Favorite kitchen appliances
Anti adhesive pancake pan
We use ceramic or stainless steal pans to reduce ingested chemicals, but I do have a anti adhesive pancake pan. We tried several "green" pancake pans before, but never had good results (especially after a few months of use). Gluten-free pancakes tend to stick to the pan or brake in regular pans (even with a lot of oil!), so we use it for those recipes until we find a good "ecological" pan.
I bought it 10 years ago when I decided I should eat more raw foods (raw cakes at that time!). It's a professional blender that is pretty expensive, but if I could only afford one kitchen appliance, that would be the one! It's so powerful you can put anything in it (maybe not a metal spoon like my mom did... but the company as a great warranty!). Even if I have the older version (without all the options and containers), I LOVE it ! I use it for smoothies, soups, raw cakes, nut butter, nut milks etc. Everything comes out perfectly smooth. I don't know how long mine will last, but it's still going strong !
Food processor (Kitchen Aid)
After my blender, it's the other appliance I use the most. I use it to grind nuts (when I want a flour and not a butter), oats, vegetables and other foods to make patties, cakes, energy balls, veggie burgers, meatballs... It's really a must !
Ice cream maker and popsicles molds
You can still do ice cream recipes without an ice cream maker (by mixing the mixture occasionally in the freezer), it's a "cool" machine to have (though I haven't found the perfect one yet !). Homemade ice creams are so good and the flavours are infinite. Popsicles are also a must (especially since we're in warm California). You can pack whatever you want in it and kids (or you) won't even notice. Different shapes, different flavours and colours make the experience even enjoyable and the perfect snack for hot summer days.
I don't have expensive professional knives, but I don't buy the cheapest too. When you're eating a lot of vegetables, it's important to have a good chef's knife and more importantly, to sharpen them once in a while (every 6-8 months or so). People often buy new ones when they find they don't cut well anymore, but it's really a good idea (economic and ecologic too) to bring them to a sharpener first and see the difference (do the butternut squash test : if you don't battle with your squash, then it might be good for several more years!).
Nut milk bag
You can still do nut milk with a dishcloth or drink it unfiltered, but a nut milk bag gives a better result (a smooth and creamy nut milk).
Parchment baking sheets
I use unbleached chlorine-free parchment baking sheets for cookies, patties, falafels or granola (recipes that tend to stick). You can buy those in natural stores.
Pestle and mortar
Grinding your spices really makes a difference in taste. The extra time to grind them will be worth the effort
The sides of the pan can be removed from the base. Thus, they are a must have for raw cakes and nut crust, since they tend to be fragile.
Stainless steal and ceramic pans
See explanations above