7 Kitchen Tools That Make It Easier to Eat Healthy
Eating better at home doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. These product picks from dietician and Simple Swaps blogger Elizabeth Shaw are the key to prepping healthy snacks and meals fast.
OXO Good Grips® Complete 7-Piece Grate and Slice Set
You don’t have to be a big vegetable eater to fall in love with this compact, multi-tasking slicer. The multiple attachments (for grated or julienne-style slices) give you opportunities to be creative, even if you don’t have Top Chef knife skills. “We eat with our eyes,” Shaw says. “Maybe you’re not a big fan of beets, but the way you slice them can make them more appealing on your salad.”
Crock-Pot® Choose a Crock Programmable Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is the ultimate time-saver when it comes to healthy meals. “Spend just 10 or 20 minutes prepping items, toss them in the slow cooker in the morning, and you can have a nutritious dinner waiting for you when you get home from work,” says Shaw. (Tip: A can of broth and a variety of veggies, herbs, and spices will boost flavor without adding a lot of calories.) This slow cooker comes with multiple sizes of inserts—6-quart, 4-quart, and a split 2.5-quart—so you can cook for two, just you, or a big crew.
Pro Glass 24-Piece Food Storage Set
Weekly meal prep is a great way to control ingredients and portion size—and having a uniform set of storage containers at the ready can motivate you to get it done. Shaw likes this BPA-free set because each piece can go from the freezer or fridge to the microwave or oven—then straight into the dishwasher. “When you can store, heat, and eat with the same container, there’s less mess,” she says.
Ninja® Kitchen System with Auto-IQ Boost™
It’s no surprise this high-powered blender makes great smoothies, but it’s also ideal for creating your own healthier versions of salad dressings, hummus, and sauces. “When you make these yourself, you’re controlling the ingredients, so you can cut down on oil or add spinach to pasta sauce, for example,” says Shaw. To make cooking more convenient, the preset programs in Auto-IQ Boost™ time blending just right—with automatic shut-off—so you don’t have to stand watch. Includes a food processor attachment with a dough blade, so you can make healthier homemade cookies or our baked cinnamon-apple donuts.
Chef’n® Sleekstor™ 8-Piece Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
Snacks like nuts, seeds, and trail mix are a good source of healthy fats and protein, but eating the entire bag won’t help you achieve your goals. “If you’re starting a healthy eating plan, you need to get good at measuring servings,” says Shaw. These collapsible measuring cups are a space saver in a kitchen or even at work (bring them to the office to prevent midday binge-snacking).
AirBake® Ultra™ 15.75-Inch Large Insulated Aluminum Pizza Pan
Love pizza? Instead of ordering takeout, Shaw makes her own healthier whole-grain version using this perforated pan, which cooks more quickly than a traditional stone. “It works well on baked versions of fried foods too, like chicken fingers breaded with whole-grain crumbs,” says Shaw.
Sansaire Sous Vide Machine
If you want to prepare chicken, steak, and fish to perfection without a ton of butter or oil, Shaw suggests a sous vide. Food cooks in vacuum-sealed bags in a temperature-controlled water bath, which locks in moisture and flavor (forget the fatty condiments). This model by Sansaire works like an immersion blender: Place it in a pot of water (it hooks onto the side to prevent slippage) with a seasoned, vacuum-sealed salmon fillet, and let it heat and circulate the H20 until dinner is done. Simply twist the top to adjust the cooking temperature shown on the digital display.