Like it or not, Christmas is weeks away. Stores are stocked up for the shopping frenzy that occurs every year. If you haven’t started thinking about what to buy friends and family this year, how about considering some great kitchen gadgets to help make healthy cooking easy and fun? Food preparation is a key factor in eating healthy. So, let’s take a look at 10 cool tools to help make cooking fun, easy, and healthy.
Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
The Instant Pot electric pressure cooker is a fantastic addition to any kitchen. Making dinner every night, especially a healthy one, is a constant challenge since many individuals and families are fighting the clock. With work and family commitments mounting, the time left to prepare a healthy meal becomes more and more limited. The Instant Pot helps to make healthy meals on a budget and within time constraints. Not only can full meals be made in this pressure cooker, but you can also hard boil eggs, “bake” potatoes, and steam vegetables, all within minutes. The Instant Pot has several special features, including a rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and pressure cooker. The Instant Pot comes in many sizes, and prices can range from $79 to $199.
Mini Food Processor
Mini food processors are truly essential in the kitchen. They can be used to make salad dressings, marinades, purees, fresh salsa, and cookie or cracker crumbs for baking. They are easy to clean and store as well. These quick choppers range in price from $15 to $50 on amazon.com.
The salad spinner is super easy for drying lettuce and any leafy vegetables or herbs without bruising them. No one wants a watered-down salad or a gritty lettuce. However, not all salad spinners are created equal and finding one that does the job well and can stand up to lots of use is important. OXO Good Grips Little Salad and Herb Spinner was rated the best spinner by America’s Test Kitchen, and the price is around $25.
A spiralizer is fantastic when you want to create pasta-like noodles out of your favorite vegetables, like zucchini. These “noodles” are also known as “zoodles.” This handy kitchen tool can create lots of noodles in no time and offers an alternative to pasta. The best-rated spiralizer is also by OXO as tested by foodandwine.com.
A cast-iron skillet is a must-have in any kitchen. The skillet is virtually impossible to damage and can go from stovetop to oven with no problem. It is even considered a healthy way to cook since it’s infusing your food with iron. These skillets come in many sizes, and prices can range from $15 to $75.
Steaming is very healthy way to cook vegetables. It helps to retain vitamins and cooks the vegetables without adding calories. A silicone steamer basket can be used in a pot, a microwave, and a pressure cooker. The baskets are lightweight, inexpensive, and can be found in virtually any store where housewares are sold. They are priced around $15.
With so many different types of oils being used for cooking these days, this gadget is fantastic. Fill with the oil of your choice, whether it’s extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, and spray small amounts on your pan for cooking or lightly on your salad greens. Buy a couple so that you can have one for each of the oils you enjoy. Oil Misters are priced from $10 to $20.
A good blender is another must-have. This appliance should be looked at as an investment. High-powered blenders can do many things, from making your favorite smoothie in the morning to hot soup at night. They can also make frozen treats in a snap. Frozen bananas are easily blended to make a healthy frozen treat that is just as delicious as ice cream and lactose-free. The highest-rated blender is the Vitamix 5200 Blender, which will run you about $400.
A microplane is a zester/grater that can be used to grate parmesan cheese, zest lemons and oranges for baking, grate fresh ginger into marinades and cocktails, and mince garlic. Having one of these in the kitchen is fantastic for adding that extra burst of flavor to your dishes. Starting at about $10, these gadgets come many shapes and sizes. Check out microplane.com for the latest and greatest.
Meal Prep Containers
With all the healthy cooking about, it’s nice to have some handy containers to store your meals. There are many choices, from glass storage containers to stasher bags, which allow you to store clean, fresh veggies or fruit ready to sauté or toss in a bowl as a salad. They are easy to clean and help to solve the issue of plastic baggies.