It’s common knowledge that preparing meals at home is healthier than going out to eat, because you are in control of portion sizes and what exactly goes into each dish. That may be the case, but if you don’t have the right tools for the job, you might end up with a dish that’s swimming in too much oil, wilted and wet, or overly seasoned with salt. These five healthy kitchen gadgets will help you create a wide variety of delicious — and good-for-you — meals in a snap.
1. Vegetable Steamer
Sure, you can zap a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave, but that produce will retain a lot more of its nutrients if it’s steamed the old-fashioned way. Pick up a vegetable steamer, which you place over a bowl of boiling water and cover with a lid, to quickly cook crisp/tender vegetables without butter or oils. It only takes about five minutes to do. Avoiding direct heat, such as in a frying pan, allows water-soluble produce to retain more of its vitamins, leading to a healthier final result.
2. Oil Mister
Cooking with heart-healthy olive oil is indeed good for you, but not if you go overboard with it. Just one tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories, so it can be far too easy to get carried away with your good intentions. That’s why an oil mister is such a great invention. Use it to cover the bottom of your pan with just the right amount of oil instead of pouring with abandon. It makes it easy to cook healthy.
3. Herb Mill
You’re most likely familiar with a pepper mill, which grinds fresh, whole peppercorns with just a twist of the wrist. Put that same idea to work with fresh herbs. This is a great item to have on hand when you prefer to use fresh over dried herbs. Avoid the messy chopping and place fresh herbs in an herb mill. They will add tons of flavor to your food, so you won’t have to rely on using too much salt to add kick to your dish.
4. Salad Spinner
Eating salads is a great way to stay healthy, but to really make them good you’ll need a salad spinner. Why? Because it’s important to wash your produce before eating it, and drying can take time. There’s nothing worse than damp, wilted lettuce. A salad spinner will quickly and easily dry your veggies by spinning them around and pulling water off through centrifugal force. You end up with clean, crisp salad greens.
Sometimes your recipes might call for zest of a fresh lemon or orange, slivers of chocolate or freshly grated cheese. You can zest and grate these items quickly and easily with a zester. Citrus zest can add tons of calorie-free flavor to your dish, and freshly grated cheese is always better for you — and tastier — than those bags of overly chewy shredded cheese at the grocery store.
With the help of these five items, and a bit of cooking know-how, you can create healthy culinary masterpieces in your own home. Why not give them a spin?