Mortar and pestle
The grinding, crushing and mashing action of this Stone Age food processor bursts cell walls of herbs and whole spices, releasing huge amounts of fragrant flavor and disease-thwarting antioxidants. Also use it to pound garlic cloves, nuts, tea leaves and coffee beans when making items like pesto, guacamole, salsa, rubs, pastes and marinades. Best of all, a mortar (the bowl) and pestle (the stubby baton) is easier to clean than a coffee or spice grinder. (Plus, it looks cool on your kitchen counter). To use, place foods in the mortar and push down with the pestle using a twisting downward motion. With hard items like peppercorns and coffee beans, lightly pound first to form cracks in their armor.
Get it: Mastrad stainless steel mortar and pestle ($30, Mastrad.us)
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