The key to a clean, efficient kitchen is “less is more.” To optimize your culinary space, try to avoid overbuying on gadgets, cutlery, and utensils and instead focus on outfitting your kitchen with things you will use every day. When you have a well-run and well-stocked kitchen, you’ll be more likely to make healthier choices and prepare your own meals when the time comes for a meal or snack.
It’s important not only to stock your pantry with healthy ingredients, but to supply your kitchen with the right gadgets and tools. Here are 10 kitchen essentials that should be living on your counters and in your cabinets.
- Simply Mist Oil Sprayer — Even healthy oils can be caloric if you use too much. To save yourself a lot of calories, use this oil mister to cover the bottom of a pan before you cook. Not only will it allow to use less oil, but it’s also guaranteed way to evenly distribute oil. Fill your mister with extra virgin olive oil or your favorite healthy oil.
- Vitamix s30 Personal Blender — Want to create your own smoothie every morning or a hot soup each evening with fresh ingredients? Then a blender is a must have. This mixer can create single- or double-serving size blends and lets you control smoothness so you can make anything from a creamy soup to chunky salsa.
- Vegetable Steamer — Run, don’t walk to pick up a steamer to cook your vegetables or steam fish. Steaming is a great technique which doesn’t require oil, and will help keep most of the nutrients in your vegetables. Switch up your choice of veggies each night and the protein you serve them next to. Not only does the steamer have health benefits, but it’s quick and easy to cook with and clean!
- Square Colander — You probably hit the farmers market quite often in the summer months, coming home with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to clean. We recommend having an array of colanders in different sizes to suit whatever produce you bring home. This square colander by Joseph and Joseph makes draining your food even easier with its unique ergonomic shape and vertical handle to keep it upright and stable when set down.
- Apple Divider — This kitchen gadget should be kept in your kitchen but also your office. We are all familiar with the 4 p.m. snack craving that rolls around each afternoon. To avoid a trip to the vending machine, keep a stash of apples and a divider in your desk for a quick and easy snack. For extra protein, add a tiny bit of peanut butter to each slice.
- Cutting Board — Invest in a cutting board that will last a long time. Sometimes beautiful pieces like this keep us coming back to the kitchen time and time again. Cooking at home can save not only money but calories too. Know what is going into each meal you serve yourself and your family.
- Herb Mill — An herb mill is an awesome tool that minces parsley, cilantro, dill, sage, basil, mint, or any herbs you love. Use this to create sauces, salad dressings, marinades, and more. Replace the extra salt you were adding to meals, and you will find how much less you bloat.
- Handheld Vegetable Chopper — You’ll have no excuse not to eat your daily fruits and veggies with this handheld chopper! Use it to dice up vegetables and nuts to add to your salads—they won’t mush like they would in a food processor.
- Nest Glass Storage — Want to eat healthy? Start by planning your meals for the week and bringing your lunch to work. This will help you avoid making unhealthy decisions when you get hungry or when a co-worker tempts you with a cheat day. Use these on-the-go containers to keep your fridge organized with your weekly meals and grab one each morning while you are walking out the door.
- Zester/Grater — Use a zester to add a citrus flavor to your home-cooked meals. Also, use this to grate fresh, unprocessed cheese from your farmers market. You’ll find that you use less cheese when you are grating yourself.
What other kitchen essentials do you rely on for healthy cooking?