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Essential Kitchen Tools To Encourage Healthy Eating

By Jennifer Hellwig, MS, RD

Essential Kitchen Tools To Encourage Healthy Eating

Healthful eating starts in the kitchen, and thanks to the plethora of cool kitchen gadgets to choose from, healthy cooking has never been faster or easier. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite gear.

Immersion Blender: Make creamy soups without the calories of actual cream! Just partially puree bean or vegetable soups by inserting an immersion blender in the pot. Turbo-lovers will dig this model’s powerful 200-watt motor, dishwasher-safe stainless steel blending shaft, easy controls and lightweight design.

Try: Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender, Amazon.com, $29.27

Salad Spinner: Nothing beats a salad spinner for washing and drying salad greens, fresh herbs and even fruits. This spinner has a non-slip knob, built-in brake, removable mesh basket and extra lid, which means that the clear plastic tub doubles as a lettuce storage bowl in your fridge after you’ve washed and dried your greens.

Try: OXO Salad Spinner, Amazon.com, $24.99

Chef’s Knife: All cooks should have at least one well-made chef’s knife. It’s a tool you’ll reach for each time you cook or prep produce. We like this one for its German craftsmanship, including high-carbon steel and a triple-riveted handle.

Try: Wüsthof Gourmet 8-inch Cook’s Knife, Amazon.com, $59.99

Veggie Peeler: A peeler that’s comfortable and easy to use is crucial. This one has a super sharp blade and nonstick grip that’s comfortable for both righties and lefties.

Try: Oxo Good Grips i-Series Swivel Peeler, Amazon.com, $13.99

Oil Mister: With a refillable oil mister, you can spritz veggies before roasting, coat pans before sautéing and even give air-popped popcorn a quick spray of flavor without adding too much fat. This model is simple to use and easy to take apart and clean, plus the brushed aluminum with black accents looks elegant on the kitchen counter.

Try: Misto Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer, Amazon.com, $9.99

Nonstick Skillet: With a nonstick skillet you can sauté veggies, make stir-fries and even scramble eggs—all without the need to add much fat. This pan is the perfect size for anything from eggs to chicken cutlets, and its sturdy base facilitates even heating, while the oven-safe handle and lid go from stove-top to higher temps with ease.

Try: Calphalon One Nonstick 13-Inch Deep Skillet with Glass Lid, Amazon.com, $99.99

Citrus Zester: The key to cooking with less fat is to boost flavor in other ways, and fresh citrus zest is a fantastic way to add zing to salads, stir fries and sauces. We like this super sharp professional quality grater because it can also be used for hard cheeses, like parmesan, whole spices, like fresh nutmeg, and even chocolate. And it comes with a plastic cover to keep it safe in your utensil drawer.

Try: Microplane Premium Zester/Grater, Amazon.com, $14.95

Mini Food Processor: If you lack the time, coordination or simply the desire to chop veggies by hand, then a mini food processor should occupy prime real estate on your countertop. This model features two speeds, an ample sized work bowl and dishwasher-safe parts.

Try: Cuisinart Mini-Prep Processor, Amazon.com, $29.95

Steamer Basket: There’s a reason steamed vegetables never go out of style—they’re fast, easy and exceptionally nutritious. This basket features two side handles for easy lifting, instead of a post in the middle that gets in the way. And because it expands to 10-inches, you can steam lots of veggies at once.

Try: Norpro Stainless-Steel Expandable Vegetable Steamer, Amazon.com, $8.77

Slow Cooker: A slow cooker may seem retro, but modern women juggling busy lives love how these cookers multitask. Simply toss in all the ingredients in the morning, and expect a wholesome, fragrantly simmering dinner waiting for you and your family that night. This large 7-quart pot (big enough for stews or roasts) has a 10-hour timer with digital display and multiple heat settings, including a simmer setting.

Try: Kitchen Aid Slow Cooker, Amazon.com, $129.99

Jennifer Hellwig, MS, RD

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