7 Kitchen Essentials for Healthy Home Cooks

JOURNAL – HEALTH

Want to cook more often or eat healthier in the new year? Having these 7 kitchen essentials for healthy cooking will help you achieve just that. If cooking is easy and fast, then you’re much more likely to do it more often!

So, here are my top 7 gadgets, gizmos, and guides for your kitchen, to help you eat healthier in the new year:

A Really Good Chef’s Knife

Chopping vegetables with a dull knife can make mealtime arduous enough to consider scrapping it and ordering takeout. A good chef’s knife, though, will make chopping, slicing, and dicing a cinch…and perhaps even a pleasure! A good knife can be pretty pricey, (they are easily well over $100), but I’ve recently become enamored with the:

Misen Chef’s knife (which works like a dream, for just $65)

Stainless Steel Pots & Baking Sheets

Non-stick pans have become popular, but studies show pans coated with Teflon may pose health risks when overheated.

When the pans overheat, the coating could begin to break down (at the molecular level, so you won’t see it) and toxic particles and gases, some of them carcinogenic, can be released. Additionally, using metal utensils that scrape or break the coating, could also release these chemicals into your food.  

Instead, I prefer using stainless steel pots and baking sheets, They won’t chip, are non-toxic, and are still easy to clean. 

They’re a bit harder to find and pricier, but well worth it, as they will last a lifetime and ensure you’re not adding toxic chemicals to your home cooked meals. You can find them at a restaurant supply store or online:

12-inch Fry Pan ($120)

3 Quart Sauce Pan ($120)

Stainless Steel Stock Pot ($303)

Stainless Steel Baking Sheet Ovenware ($130)

Avoid all non-stick surfaces and hardened or anodized aluminum.

High-Speed Blender

Life won’t be the same after investing in a high-speed blender. Beyond the smoothest, creamiest, soups, smoothies, and sauces, you can also use them to make fruit-based ice creams and sorbets, like this, chocolate almond butter banana ice cream. Turn nuts into flour, nut butters, or nut milk; turn beans into delectable dips and spreads, like hummus or this: fava bean bessara; turn veggies into rice or bread; and fruit into smoothie bowls, like this gorgeous: matcha green tea bowlThere are a number of high-speed blenders on the market, but I’ve personally been a huge fan of the

Vitamix ($385)

Since my first time using one in cooking school 5 years ago. I immediately went home and purchased one, and I’ve used it regularly since then.

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Spiralizer

A spiralizer is an inexpensive gadget that turns veggies into spaghetti-like strands…and who can say no to spaghetti? It has become a go-to in my kitchen for quickly creating sweet potato, beet, and carrot noodles which I then saute, or season and bake into main or side dishes. This is one gadget that will help you consume more vegetables.

I’ve tried a few, and find that the ones that use gravity to spiralize the veggie downward versus sideways, are easier to use.

Mueller Spiral-Ultra Multi-Blade Spiralizer  ($23.97)

Glass Storage Containers

Smart home cooks reduce their time in the kitchen pre-prepping ingredients and making larger batches of food to be used as leftovers, which also makes eating healthy at home infinitely easier. Don’t believe me? Check out this post, How Batch Cooking Will Change Your Life. Get a mix of stackable square or round glass containers, as well as quart-sized mason jars.

Benefits of using glass instead of plastic? You can warm up leftovers in them, as they are microwave and often oven-safe, you don’t have to worry about BPA or other chemicals found in plastic leaching into your food, and you can throw them in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

glass containers

mason jarsthese are great for soups, sauces, and smoothies.

The Real Food Grocery Store Guide

All the kitchen gadgets in the world won’t do much for you if you don’t have the delicious, nutritious ingredients to cook with them! When you learn how to select the best ingredients, you’ll realize you don’t have to do much to make the food taste good. Real food—the whole, minimally processed foods found in the periphery of the grocery store, such as fresh produce, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and minimally processed organic animal products—not only taste better, they’re generally more nutritious than their highly processed and refined counterparts.

My forthcoming The Real Food Grocery Store Guide will teach you exactly how to select the healthiest foods in every aisle of the grocery store (even packaged foods!), without going broke. It will also help you draw the connection between what you eat, and how you look and feel. It’s a practical, easy-to-use guide, and a must-read for anyone who does the grocery shopping for their family.

The Real Food Grocery Store Guide

Happy cooking! 

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Hi, I’m Maria and I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

I help busy women lose weight or clear up their acne by developing healthier eating habits, based on a plant-based paleo diet.

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