Trying to clean up your diet and make some healthy changes? I’ve rounded up my top 5 kitchen gadgets for healthy eating that make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle, saving time, energy and space. Whether you’re new to cooking or a pro in the kitchen, these gadgets make healthy living a breeze.
1. Rice Cooker
This might be my top pick out of them all. I’ve burnt a lot of rice in my days without this gadget. A rice cooker is inexpensive and saves you time and energy while cooking a lot more than rice! I regularly use mine for rice, quinoa and oatmeal, but you can also steam veggies and even fish if your model has a steamer basket. We currently have this rice cooker, but our first one was under $20 and lasted several years!
*Tip on cooking quinoa: use chicken stock in place of water to add more flavor! Your rice cooker should come with instructions, but I always do a 2:1 ratio of liquid to dry ingredients. See how I use my rice cooker to prep healthy meals for the week here!
2. Mason Jars and reCAP Lids
I am obsessed with using mason jars in the kitchen, especially since my grandma gifted me a few of these reCAP lids over the past few years. First of all, storing dry goods, spices, coffee, nuts and seeds in a variety of mason jars just makes my cupboards look more organized and neat. And, I don’t mind them sitting out on the counter tops like I would an obnoxious bag of coffee (I keep grounds and beans in mason jars or these canisters).
Aside from dry goods, I use mason jars to store homemade salad dressings, which is where the reCAP lids come in handy! I specifically use this one for salad dressings, and have been using this one for shredded cheese and other condiments. The reCAP lids come in regular size and wide-mouth, so if you have 2 of each you’re pretty much set to cover any of the mason jars you have on hand.
Tip: Mason jars also make great to-go containers for take-to-work meals, especially oatmeal, yogurt parfaits and soups. Here are some ideas for healthy fast food breakfasts that you can make at home and store in mason jars!
3. Food Processor
A food processor can handle just about any kitchen task: blending, chopping, shredding, slicing, etc etc etc. I use mine weekly for shredding brussels sprouts and cheeses, chopping nuts, making oat flour, and blending soups. It’s probably pulled out most regularly during the week to whip up a batch of homemade lemon tahini dressing, which I then store in a mason jar. I’ve even started using the food processor to make pie dough (never looking back)!
I have this model from Cuisinart; make sure you select one that has a variety of discs and blades to get all of your jobs done! I use the regular steel blade most often, but also use the discs for shredding cheese or slicing veggies. If you’re short on cabinet space, a mini-food processor is also handy. I had one that sadly gave out, but having two gave me the option to pull out the smaller one for quick jobs and less clean up.
Tip: Make your own homemade hummus using this recipe in your food processor!
This is one of my more recent kitchen additions, but definitely a gadget to have if you’re trying to make healthier decisions. It’s easiest use: turning a zucchini into a plate of ‘zoodles’ to be topped with pasta sauce. I’ve also used it to spiralize various veggies to add to my buddha bowls. I currently have a cheap version that I picked up on a whim (I’ve seen them at TJ Maxx, too!), but I have my eye on this one. If it wasn’t for precious cabinet space, I’d probably have pulled the trigger and bought it already since it’s still pretty inexpensive.
Tip: Don’t boil your zoodles like regular spaghetti. Instead, spread them out on a baking sheet over a few paper towels and ‘steam’ them in a low oven (200ish) until they’re tender. The paper towels help to soak up extra moisture so they aren’t soggy!
5. Knife Set & Block
This is a ‘gadget’ that should really be in every kitchen, whether you’re trying to eat healthy or not. A good knife set makes food prep SO much easier!, and having a nice storage block on the counter makes them easy to access. Whether you’re chopping veggies or lettuce, slicing fruit, or dicing herbs and seasonings, knives are likely to be used in any type of meal preparation. I have this set, and you can often find similar sets or individual knives at a great discount at places like TJ Maxx and Home Goods.
Tip: A knife sharpener is essential for keeping your knives in good shape. Many sets, like the one above, come with this piece. If yours doesn’t, you can pick on up separately here.
Bonus: Cookbooks & Blogs
I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning some of my favorite cookbooks and blogs for healthy eating inspiration. (Hopefully you’ve already found the healthy recipes and meal plans on Dirt to Delish!)
- Giada’s Feel Good Food – The answer to everyone’s questions. How Giada stays so trim and fit while eating all of that Italian food.
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook & OhSheGlows.com – If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen, Angela’s recipes are amazing. And her photos (both blog and cookbook) are gorgeous and drool-worthy!
- Peanut Butter Fingers – Julie’s recipes are often easy to prepare and perfect for a busy weeknight.
- Kath Eats Real Food – If you’re looking for variations on oatmeal, this is the place to go!
What kitchen gadget do you use most to prepare healthy meals?