We review our favorite lunch boxes and even include some discounts!

PrepDish

Paleo and Gluten-free Meal Plans. Shop once, prep once, and enjoy paleo and gluten-free meals each week!

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Whole-wheat pastry flour is my new baking obsession! Try it in my cream biscuits recipe and you will see why.

100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous

My second cookbook has 100 quick-and-easy recipes and simple cheat sheets that will work with every family’s busy lifestyle.

Espresso Machine

Premium Espresso Machine

This is what I use to recreate Starbucks at home!

Rack

We use these racks to organize our bakeware, cutting boards, and serving trays.

Squooshi Food Pouches

As a parent, you know the drill: have kids, will travel. With food. Think applesauce, fruit/grain or veggie purees, smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal; did I say smoothies?? Squooshi makes it easy! Squooshi is offering the readers of 100 Days of Real Food 10% off of your entire order with the coupon code 100DRF.

Baking Sheets

Baking Sheets

This is something else we use every week for baking our breakfast granola among other things. It’s a pretty basic tool with so many different uses. It’s definitely a staple in my opinion.

Salad Spinner

Salad Spinner

Funny enough, we did not own a salad spinner before we cut out processed food, and now we use it regularly! I’ve found it’s not only great for lettuces and greens but also for fresh herbs.

blender

High Quality Blender

I’ve tried a few of the top choices, including Vitamix, and (they’re not paying me to say this!) Blendtec is honestly my favorite blender. Whether it’s for smoothies, soups, nut butters, or sauces, this appliance is essential.

skillet

Cast Iron Skillet

A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is great for making all sorts of goods such as tortillas and corn bread. Luckily, you don’t have to spend much to get a decent one. I think the one we’re still using was purchased from Walmart in college.

pans

High Quality Pots and Pans

(+ metal spatulas to go with them!).
This is another one that gets daily use at our house. You truly can’t do much cooking without pots and pans, and if you invest in a high-quality brand (I personally love All-Clad), they will last a lifetime!

crock pot

Slow Cooker

I use my slow cooker at least once a week, including sometimes overnight for stocks and soups. As a busy mom, I honestly don’t think I could survive without it!

measuring cups

Glass Measuring Cups (with handle)

These are optimal for wet ingredients, and we have them in the 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup sizes. It’s another inexpensive tool that can go a long way.

measuring cups

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons

This is another one where I have several sets of each, and that comes in handy when I am multitasking in the kitchen. The cups are good for dry ingredients and the spoons are good for just about anything!

scissors

Kitchen Shears

I dedicated an entire blog post to my love of kitchen shears! We own three pairs and for good reason – that’s how often we use them.

cutting board

Plastic Cutting Boards

These plastic cutting boards get used daily in our house.

knives

Good-quality knives.

The majority of the foods I prepare require a little chopping, so good-quality knives are at the top of my list for a reason.We started with this set and then added this outstanding 6″ cook’s knife. My husband and I reach for it first since it is so versatile and well balanced. And when you think your knives are no longer working very well, just give them a quick sharpening. It can make such a difference!

Pay what you can: $̶5̶7̶