Stocking your kitchen with healthy foods is certainly one of the best strategies you can incorporate toward your goal of healthy eating, but arming yourself with various kitchen gadgets can make the prep time so much more enjoyable and easy.
Here are just a few favorites:
1. Kitchen Shears
Don’t underestimate what a great pair of kitchen shears can contribute to your kitchen prep work. From trimming vegetables to cutting herbs or just opening packages, a handy pair of heavy duty, dishwasher- safe shears are unfailingly convenient.
Need a covert way to incorporate more veggies into your life? Try a spiralizer. It’s a tool that magically transforms your vegetables into beautiful, colorful, uniform ribbons. Using spiralized zucchini instead of pasta can reduce calories, and you can still enjoy your pasta sauce and other toppings.
3. Salad Chopper and Bowl
Despite the best intentions to slice that leftover chicken breast or salmon on a lovely bed of greens for lunch tomorrow, chopping greens and vegetables can be tedious work. This tool means you can toss all of the ingredients into one bowl then run the dual chopping blade knife (like a pizza cutter on steroids) back and forth over the ingredients in the bowl. A lovely chopped salad emerges.
4. Immersion Blenders
These great appliances not only assist you in achieving a smooth texture for a healthy soup, but they also have handy attachments such as a small chopper that is easy to attach and clean.
5. Food Processer or Blender
Any food processor, big or small, is an excellent tool for speeding up the chopping process, making healthy dips like hummus or grinding almost anything you can think of. Add a good quality blender, and you can whip up some refreshing, plant-based beverages just in time for summer.
6. Stand-Up Mixer
Any stand-up mixer can do the job to produce homemade baked goods, but some models offer an array of attachments that enable this machine to churn out healthier fare. Consider that Kitchen Aid offers attachments such as a grain mill, spiralizer, citrus juicer, various slicers and shredder blades, and more. This pretty kitchen appliance can now be put to work daily for lots of good-for-you options.
7. Instant Pot
This multi-cooker, whose sales have doubled every year since 2011, has an enthusiastic and fanatic following. You can quickly and easily cook whole grains, produce hard-boiled eggs, cook frozen chicken and create soups and stews in a fraction of the time it would normally take. This product is a must for active families, busy professionals or anyone who hates dedicating an hour to making dinner.
8. Food Saver
Do you occasionally excavate leftovers and expired products among the items in your fridge and freezer and cringe as you toss them away? A food saver is a simple way to preserve your leftovers as well as portion-control items. Purchased too many chicken breasts? Just vacuum seal them individually to safely freeze and then easily cold-water thaw when you want to cook them later.
9. Air Fryer
Want to indulge with 75 percent less fat? While an air fryer will make some healthier French fries, it’s also a whiz at roasting vegetables. The device cooks by circulating hot air around the food, resulting in a crispy layer, without the unhealthy oils.
While this pricey all-in-one gadget has only recently been made available in the U.S., its main features are 12 cooking functions, even heat distribution and a blade that claims to replicate “professional knife skills.” No pressure cooking here, but this gadget has other features the instant pot does not.
And don’t forget the basic kitchen equipment, such as measuring cups, spoons and a scale! Though maybe not gadgets, knowing what a serving size actually looks like is an important part of eating for good health.
Cathy Deimeke is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She serves as the Clinical Lead and Instructor in Nutrition at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale.
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