There are some handy tools around my kitchen that make clean eating especially fast and easy.
As I’ve been whipping up my eat.clean.quick. recipes, I’ve realized that it might be helpful to do a post about some of my favorite kitchen tools. A few of these are pretty basic and may already be laying around your kitchen. Others may seem a little gimmicky but have proven to be really helpful!
I’ve provided links for the exact (or very similar) tools that I’m highlighting in this post. They range in price from a few bucks all the way up to a hundred dollars.
A hundred bucks might seem to be hard to swallow, but just think about how much use you’ll get out of a quality food processor. I use mine for dressings, dips, chopping, shredding and making healthy frozen treats. I even use it to grate the soap for my homemade laundry detergent.
For perspective, dinner for two at a halfway decent restaurant is usually at least $50 including tip, so you could have two dinners out or one food processor that will help you eat healthy for the long term!
::climbs down off soapbox::
So let’s dig in, shall we?
1. Lemon Squeezer – this is one of those things that might seem a little gimmicky, but IT IS NOT. It makes juicing lemons and limes a breeze. You seriously get so much more juice out of them and it’s so much faster than using your hands. Plus, the seeds get trapped. #score
2. Food Processor – definitely an investment, but oh so worth it. You’ll be amazed at how many great things you can whip up with one of these bad boys. I think it’s worth it for making cauliflower rice alone.
3. Oil Sprayer – Pam is full of weird ingredients and the aerosol can isn’t good for the environment, so save your self some dough and get one of these oil sprayers! I keep olive oil in mine, but you could use any liquid oil you like. It’s perfect for lightly greasing a pan and I love that it allows me to coat my veggies and sweet potatoes with a small amount of oil to bind whatever seasonings I use to pack some flavor into my side dishes. You just pour oil into the container, screw on the sprayer, pump the lid a few times until the resistance really fights back and spray away! This little “dealy do” uses air to power the sprayer :)
4. Sizzle Pan – I pink puffy heart my sizzle pan. My mom bought it for me one year early in my marriage and I’ve loved the thing ever since! It’s really durable and can stand up to the high heat of a broiler (or a grill!) without getting damaged. It’s a great size for cooking smaller meals (2-3 people) and it cleans up super easy. I love love love it and use it all the time for broiling meats. Get one!
5. Garlic Press – this is a pretty common kitchen tool, but I have to say that I just love it so much. I cook with LOTS of garlic. Anytime a recipe calls for 1 clove of garlic I just laugh and add 4. A garlic press does all the work of crushing the garlic (to release the amazing flavor) and mincing it finely (without having to chop until the cows come home). Once in a while I feel too lazy to pull out my garlic press and I always regret it because I spend three times as long chopping each clove into small bits and even then they aren’t oozing with garlicky goodness like the bits that come out of the press.
6. Vegetable Spiralizer – again this might seem too gimmicky, but after having Spaghetti “Zoodles” with Meat Sauce for dinner THREE.NIGHTS.IN.A.ROW. I am head over heals for this little contraption. In case you are wondering, “zoodles” are zucchini “noodles” and they are really good. I got this “do-hicky” for a great price on Amazon (per the link) and I can’t wait to see what else I can slice, grate and spiralize! If I only used it for zoodles, I’d still consider it a “must have” clean eating tool.
7. Mini Measuring Glass – I like to make sure I’m keeping track of how much oil and salt are going into my clean meals and for that reason I rely on this trusty little measuring glass. It’s perfect for measuring olive oil, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce or whatever else you want to monitor your intake of. I find that fumbling with a set of measuring spoons is cumbersome and messy most of the time (at least when it comes to measuring liquids) so this little guy makes the job fast and easy!
8. Steam Basket – I steam about 90% of the veggies we eat. I love to roast and grill veggies as much as the next gal, but I’m also a purist at times and want fresh tender-crisp veggies free from oils and seasonings. Some people probably boil their veggies and I know microwaving is a popular option, but I’d argue that using a steamer preserves the nutritional value of the veggies more than other cooking methods. This handy little guy sits right inside a large saucepan and all you have to do is add a cup or so of water (I try to keep the water level below the steamer so the veggies don’t sit in the liquid) and put the lid on. In under 10 minutes you have a basket full of lovely veggies ready for your meal.
So those are some of my current favorite tools. I think I could have gone on about other random things in my kitchen, but maybe I’ll have to do a sequel post :)
Another thing I think is a must for keeping it easy to whip up meals in a hurry is a set of cutting boards. Not just one. You’ll wear yourself out washing a single board after every meat you slice and dice or gooey tomato you chop up. You’ll spend so much time washing your cutting board during meal prep that you’ll want to throw in the towel (pun intended). Get yourself 3 or 4 boards in varying sizes. I may have 6 different sized boards (1 extra large, 2 large, 1 medium and 2 mini) and I find that I use them all on a regular basis.
Maybe I have an addiction.
Cutting Board Hoarders coming to a television network near you. Lol.
Let me know if you have any questions or if there are any must-have tools that you use in your kitchen!