Make this the year to begin acquiring the kitchen tools or gadgets that make preparing and enjoying healthy low calorie foods fun! With the holiday season now in full swing, I thought I would give you some ideas if you haven’t finalized your wish list. Or maybe you’d like some ideas for buying a gift for a loved one to be supportive of his or her weight loss or healthy eating and maintenance efforts.
Here’s a short list of items I own and love along with some I would like to have. Quite honestly I am more of a minimalist than a pack rat BUT the kitchen items I own have really come in handy! I’m sure the ones still on my list would be a big help as well.
The Microplane Grater/Zester works wonderfully! I bought this recently for my husband for his birthday. We use it mostly to grate small amounts of hard, sharp cheese into soups, salads, casserole dishes, and more. It’s a great way to add flavor and appeal to low calorie foods without mess or fuss. And it cleans up quickly and easily.
Why might this be something for you to consider? It’s great if you are watching your calorie intake and/or if you need to monitor your saturated fat or cholesterol intake. For my husband and me it serves both purposes. This nifty grater gives us a way to bring our eating more in line with healthy Mediterranean Diet plans (This type of diet puts an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and unsaturated fats, particularly olive oil. In addition, this way of eating includes small amounts of cheese and yogurt with only a little fish, eggs, poultry, and sweets.)
I knew I couldn’t go wrong when I read the customer reviews on Amazon. As of today there are 293 5-star reviews! Can that many people be wrong? At only $11.95 this is a winner!Any negatives to this kitchen tool? The only one I can think of is that it is sharp and probably should be kept away from small children.
Another awesome gift idea is the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender. I gave this kitchen gadget to my husband along with the Microplane Grater. He loves it!! This simple tool blends right in a pot or bowl with no extra dishes to wash. The gadget itself cleans up quickly and easily. No more hassling with cleaning a heavy traditional blender and all its parts!
You can use this hand held blender to puree soups, make your own hot chocolate, fresh fruit smoothies, or mix batters. I have not yet tried it but my husband has made several creamy and healthy low calorie soups (butternut squash, carrot soup, and more). Hmm…good.
There a few different models to choose from. The unit I purchased was not the most expensive. It cost only $29.95 and seems to have been worth every penny. I can’t share any negatives at this point. When I get a chance to use it I will let you know if I think of any. As I write this there are 337 customer reviews on Amazon and an average of 4.5 stars . (I won’t consider purchasing a product I have never tried if it doesn’t have at least a 4 out of 5 stars.)
[Update: I used this tool many times during the past year and I think it's great!]
I had read quite a bit about how a quality mandoline could make the chore of dicing and slicing veggies a whole lot easier. And anything that simplifies this task is something that helps me eat more veggies. Eating more veggies makes it easier to achieve weight loss or maintenance and better health!
Mandoline slicers can be used to quickly and safely slice, dice, and cut fruits, vegetables, and other foods. This particular slicer is made of tough plastic and has three insert blades made with surgical stainless steel.
Most of the mandolines I read about are expensive! Then I found the V-Slicer Plus Mandoline listed on Amazon for only $38.95. Compared with hundreds of dollars for professional mandolines that amount is much more reasonable!
When I first opened the box, I discovered it wasn’t something I could use immediately without reading the instructions. But that only took a few minutes. The blades are sharp and cut well; however, I have found it is easier to use with certain vegetables than others. For example, I can cut white potato slices for baked fries quickly and easily. Cutting slices of sweet potato for baked fries also works but I found it to be more challenging. The sweet potatoes were much more firm.
Clean up is quick and easy. I do save time with this slicer and I will probably save even more as I become more practiced. As of today 331 people have given the V-Slicer Plus Mandoline a 4.5 rating out of 5. You might want to give it a try. I think you’ll like it!
[Update: I'm not using this one as much any more. I wasn't careful once and cut myself rather deeply on one finger. Although it works well, I think I will stick with safer tools!]
The Prepara Oil Mister is not something I have actually tried but it is on my wish list. It would be perfect for adding just a spritz of oil to veggies before roasting them or adding a little flavor to salads without overdoing the fat and calories.
This gadget also provides a way to create your own flavored oils by infusing the oil with herbs or spices. Or fill it with plain oil to grease pans and prevent food from sticking. Over time you could save money by not needing to buy disposable spray cans.
I’m wondering if this may be a new product because there is only one review on Amazon. But this one review is quite glowing. The reviewer shared that having a glass base unlike most other misters is a plus because the oil can wear out the plastic parts found on other models. The glass base also makes it easier to clean.
For $17.99 it seems like a good buy that could potentially get many years of use.
Having a food scale for preparing recipes and measuring out healthy portions can be a real blessing for calorie control and healthy eating. This is another item on my wish list. It doesn’t matter that I am a nutritionist, I still have to work on keeping portions under control just like everyone else.
I’d also like to have a food scale for making metric ingredient measurements. Having such easy access to recipes online means that I frequently find great recipes from Europe and elsewhere with metric measurements. Ackk! It would be a lot easier to simply weigh the gram amounts as listed then have to take the time to make the conversions as I am doing now.
The company that makes this particular food scale has several models to choose from. I like this one because it seems to be simple and easy to use with measurements in either ounces or grams. The unit is offered in a variety of different colors. And as of today, it has 512 customer reviews giving it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It seems to be reasonably priced at $23.29.
Demy Digital Recipe Reader
I discovered the Demy Digital Recipe Reader just by chance. I am intrigued by the concept but not by the price. Having all of my recipes in one convenient place for easy access would be nice. But I’m working on adding recipes to my Kindle reading device. The layout on the Kindle is not as nice as what is pictured here but hey, my Kindle holds a lot more than just recipes! (To learn more read: 8 Reasons to Buy a Kindle Reading Device for Weight Loss Support, Better Health, and Fun! Update: I now use my iPad for recipes, cooking information, and so much more. The Kindle was good at the time this article was written but the iPad is so much better!)
The Demy is a kitchen-safe digital recipe reader that holds your personal recipe collection in one compact, sleek device. It has a high-resolution color touchscreen and a simple, basic interface along with other special tools. I imagine it would make any cook’s job easier. But I’m not thrilled with the price of $299.00. You can buy a Kindle reader for less than that.
Well that’s my list of helpful kitchen tools or gadgets to support your weight loss or maintenance efforts. I hope it helps. Happy holiday season!
Till next time, watch those calories and eat healthy foods.
[Disclaimer: The product links in this article are for Amazon.com. I am affiliated with Amazon. However, I only promote products that I personally like or that I have researched with the intention of trying myself. If you click through a link I provide and make a purchase I may receive a tiny commission that helps me pay for the time I spend to research, write, edit, and maintain this website. Thank you. In no way does this increase your cost for the product.]