The key to eating healthy, is eating at home more.
I cook at home most days of the week and I leave weekends for going out to eat. I love going out to eat, but it is WAY healthier to eat at home. You know exactly what you’re eating, you can keep it light, it is way cheaper, and I find it to be super fun!
I’m sure some of you really don’t like cooking, or “don’t know how” to do it, but once you can get comfortable cooking, I am sure you will learn to enjoy it (at least a little!)
Learning to love cooking is a whole other topic for another time, SO for those of you who are already on the cook-at-home bandwagon, I wanted to talk a little bit about my personal arsenal of healthy kitchen gadgets. These are MY must-haves! These tools have made my life easier, healthier, and make clean eating a breeze. Some of these items are things I seriously can’t imagine living without now! Dramatic, yes. True, also yes.
The one thing all of these items have in common is:
They help you create fun, healthy dishes with tons of flavor that you will really ENJOY eating at home.
I’ll explain a little bit about each item, what I use it for, and why you most likely also need it in your life.
Like definitely need.
Healthy Kitchen Must-Haves
This is such a must! I make so many things with my Vitamix. From smoothies (obviously), hummus, dips, homemade soups, sauces (alfredo!!), ice-based cocktails and smoothie bowls to name a few. In the past, I had many bad blenders…blenders that were not very high-power and just didn’t get the job done. A good quality blender is something you will have for a LONG time. It’s an investment! I am so happy I got a great one and I know it will last me most of my life. The Vitamix is pricey, but this other option below, by KitchenAid is another great quality blender at a much more manageable price point. It is another top notch appliance.
I love a good steamer! You can steam veggies in different sized pots for super healthy meals. I love to steam kale, spinach and broccoli in this for a healthy side dish. It is also amazing at lightly steaming your chopped sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts before you roast them- this makes them soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, perfect!
I use my slow cooker all the time. It is a life saver for days when I want food when I get home, but won’t have time to cook dinner. You set your meats in the cooker, spice them as you will (I love my Chicken Salsa Verde Taco recipe, but I may be biased!) and go about your day! You will come home to a delicious, healthy meal ready and waiting. This is also amazing for meal prepping. You can make a large quantity of healthy, slow cooked food to eat all week. I also love that you don’t have to add a ton of fat and sugar to the meats to make them juicy and tender- the slow cooking process does that for you, making sure your food is lean and clean! I own this Cuisinart one below, but if you need a larger cooker, the KitchenAid is the way to go!
ZOODLES! SWEET POTATO NOODLES! I mean, need I say more?? I love my spiralizer! I make zoodles with it all the time and sweet potato noodles too! Check out my yummy Pesto Zoodles Recipe and Southwestern Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl Recipe! You can make a noodle out of almost any veggie. I make shoe string fries with it too! And it comes with different blade options so you can make “chips” out of veggies or fruits. It’s super easy to use and although nothing is as good as real noodles, this comes pretty damn close. Low calorie, healthy, nutritious “noodle” bowls are possible, with this!
I mean, simple idea right? But I am sort of shocked at how often I use them at home! I use them to store Overnight Oats for an easy grab and go breakfast, for fresh citrus juice, for homemade salad dressing and sauces, to transport smoothies on the go, and to fill with snacks to throw into my bag for the day ahead. I love them. They are re-usable obviously, and they are easy to clean. They make storing and transporting your healthy foods easy.
I use a roasting pan almost every day. If not for a main course like salmon, pork or chicken…then for veggies. I roast sweet potatoes, make sweet potato fries, roast brussel sprouts (my FAV!), carrots, kale chips…and on and on. I roast all the veggies and all the potatoes on this bad boy. And it is dark colored, which is good because roasting all those veggies makes a pan pretty gnarly. I also use my favorite pan to roast whole chickens- it’s good for everything and once you master roasting foods, you’ll never look back. It is a healthy and absolutely delicious way to cook.
Say that 3 times fast. Ok seriously though, this bad boy is SO cheap and it makes snacking so healthy. I love popcorn. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. But the bagged stuff is mostly crap and the popcorn in movie theaters- OMG you don’t even want to know!! Trust me, just avoid it. BUT, don’t avoid this! It pops the corn with no oil, which yields delicious popcorn that is only 25 CALORIES A CUP!!!! THATS IT!! WHAT!? That is seriously nothing, so go ahead and eat a whole bowl, babe. I like to spray my popcorn with coconut oil spray and sprinkle it with sea salt. Sometimes, if I am feels jazzy, I will also sprinkle a little dried thyme and garlic in there. SO good. I make this, bag it up and take it with me to the movie theater. You just have to hide it in your bag, and no one even knows! SHHHH! A super healthy, low calorie snack that feels like a cheat- gotta love that!
This is a must for seasoning foods. It is essentially a super nice grater/zester. It grates and zests better than any other tool I have used. I use it for garlic, shallots, ginger root, turmeric root, lemon, lime and orange. Adding these to foods adds so much flavor with no calories, which is so important in healthy, clean cooking. It’s all about creating as much yummy flavor, without adding unnecessary fats, sugars and yucky stuff. This tool is easy to use and very versatile- I have never used another grater since getting this one. I have had it for YEARSSS and it is still sharp and performs perfectly, which showcases how good quality is totally worth it.
Cutting boards are essential in any kitchen for obvious reasons. But the type of board you use is also pretty important. I love bamboo boards because they are eco-friendly and super good quality. Plastic cutting boards can harbor bacteria, so bamboo is much safer. So…safer and greener- that’s pretty much a no brainer! Most are hand-wash only, but they last a long time, are super sturdy and stand up to a lot of wear and tear. They can also double as a pretty serving platter at a party. I use the smaller ones to put a cheese/ charcuterie platter on top of. I love kitchen items that can double as something else, and these definitely deliver.
“Slap all your troubles away with the slap chop”. Ok it’s technically NOT a slap chop, but it is. It’s called a “Stainless Steel Chopper” but that sounds lame, so…Slap Chop it is! Anyone else remember the informercial from years ago or is this reference dying a slow death?? LOL. Anyway. I love this gadget. I use it all the time to chop things quickly. Mostly things I don’t want to touch like spicy peppers, garlic, and different types of onions. I also love it for chopping nuts to toast and throw into a salad. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly chop things that are otherwise sort of annoying to chop….and add them to a meal! An easy, practical appliance.
Do you have nay gadget you love?? Let me know- I am always on the look out for new things to try!
Happy, healthy cooking beauties!