Having kitchen tools on hand that simplify fresh food prep can make it much easier to stick to your healthy cooking and eating goals. Plus, cooking can be so much more fun with a little help from smart, well-designed tools and gadgets! Here are 10 convenient and versatile kitchen items for all you healthy cooks out there, to help you eat well with a little less fuss.
1. Immersion Blender
A simple immersion hand blender is a must-have for every health-conscious home chef. It’s seamless to assemble and use, takes up hardly any space in the dishwasher, and, most importantly, can be used for just about every meal. Immersion blenders are perfect for blending green smoothies and morning smoothie bowls, and can even handle frozen fruit and ice. They’re also great for creamy vegetable-based cold and hot soups, homemade pasta sauces, root vegetable purees, and even dips and pesto. You’ll never want to live without it!
2. Vegetable Spiralizer
Zoodles (zucchini noodles, or any vegetable-based noodle substitute) are all the rage, so you should be able to eat them every week, right? Right! Having a basic spiralizer in the house is a fantastic way to make lower calorie, lower-carb, nutritious veggie-based noodles anytime you want. Spiralizing can also be a lot of fun for the whole family, and is a great way to get kids (and spouses) involved in cooking and eating more vegetables.
3. Veggie Brush
Having a good vegetable brush is a staple for a healthalicious kitchen, especially if you purchase a lot of fresh vegetables from the farmers market. It can be cumbersome to wash the dirt and dust off beets, carrots and radishes when you first bring them home, so a strong-bristled veggie brush is perfect to get the job done. It’s also a great practice to cook with the skins of vegetables intact to preserve the vitamins directly underneath, so a veggie brush will help take care of all the nooks and crannies on the surface.
4. Slow Cooker
Having a basic slow cooker is an absolute kitchen essential, especially if you’re a healthy cook on the run. Slow cookers make healthy, flavorful one-pot masterpieces like soups, stews and casseroles super simple — just measure out and combine your fresh ingredients, set them, and go about your day. The result is protein that is more tender, flavors that are more robust, and a cleaner, less chaotic kitchen.
Related: Slow-Cooker Recipes
5. Mini Garlic and Vegetable Chopper
With this mini chopper, you won’t need any knife skills to be the best garlic-, onion- and herb-chopper in your neighborhood. The chop job comes out perfect every time with no tears whatsoever. It’s so easy to use that you won’t ever have any excuses to use powdered garlic. The clear cup in this great model can also conveniently be used as a storage container for your leftover garlic or veggies.
6. Fresh Produce Saver
We’ve all been there — that time we get excited and buy a ton of fresh fruits and greens, only to see them rotting at the bottom of our fridge a week later. Thank goodness for this amazing produce saver, which can help extend the shelf life of fresh produce. Keeping clean and ready-to-eat produce in a transparent container in your refrigerator will also make it more convenient for you to use it, encouraging you to eat it while it’s fresh and flavorful.
7. Personal Food Processor
Making your own sauces and spreads, such as homemade peanut and almond butter, hummus and salsa, is a great way to eat more plant-based foods, save money and enjoy lower-calorie and reduced sodium options. This affordable, convenient glass bowl chopper is an amazing tool to do just that. The glass bowl bottom also doubles as a storage container and makes for easy clean-up.
8. Meal Prep Containers
Meal prep for the week ahead is only possible (and fun) if you have the right storage tools. Finding a good set of containers that can fit fresh veggies and snacks is not always a simple task. That’s why this salad container set is so awesome — it’s the perfect size to fit a hearty salad, plus help you with portion control for all the accoutrements. To top it all off, this container is BPA-free and microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
9. Avocado Slicer
If avocados are basically their own food group for you, you’ll love an avocado slicer. No need to ever worry about awkward avocado slices in your salads, because they will come out perfectly even every single time. This slicer triples as a knife and pitter too, so you can enjoy your guacamole without worrying about battle scars.
Owning a high-quality zester is an amazing asset for a creative, healthy home cook. Zesting opens up a whole new world of flavor in a short amount of time and for very little clean up. You can use your zester on citrus rinds to add instant pizzazz to sauces and dressings. You can also use it to quick-grind cinnamon sticks and other spices, which are so much more potent fresh than pre-ground. Finally, you can use it to finely grate hard cheeses to top a fresh pasta or roasted vegetable, or for fresh coconut and dark chocolate to top your greek yogurt — the list goes on and on.
Do you have another favorite kitchen gadget that makes healthy cooking easier? Share it in the comments!