Can Real Food and Minimalism Go Together?

I love having less. I love the open feeling of our home, the minimal amount of toys, books, furniture, etc.
But then you get to the kitchen.

Having a minimalist mindset, tends to lend itself to good quality food. If we’re not storing up clutter in our home, we’re probably not wanting clutter in our pantry, refrigerator or in our bodies.

As a minimalist, I am aware of what quality of clothing I purchase, how it was made, how it impacts the earth and the people who created it (not just sold it).

I am careful about having good quality toys for my children, and now having a bunch of plastic stuff that will end up in the landfill. I use reusable bags, I have a garden and shop at the farmer’s market and support local businesses.

So when it comes to food, getting high quality ingredients that benefit our bodies and our earth (organic/grass fed) falls right into place with the rest of my views.

The only difficulty comes with kitchen equipment. To make traditional real food, we tend to need more things. Perhaps when Brian and I are empty-nesters we’ll down size the kitchen and eat more of a raw diet, but for now, I still do a large variety of meals. (Really, I want a tiny house!!)

We have taken our kitchen supplies down to our minimum. But to be honest, it doesn’t seem very minimal. I still have quite a lot of kitchen equipment.  But without it I wouldn’t be able to cook real food for my family. I know I could change some things, I could have a hand grater instead of this suction cup grater, but I don’t want to spend 20 minutes grating carrots for Simple Carrot Salad.

When looking at the equipment I have kept, I have made sure that I only keep things that are either:
1.) Used every day
2.) Used for multiple purposes

Yearly use items:
I do have a box in the garage with things I use only one season a year. I have an apple sauce maker, and an apple peeler/corer that are only used during apple harvest. I could cut the apples by hand but these tools save me many hours of work, so I keep them.
I also keep my canning supplies, cherry pitter and spare gallon jars (for raw milk) in the garage.
I did let go of the turkey roaster and serving dishes!

There are many “kitchen” things that one can get rid of to live minimally: Click here to read “It’s Time to Get Rid of Your China Cabinet.

It’s important to only have what you use in the kitchen, so you don’t spend precious time digging to find the right tool. For real foodies, that will mean a bit more equipment, that’s okay.
And one nice thing about eating real food, is it requires much smaller pantry space, so having kitchen equipment on the shelves, isn’t such a big deal.

Living minimally isn’t about how much stuff you have, it’s a mindset of contentment and having your priorities where they need to be. 

For my family, that means real food and lots of it.

Posts of interest:

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I created a FREE Facebook Group - feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group and I share videos each week on YouTube


  1. Tammy on 07/31/2013 at 7:29 pm

    I love this post! I’ve just began reading about minimalism about a year ago, and have decluttered a lot. We have also recently began to eat a more real food diet ourselves, which I never thought of as being part of minimalism.
    I also hadn’t thought of how what we buy impacts the earth and those who make it. Very thought provoking, and I can see that I still have a lot to learn. 🙂
    I love antiques, especially old dishware, but I’ve made myself donate or sell a few things, and given several kitchen things to my older children to start homes.
    I’m a work in progress, but at least I’m making progress, right? Now I think I need to go read “It’s time to get rid of your china cabinet.”

  2. Megan Alba on 10/07/2013 at 2:45 pm

    So true. I feel like I’m always finding “one more thing” that I need in the kitchen since we started our real food journey. But I’m working to pare down and keep only what we need. Moving definitely helped with that!

  3. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished on 02/09/2015 at 2:41 pm

    Oh you are a woman after my own heart! I am also a minimalist real-foodie and I love making meals from fresh ingredients and from scratch. I have to admit though that there are definitely lots of appliances that we keep around in order to do that. I’m really impressed by your minimalist kitchen!

  4. Krista on 08/25/2016 at 2:59 pm

    As a Holistic Nutritionist AND lover of simplicity, I regularly feel a tension between competing desires. Do I buy more essential oils and “super foods” to try out or do I continually pare down to basics; do I click “buy now” on the gorgeous cookbooks on sale at or breathe deeply, honor my 24-hour rule, and try to order them, instead, from the public library; do I buy the latest gadget that everyone in the health realm is chatting about or remember that I detest gadgets and can chop by hand and live without a spiralizer??? As the years go by I am growing stronger in my confidence to let these things go, to let go of the fear of missing out, and honor my desire for a simpler, less cluttered life.

    • Rachel on 08/31/2016 at 5:03 pm

      Oh for sure Krista! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Dan Erickson on 10/21/2016 at 8:42 pm

    I eat a lot of fruits, nuts, and Raw vegetables. This goes hand in hand with minimalism. You don’t have to prepare or process. Just eat good stuff.

  6. Mauren on 07/05/2023 at 8:39 am

    Eating real food absolutely goes hand-in-hand with minimalism! It’s about cutting out the excess, and getting back to the basics. Since I’ve embraced minimalism, I’m trying to cook real food at home (as opposed to takeout and frozen meals) and have found that it really doesn’t require tons of specialty appliances. Of course, we’re not perfect, we still cave and eat takeout sometimes. It’s a work in progress.
    A minimalist kitchen will look differently for every person. Over time, you’ll figure out what you do and don’t need – just be sure to give yourself the time and space to do this. Most importantly, don’t worry about what someone else’s kitchen looks like! You aren’t using their kitchen, you’re using YOURS.

Leave a Comment