Eating nutrient dense foods helps us to think and feel better. If the right kitchen tools are in place, preparation of healthy foods can be fun and easy. Set your kitchen up for success. These essential tools and tips make eating healthy a little easier . They simplify the work, and make cooking fun.
"Make the right choice the easy choice" - Tony Buettner, The Blue Zones
1. The Vitamix 5200 Blender
This Vitamix 5200 is, hands down, my all-around, favorite kitchen accessory. I bought every blender on the market to save money before"going for it" and purchasing the Vitamix, a justifiable investment in health (right?). The 5-year-in-the-making impulse buy, paid off. It motivates to prepare simple healthy meals and snacks. Smoothies, fresh almond milk, and soups and are so easy! Throw a few things in from the fridge, and have fun with it. Creamy Broccoli soup, the"smoothest" green smoothies, instant broth and more.
Why I like it: The Vitamix 5200 pulverizes every and anything. It makes creamy delicious smoothies in one minute. It's the only blender I've been able to add apples to and not detect the pulp, and makes the best fresh almond milk.
If it is completely out of your budget, I would recommend cutting back on a few splurges and save up. Health is precious, and investing in it, may be "good money down" on the future, if it makes eating healthy an easier and quicker option. I also like the Nutri Bullet, which is an affordable and flexible 2nd choice, though found that the Vitamix is able to smooth the more fibrous ingredients into a smoother consistency, making it more fun to add any ingredient from the fridge.
Tip: Prepare a pitcher of green smoothies and store in 16oz glass mason jars with plastic storage caps the fridge. Your morning smoothie will be waiting for you first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Good for 2-3 days.
Tip: Instead of ice, use frozen fruit. Slice bananas and them in baggies. Bananas and avocados add the creaminess to the smoothie without needing milk or yogurt.
Tip: We heard from a chef that the 5200 model with taller pitcher allows it to mix better, with a vertical spherical force, more than the newer models Not sure if this is true, though it convinced me, and made my decision to buy the 5200 easier. And, it works.
Favorite smoothie recipes:
Energy boost: Handful of spinach and kale, handful of frozen blueberries, handful of frozen bananas, peel a red apple and add a few slices, 5 almonds (for protein), add water. Blend.
Potassium-enriched energy boost: Handful of spinach and kale, handful frozen pineapples, handful frozen bananas, coconut water. Blend.
2. Le Parfait Wide Mouth French Glass Jar
Fill these awesome flip tab jars with healthy snacks and leave them on the table or counter to make healthy options easily accessible, boosting energy without sugar and caffeine. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds are our favorites. Great for small portion snacks. The rubber tight seal keeps food fresh.
Tip: Reduce sodium intake, buy raw nuts. Bake at 350F for10-15 minutes, until slightly brown. Once cooled, they make a crunchy, tasty snack. If you need a little inspiration, here are 5 reasons to choose almonds as a heathy snack.
3. Kyocera Ceramic Knife
You want veggies? Fresh? You can do this! Do not hesitate and get the Kyocera knife asap! It easily cuts through the toughest sweet potato and thickest carrot. Slice veggies for snacks, make sweet potato chips, the works!
Tip: The Kyocera knife is an "oxymoron." (so to speak). It is so tough, that it can cut through the toughest veg, though it's fragile and will break easily if you shove it into a packed drawer or drop it, so show it some love!
4. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer
For a nutrient-dense quick boost of energy, juicing is the perfect option. I always feel "clean" and healthier when I prepare a juice with fresh fruits and veggies. The wide mouth on this machine allows for less prep. Drop a full apple or several carrots in a once. (although I prefer to remove the core of the apple before putting in the juicer). I've got it down to 5 minutes to juice and clean. You can do it people!
Tip: Use the plastic bag from the veggies you purchased and line the plastic container on the back of the juicer to collect the pulp that shoots out, so you don't have to clean it. Just throw the bag away.
Tip: Buy a rugged brush to clean the blades, and you can clean in less than a minute.
Tip: Lesson prep time. Pre-peel veggies and store in rubber tight glass containers for quick access.
5. Bamboo Cutting Board with Colored Cutting Mats
To cut those gorgeous veggies and delicious fruits, get a large cutting board and leave on the counter or tuck away nearby, 'cause when you are preparing foods in your healthy kitchen you will be using this alot! The flex colored cutting mats allow you to color-code items you prepare - For example, meats have a designated color, to protect your veggies.
The colored flex mats are great for peeling and slicing. (Use on the cutting board or separate). After slicing and dicing, fold the mat into a U shape and slide the scraps into the trash. This is much easier than using the square cutting board, scraps may miss the trash. And... they are easy to clean!
6. Citrus Squeezer for Lemons
This Lemon Squeezer makes it so easy to add lemons to your water, without dodging seeds with every sip. Lemons are cleansing and alkalizing to the body, so I try to drink lemon water first thing in the morning. It's my new favorite tool.
Tip: Every morning squeeze 1/2 lemon into a 32 oz. mason jar and cover. Drink two of these a day, and easily track your daily recommended 64 oz of water (varies by person). Pour into your favorite cup or bottle.
7. Glass Food Containers
To save time, prep foods for the week at one time and store in these glass containers. Spend an hour or less one evening and prepare accompaniments for salads and meals to eat for the next few days. Cooked quinoa, rice, beans, onions, carrots, chopped lettuce and more.
8. 3 Piece Stainless Steel 5 Quart Steamer Set
This Steamer set is a quick and easy way to prepare fresh veggies.
To of my favorite steamer go-to's:
1. Fresh green beans. Add dash of cracked pepper, cover and steam. Delicious.
2. Combine sliced carrots, squash, chopped sweet onion, and fresh green beans in the steamer basket. Sprinkle with cracked pepper. Steam until soft. Add a sliver of butter, dash of lemon and a few sprigs of dill.
We would love to hear your recipes or time saving prep tips. What other healthy kitchen tools are must haves? Join the community and share in the comments.
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