Let’s face it—we could all use a little help making healthier choices throughout the week, right? It can be hard to choose the right thing (and we all have slightly different descriptions of what’s “healthy” anyway), but there are a few kitchen gadgets that I’ve discovered over the years that can help you not only make better better choices with your food, but also make it easier as well.
Vegetable Spiralizer: I actually found out about this one through Elsie who was spreading the good word about her vegetable spiralizer through the office. I wasn’t able to eat pasta at the time, so this was a lifesaver since you can make your own veggie noodles out of vegetables like zucchini (and it has other attachments for different foods). You can eat the “noodles” raw or toss them in a pan with olive oil and salt and pepper first to warm them up. Pass the sauce please!
Dehydrator: Snagging a food dehydrator is a great tool to make your own granola, dried fruits and veggies, beef jerky, fruit leather, or seasoned nuts. While you can do some of the same things in the oven, the dehydrator is more time and energy efficient and leaves your oven free for other cooking chores.
Immersion Blender: If you love making homemade soups at home, then an immersion blender is basically a must. A lot of recipes require you to transfer most or all of your soup to a blender at some point to give the soup a smooth consistency, but it’s not the easiest thing to transfer piping hot liquid (usually in batches since it doesn’t all fit at once) from the pot to the blender and back again without making a mess. The immersion blender does it all in the pot, in seconds, without having to transfer the soup, and it’s small so it stores easily.
Infusion Water Pitcher: Instead of sugary soda or sweet tea, try making some yummy infused water instead! My favorite flavors are strawberry, orange, and mint and cucumber. So refreshing!
Smoothies To-Go: I love that I can make to-go individual smoothies in my blender just by using a different cup. It’s easy and fast and I can add in lots of greens and chia seeds or flax seeds to give the fruit another nutritional kick. Plus, when you don’t have to pour the smoothie into another cup to drink it, it’s one less thing to wash—yes!
Handheld Chopper: A handheld chopper is a great way to quickly chop vegetables for you to add to dishes or use as toppings. It’s especially suited for items like onions or jalapeños that would usually make you tear up or get oils on your hands you’d rather avoid.
Steamer: One of my favorite all veggie meals to make is a main roasted veggie (like squash or potatoes) with a few different steamed vegetables on the side. You can go low tech with a steelor silicone version or get fancy with a stackable unit. Steamed broccoli with garlic salt or steamed carrots with dill (and a tiny bit of butter) are the perfect compliment to any meal.
Herb Saver: To make sure you get the longest shelf life out of your fresh herbs, try an herb keeper that acts like a little greenhouse in your fridge to help your herbs last longer.
Citrus Press: When you quickly want to squeeze a lemon or lime for a recipe, salad dressing or a drink, a citrus squeezer is the way to go. Just make sure to invest in a solid steel one rather than one that’s just coated with metal but hollow on the inside. I’ve had more than one of the cheap ones snap while squeezing hard and pinched some fingers pretty hard in the process. Ouch!
Food-Shaped Savers: I love using food shaped storage containers to save the other half of a lime, tomato or onion when I don’t need the whole item right then. Not only do they keep your produce in a cute container, it also makes it easy to find the item you’re looking for in the fridge later. If there isn’t a food shaped one for an item, you can also use these silicone food huggers to create a seal as well.
Garlic Peeler and Press: Garlic has lots of nutritional qualities (including it’s ability to boost your immune system), so adding lots of garlic to your diet is a good way to add flavor to your food and do your body good. Since it’s not always the easiest to peel, use a garlic press and peeler to make removing the peel and dicing the clove a snap. The other upside is the lack of garlic smell on your fingers once you’re done…
Hot Air Popcorn Popper: Try some homemade popcorn with a hot air popcorn popper where you can control the kind of kernels you buy and the level of salt, butter or oil that gets put on top. Ever since I tried popcorn Emma made with salt, butter, pepper and some Parmesan cheese, I’ve been hooked. It’s definitely more of a treat snack, but it’s delicious!
Food Processor: Now I know this one may seem like cheating for this list since it’s more of a normal kitchen gadget that you may already have, BUT, hear me out on this one. This is one of the top gadgets that you’ll use to make all kinds of delicious dips and spreads, and any counter or cabinet space that it will take up in the meantime is so worth it. (I make this healthy cookie dip and red pepper dip in mine all the time.) Think of all the fresh hummus you can make at home!
Oil Mister: If you are cooking with an oil (even olive oil), you can end up using a lot more oil than you realize to coat the pan or dress a salad with, so this olive oil mister helps you get an even coat while using less overall.
Banana Ice Cream Maker: One of my favorite items! For a delicious frozen treat with less fat than regular ice cream (and only natural sugar), try using this frozen dessert maker to create a sweet treat out of frozen bananas, berries, or mango for a fruity soft serve sorbet. Or mix in some cocoa powder for a chocolate version!
Hopefully you have a few things on this list already, but if not, at least you have a good idea of where to start! And yes, it’s totally possible that you are already a champ of healthy eating and need no help whatsoever. But if you’re like me, when that frozen pizza is staring at you from the freezer, you may need a little extra help to eat your veggies instead 😉 xo. Laura
Credits// Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.