Trust us, you don’t need a fancy, enormous, state-of-the-art kitchen to create delicious, impressively flavored, healthy meals. In fact, neither one of us have gigantic kitchens where we whip up delicious, healthy fare on a daily basis (click here www.twitter.com/cjnutrition and here www.instagram.com/cjnutrition for proof). How do we do it? Here are some of our favorite kitchen gadgets for making healthy cooking (and eating!) easier and tastier.
Olive Oil Mister
Olive oil rocks as a way to add flavor to salads, crispness to roasted or sautéed foods, and moisture to raw or cooked dishes. However, pouring olive oil into a pan and tossing veggies with the oil before roasting can often lead to using more olive oil than you need, and adding more calories than you need to the dish. It can also be messy. Instead of pouring your olive oil, try putting it into a mister, which dispenses a light mist of oil evenly over your cooking surface or food. We love the Misto, but there are plenty of other brands out there too, so check out your local home goods or kitchen supply store and pick one up soon!
Freshly pressed garlic just can’t be beat. It adds flavor dimension to dishes in a BIG way, with really minimal preparation or effort. While it may seem like it’s one more useless gadget that takes up counter space, we say it’s worth it because of the boost in flavor it brings to home-cooked dishes. Plus, if you’ve ever wondered about the secret to really great tasting vinaigrette dressing… look no further than freshly pressed garlic. Our favorite is dishwasher safe and doesn’t even require you peel the clove of garlic first!
Just like freshly pressed garlic, fresh citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit) provides major flavor return on investment. Plus, while the ingredient lends incredible flavor to dishes, making them seem fancy and complex, the actual act of zesting couldn’t be easier. We love using a Microplane zester, which creates a finely textured, flavorful batch of zest in less than 20 seconds.
Glass Storage Containers
Cooking at home is great the night of your home-cooked meal, but it’s even better the next day when you’re sitting at lunch enjoying a second home-cooked meal! Leftovers are awesome because they save time, money, and they taste great. We like storing leftovers in clear glass containers like this one, so we can easily see what’s inside of them. Since glass is heat-safe, you don’t have to worry about putting the leftovers into the containers warm. Get microwave or oven-safe containers and you don’t even have to dirty extra dishes during re-heating!
The peels of fruits and veggies contain nutrients, and we like to keep them in tact whenever possible. However, produce like potatoes and carrots needs a good scrubbing to remove any grit. A quick rinse under the faucet with a scrub brush like this makes cleaning veggie and fruit skins simple.
If you’re like us a few years ago, you don’t have kitchen shears and you don’t see a strong need for them. We challenge you to keep a pair in your kitchen and see how often you use them—we’re betting it will be many times each day. We use ours daily to cut open food packaging and snip fresh herbs into salads. The fact that we no longer tear the tops of cereal or chip bags into messy, gaping, un-closable situations is worth it alone. We like these but we’ve also seen lots at TJ Maxx lately.
Speaking of TJ Maxx — places like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and other discount stores are great places to get super deals on high quality kitchen supplies.
What’s your go-to kitchen gadget that makes healthy eating easier and more delicious?