Make Healthier Cooking at Home Easier with These 10 Essential Kitchen Tools
Preparing and cooking most of your meals and snacks is one of the best ways to maintain your weight loss. When you make food yourself, you know exactly what goes into it, and you have control of serving sizes so you don’t find your weight edging up due to portions that are too large.
But let’s face it, preparing healthy meals and snacks can be time consuming. We only have so many hours in the day to work, care for our families, and, hopefully, have a little leisure time. Cooking and food preparation are too important to the ongoing process of maintaining weight loss.
In addition to the basics you already have—like non-stick skillets, baking sheets, and saucepans—here are 10 must-have kitchen tools that will help make cooking and eating healthy easier—and maybe even a little more fun!
1. Sharp knives: Good knives make chopping through that pile of veggies and trimming off the excess fat from your meat much quicker and easier. You really only need three: a 9-to-10-inch chef’s knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. Buy the best quality you can afford, and sharpen them regularly.
2. Meat thermometer: Leaner cuts of meat toughen if you overcook them. Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor internal temperature so you get it just right.
3. Steamer basket (metal or silicone): Quickly steam vegetables or fish with little or no added fat.
4. Silicone baking mats: Food cooks evenly and doesn’t stick, making clean up a snap. Bonus: no residue from non-stick spray to gum up your bake-ware.
5. Slow cooker: Toss ingredients into the slow cooker before you leave for work, and dinner is (mostly) done when you come home. What could be easier?
6. Measuring cups and spoons: Don’t just use these while cooking—use them while dishing up your food. This will help you avoid taking too large a portion, and will help educate your eye as to serving size.
7. Food scale: Weighing food is another great way to make sure you dish up just the right amount.
8. Small dinner plates: Have you noticed how large dinner plates have become? Those huge plates make a normal meal look tiny, encouraging you to overeat. Serve your meals on plates measuring nine inches or less (about the size of a modern salad plate).
9. Food storage containers: Keep a stack of reusable food storage containers to store leftovers, as well as pack lunches and snacks.
10. Spiralizer: Have some fun with your food! Use a spiralizer to make veggie pasta or sweet potato curly fries, garnish a salad, or prepare vegetables for a soup or stir-fry. Spiralize any firm textured fruits or vegetables like zucchini (zoodles!), beets, butternut squash, carrots, or apples.
It might not be quite as easy as ordering a pizza or grabbing takeout on the way home, but cooking for yourself and your family doesn’t have to be such a time-consuming chore if you let these kitchen tools do some of the work. Look for them at any store that carries housewares, or online.