7 Kitchen Gadgets that Make Healthy Eating Easy
At the beginning of every new year, many of us make resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight. But a busy daily life makes it tough to keep up with healthy habits no matter how good your intentions are—unless it's easy and the food is delicious.
We've got you covered. We found nine kitchen gadgets that make creating great-tasting, healthy foods a snap.
Reduce potentially cancer-causing compounds in grilled meats with a quick marinade
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, marinating your meat before you grill it can reduce the levels of potentially cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) by up to 99 percent. While fish and seafood can benefit from a quick 15 to 30 minutes of marinating, beef and pork usually require much longer periods of time — even overnight. That's where a vacuum marinator can come in handy. Using a vacuum marinator, you can cut the time down to under 30 minutes for all foods. We like the STX Chef's Elite, which has a large, 6-liter capacity (enough for six 12-ounce steaks) and it rotates, so the marinade is evenly distributed.
If you already own a FoodSaver Food Preservation System ($199, check price on Amazon), you can buy the Quick Marinator accessory ($21.99, check price on Amazon), a 2.25-quart dishwasher-safe container.
Cook oil-free using a steamer
Steaming your food offers two big nutritional benefits over other conventional cooking methods. It doesn't add any fat, like sauteing and frying do, and it doesn't leach as many nutrients from your food as boiling or poaching.
We like the Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer, which lets you steam two different dishes simultaneously, making an all-steamed dinner a snap.
The large 5.5-quart capacity makes it ideal for family meals and its easy operation means dinner never has to be a hassle. At $40, it's an affordable addition to your kitchen.
Retain nutrients with sous vide cooking
With sous vide cooking, you simply put all of the ingredients in an airtight bag and a place them in a water bath kept at a precise temperature. That means even less nutrient loss than steaming and no need for added fat. In addition, the sous vide method makes it difficult to overcook your food, a huge bonus for those that aren't comfortable cooking healthy but delicate fish and seafood. For no-fuss sous vide cooking, you'll want to invest in a sous vide cooker, like the Anova Precision Cooker. It attaches to your existing stock pot and easily maintains the perfect temperature.
If you love fries, use less oil
You don't have to give up items like french fries to keep to a healthy diet. You need to eat them in moderation and use less oil. That's where a low oil fryer, like the De'Longhi MultiFry comes in. The Multi-Fry uses only one tablespoon of oil to cook 2.2 pound of french fries—a fraction of what a regular deep fryer would use. The total capacity is 3.7 pounds of food.
The MultiFry doesn't just fry, though. It has a removable mixing paddle for sauteing and a top heating element for broiling and even baking cakes. And, cleanup is a snap. The lid, paddle and bowl are removable and dishwasher safe.
If you can't give up soda, make your own
We all love fizzy carbonated drinks, but those sugary drinks aren't very good for us. With the SodaStream, you can make your own soda in whatever flavors you want, without loading them down with sugar. The SodaStream Fizzi Starter kit comes in liter and handy, single-serving half-liter sizes. At $80, this is not only an economical option for heavy soda drinkers, it's also a big a space saver.
Weigh in with a food scale
Portion management is a big part of eating right, and while it's possible to estimate portions, nothing beats a food scale to accurately gauge just how much is on your plate.
We like the Oxo Good Grips Food Scale, which offers everything you'd expect from a food scale along with a handy display that you can pull out for easier viewing when you're measuring bulky items.
Up your nutrient intake with fresh juice
Adding more juice to the menu can be a great way to get more nutrients into your diet. You can even sneak in healthy veggies, like kale, without actually having to eat any leafy greens—a big bonus if you need to appeal to kids' picky palates.
Our pick in this category is the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus. At $150, it isn't the cheapest juicer you'll find, but if you really want to add juice to your daily routine, you'll definitely appreciate the quality build of the Breville.
The unit's dual-speed motor allows it to grind up hard fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples at a speedy 12,000 RPM, then slow down to 6,500 RPM to get juice from soft fruits and leafy greens.
For busy households, the Juice Fountain Plus is simple to use, makes juice quickly and is very easy to clean up. That's a thumbs up in our book.
Make your own yogurt for breakfast
Yogurt is high in protein, calcium and nutrients, making it a great addition to the breakfast table. But you don't have to stock up at the store to have yogurt every day; the Euro Cuisine YM100 Automatic Yogurt Maker lets you easily make your own at home.
Prepare your yogurt the day before, with the precise sweetness and flavor you want and pour it into the seven 6-ounce jars. Whole milk takes about 7 hours, 2-percent milk bout 9 hours and non-fat about 10 hours. The longer the yogurt cultures, the tangier it will become. The YM100 can be programed for up to 15 hours. Chill the single-serve containers overnight and in the morning, you'll have perfect, creamy yogurt. Priced under $50, this yogurt maker pays for itself in just a few months.
Price: $60, check price on Amazon
Thicken soups without adding calories
A thick, hearty soup can fill you up without packing in too many calories—if the thickening is done without adding ingredients. That's where an immersion blender comes in. With an immersion blender, you can blend soup to the desired consistency right on your stove top. And if you still want chunks, same some to the side and add them back in when you're done blending.
The powerful Breville Control Grip immersion blender has a 280-watt motor and 15 variable speeds, which make versatile enough to puree soup or even crush ice. And it comes with a blending jug, chopping bowl and whisk attachment.
Don't skip dessert with the Yonanas
Everyone loves ice cream, but most of us don't like the calories and fat that come with it. Enter the Yonanas, which transforms frozen fruit into a soft-serve treat — and with a lot less time and effort than making homemade ice cream or sorbet.
Just feed the Yonanas frozen bananas and other fruit, and it will quickly create a delectable frozen dessert. Not indulging your sweet tooth can be the hardest part about not derailing your diet, but Yonanas lets you stick to your healthy resolutions and eat dessert, too.
It's not what we'd classify a budget buy, but it's hard to put a price tag on guilt-free dessert.
Here's to a happier, healthier you!
Updated on 4/25/2019 with new product picks
[healthy food prep via Shutterstock, STX, Anova Culinary, Breville, Euro Cuisine, Yonanas, Hamilton Beach, Oxo, Delonghi, SodaStream]