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 seven kitchen gadgets that make creating great-tasting, healthy foods a snap.
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.
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 Genesis 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.
Price: $79.99, check price on Amazon
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 Cuisinart CMY-100 Electronic Yogurt Maker with Automatic Cooling lets you easily make your own at home.
Mix your ingredients -- milk or soy milk -- pour them into the machine, and you'll have perfect creamy yogurt in as little as 8 hours. You can choose to ferment your yogurt between 8 and 24 hours. When the fermentation process is complete, the machine automatically cools the yogurt and keeps it refrigerated until you turn the machine off.
For Greek-style yogurt, you can strain the finished product. The machine makes up to 50 ounces of yogurt. The container is removable is for easy cleaning.
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 6/18/2018 with new product picks
[healthy food prep via Shutterstock, Breville, Cuisinart, Yonanas, Hamilton Beach, Oxo, Delonghi, SodaStream]