EQUIP YOUR KITCHEN WITH THESE INEXPENSIVE COOKING GADGETS TO MAKE HEALTHIER MEALS A BREEZE
This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, so the post has been reproduced here.
There are a few cooking gadgets in my kitchen I cannot live without. They make healthier cooking easier, faster, and in some cases, safer. And best of all, they are low in cost. Stocking your kitchen with these handy gadgets and small appliances – and learning how to use them – is a great way to improve the quality of your diet without having to go to cooking school!
Cooking Gadgets – Meat Thermometer: Animal protein is the most costly thing on your shopping list, so don’t take any chances ruining your steaks, chops, burgers, and roasts by over or under cooking. Plus these meats carry the risk of food poisoning if not cooked to the proper temperature, so take the time to check the temperature to get it right every time.
Cooking Gadgets – Condiment Squeeze Bottles: You can find these during barbecue season or clean and refill the plastic squeeze bottles many condiments come in. They make portion control easier, save time since you don’t have to dirty a knife to use them and are more sanitary since utensils aren’t being dipped into them. I use mine to hold my “flavored” mayonnaise collection, including horseradish and wasabi mayonnaise, and have one for sour cream.
Cooking Gadgets – Rotary Cheese Grater: Nothing can replace of the taste and aroma of freshly grated aged cheese, and fortunately, a little bit goes a long way. By cutting the cheese into one ounce chunks you can grate it as needed and keep the quantity you use under control.
Cooking Gadgets – Food Processor: I consider this appliance my personal “prep cook.” It makes crumbs out of stale bread, shreds cabbage, chops nuts, dices mushrooms, blends pastry dough and so much more. Best of all, the time I save chopping far exceeds the time it takes to clean it.
Cooking Gadgets – Olive Oil Sprayer: Even though olive oil counts as one of the “healthy fats,” we still have to control the amount we use. By spraying it on food or pans you can get the benefits without having to worry about over pouring.
Cooking Gadgets – Pepper Mills: The key to using less salt in your food is to punch up the flavor with fresh ingredients and pungent seasoning. Nothing does that better than a pepper mill. But don’t stop with just one. Keep one for black pepper, one for green and one for assorted peppers.
Cooking Gadgets – Pressure Cooker: Healthy foods don’t necessarily cost more, but they do take more time to cook. You can reduce your time in the kitchen and still have great food by overcoming your fear of pressure cooking. This appliance produces fast and predictable results when making dried beans, barley, brown rice, whole chicken, soups, stews and many other dishes that typically take several hours.
Cooking Gadgets – Citrus Juicer: When a recipe calls for the juice of a lemon or lime, nothing beats the flavor of fresh. If you don’t always have fresh citrus on hand, buy it when it’s on sale, cut in half and freeze, then just remove and “twist” out the juice when needed.
Cooking Gadgets – Immersion Blender: This easy to clean and store gadget can go from making a smoothie to pureeing soup to mashing potatoes. I love the fact it goes into the pot or bowl rather than having to transfer food into a blender. Best suited for those small quantities you want to whip uop fast.
Cooking Gadgets – Electric Kettle: As a tea drinker, this kettle is in demand in my kitchen all day. But it’s not just for tea. You can boil a quart of water faster here than in a pot on the stove top or in the microwave. I use any leftover water in the kettle to sterilize the kitchen sponge and sink drains.