Gadgets and Small Appliances for a Healthy Kitchen
We all use our stove ranges, ovens, and refrigerators on a regular basis. But there are a lot of small appliances and gadgets that can help us save time while cooking healthy meals. You don’t have to have these gadgets in your kitchen to eat a healthy diet, but they sure do make food preparation a lot easier and more convenient. For busy people, these gadgets and appliances can really help you out.
I’m addicted to my food scale. Not only does it help me figure out portion sizes, but it can offer more accurate measurements than measuring cups can. For people who are new to portion control, a food scale will really help you. If you are watching your calorie intake, you will be able to record more exact numbers if you use a food scale instead of a measuring cup to measure out your bowl of cereal.
You can buy small, plastic scales, or more expensive, heavier scales. I have a $5 scale that I’ve used for years. It is easy to wash, store, and use on a daily basis. However, I do like my bigger one when it comes to batch cooking, or measuring larger quantities.
When my husband and I first got married, we rented a couple of rooms in a finished basement, but didn’t have a kitchen. We learned to cook meals by using a small fridge, an electric kettle, and a toaster oven. It sure was an experience I’ll never forget. Now that we do have a full sized kitchen, we still use our toaster oven on a regular basis. It is an easy way to toast bread for multiple people at the same time. For smaller meals, or to reheat foods, it is convenient to use the toaster oven instead of heating up the entire oven.
You can buy both small and large toaster ovens, depending on what you need. Before purchasing one, make sure it has a removable drip tray. This makes it easier to clean out crumbs and other things that might drip onto the bottom of the oven.
I love my crockpot. In the morning, I can throw everything into the pot before I head to work; then, by the end of the day when I get home, dinner is ready. There are a lot of healthy crockpot recipes out there for you to take advantage of. You can even set the crockpot up at night and wake up to a warm breakfast that is ready to go.
When you buy a crockpot, consider how many people you tend to cook for. If you cook for a few people (small family), buy a three or four quart capacity crockpot. Larger families probably require a six quart crockpot. Make sure the crockpot can be removed from its base as this makes it easier to clean.
You can use a food processor to quickly chop and great your food. This makes it easier to prepare a healthy dinner on a busy evening because you won’t have to spend a lot of time doing the prep work. Food processors also come in handy when you want to make recipes like homemade hummus and pesto, or even some pastry doughs.
Food choppers, or mini food processors, are convenient for prepping smaller ingredients. But a standard food processor, which holds up to ten cups, is probably your best bet when it comes to versatility.
If you want to make smoothies, milkshakes, and pureed soups, you should keep a blender in your kitchen.
My blender has a permanent spot on my counter because I use it on a daily basis, so it is not worth the effort to move it in and out of a cupboard.
When looking for a blender, make sure it has a glass pitcher. The plastic ones are not good quality, and won’t last long. The pitcher should hold at least 40 ounces to make it a useful tool in your kitchen. Make sure the blades are removable to make cleaning easier.
In addition to my regular blender, I also have a smaller hand blender which comes in handy when I need to puree a soup in a hurry. I use the big blender for big batches, and the hand blender for small batches.