There are a few kitchen tools that I use every day that I find make it much easier for me to eat healthy and I thought I would share them. All of them are under $40, and available anywhere housewares are sold. In no particular order they are:
- My OXO Good Grips salad spinner. This tool is great because it makes cleaning your salad ingredients very easy, and almost a little fun. You get to work out your aggressions by pushing the plunger down several times to spin the salad, and then you can actually use the plastic bowl to serve the salad. The colander can also be used for other draining purposes. The great thing about this item is that OXO has a satisfaction guarantee, meaning that if the spinner breaks or you are not happy with it they will replace or refund you.
- The set of 4 Flexible Grip Cutting Boards makes preparing any kind of meal very safe, as well as very easy. Each one has a little code on it so you can make sure not to use the same cutting boards for veggies as you do for meat and/or poultry. When you are done slicing, you can just roll up the boards and allow the food to funnel into the pan or whatever cookware you are using. They can go in the dishwasher, and they are so skinny you can store them anywhere. I got mine at Crate and Barrel, but, I have also seen them in BB&B and other houseware stores.
- Whether you are watching your weight or not, having a kitchen scale can help preparing meals or portioning out foods much easier. My favorite is the Salter 5 Pound Microtronic Scale. The zero out capability is great if you are mixing up a marinade or using dry ingredients and don’t want to use a bunch of measuring spoons and cups. It also helps immensely with getting a handle on portion control because there is no guesswork involved. You put a piece of cheese on the scale, it says 1 ounce, that’s 1 serving of cheese. If you buy a large bag of nuts, you can fill several smaller bags by simply putting the bag on the scale and using the grams setting, fill each one up to 30 grams, that’s one serving of nuts.
4. The Good Cook digital read thermometer is something I use everyday. With all of the food safety questions unanswered, I like to at least be sure that I am cooking my food to the appropriate termperature. This gadget is handy because the sleeve for the thermometer comes with the appropriate cooking temperatures, so you don’t have to do any guessing.
5. A pizza cutter may not seem like the most obvious kitchen gadget you need to eat healthy, but, since I got one, a lot of food preparation tasks have become easier. For one thing, my kids eat a lot of pizza, so it’s easy to cut it up into small pieces. I have also used it to cut off the crusts off of sandwiches, and/or make them into bite size pieces (this is also good for portion control). It was very handy in cutting a quesadilla, not to mention cooked chicken breast and low fat fudge brownies. The only caveat is that you must watch your fingers, because these cutters are super sharp. The brand I use is WMF, but there are lots of options out there.
Some honorable mentions are my VitaMinder hand held mini blender, which can blend small amounts of liquid, especially your coffee if you like it frothy. I also use my Cuisinart mini 3 cup food processor almost everyday to make dressings, marinades, pulverize everything.
What are your favorite kitchen gadgets that help you cook better, faster, safer or healthier?