I went on a bit of a shopping spree at the grocery store recently. I was standing there looking at all the kitchen utensils and gadgets and thinking, “Wow, those are cool.” So I grabbed a few (several) of them.
But I’m not one to buy gadgets that sit in the drawer and don’t get used and therefore waste money. So what I got was super affordable and they make a big impact on cooking healthier meals for my family.
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1. A good knife
Lately I’ve been obsessed with the Skinnytaste cookbooks by Gina Homolka. I’m pretty much cooking my way through the Skinnytaste and Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbooks and loving it. The recipes are all about natural, whole ingredients for low-calorie, healthy meals.
Many of the dishes require A LOT of chopping of vegetables and herbs. And after suffering through months of dull knives I finally had to have a couple good, sharp ones.
I got two knives at Wal-Mart, a 5” and a 7,” for a total of $13 and so far I’ve been very happy with them.
Why I care: According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect on blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.
2. Rotary grater
In an effort to cut down on processed, packaged foods I grate my own cheese. Which means ditching those bagged cheeses and no more plastic parmesan shakers.
So this rotary grater from Wal-Mart for $5 has been a dream come true. I can just cut off a chunk of parmesan cheese, pop it in and grate just the amount we need per plate. That saves time, cuts down on waste and it’s much healthier. You can find rotary graters at several different price points.
Why I care: Check out these great articles from FoodRenegade.com and NotQuiteMomOfTheYear.com and you’ll never buy bagged cheese again. Spoiler alert, most pre-shredded bagged cheeses contain cellulose powder = wood pulp.
3. Citrus squeezer
Another great thing about these cookbooks is that it opens us up to types of food we wouldn’t usually eat that much like super flavorful and fresh Mexican and Greek dishes. And they often call for lemon and lime juice. This $6 citrus squeezer makes that so much easier. I just pop in half a lime or lemon and squeeze. Click here for different price options for citrus squeezers.
Why I care: According to FoodandHealth.com citrus fruits are well-known sources of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage. It boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, and protects blood vessels. Some studies even indicate that it can help treat stress.
4. Spiral Slicer
This is my newest toy. I ordered this spiral slicer on Amazon so I could make noodles from zucchinis and squash. It’s super easy to use and I love the taste of ‘zoodles’ and they’re much healthier than pasta. This spiralizer was $8 from Amazon. You can find several options at varying prices.
Why I care: Choosing spiralized squash over traditional pasta can cut calories by a whopping 81% and carbs by 77%, according to Livestrong.com. And that’s on top of the health benefits of the vegetables.
5. Strainer & Funnel
Ok, so that’s 2 instead of 1 but I got them for the same general purpose, making and storing my own stocks and sauces.
Check out my previous post on 5 Things You Should Stop Buying to see super easy and healthy recipes for making chicken and vegetable stock and marinara sauce.
Each of the stock recipes require straining and the funnels help me pour them into jars for freezing which saves money every time I can grab them from the freezer instead of buying them. The strainer was less than $2 and the 3 pack of funnels was just $1!
Why I care: According to some, homemade stock boosts the immune system, aids digestion, increases efficiency of protein use and can improve symptoms of joint pain, common cold, inflammation, anxiety, high cholesterol, allergies…. and many more. Source 1 Source 2 Source 3
What cool kitchen gadgets do you use for healthy cooking? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.