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Essential Kitchen Tools for Healthier Eating
When it comes to healthy eating, a bit of prep can go a long way. Prep could be meal planning a weekly menu in advance. It could be chopping veggies on the weekend so they are ready to cook during busy weeknights. Sometimes prep even includes cooking up entire meals when you have larger pockets of free time. You can refrigerate or freeze them and always have a great meal on hand. We utilize any number of these strategies every month (especially during the school year).
And while certain kitchen tools are NOT by any means a requirement for healthy meal prep, they sure do make the planning and prep EASIER!
Check out our list of 7 Essential Kitchen Tools for Healthier Eating:
1. Kitchen Scale – We have a digital kitchen scale, though digital versus non-digital does not make much difference. Kitchen scales can show you food weight using a variety of popular measurement units including grams, ounces, fluid ounces and more. Scales make it simple to ensure you have the exact amount of each ingredient. They also make divvying up portion sizes much easier!
2. Dry Erase Calendar – We use ours for writing our weekly menu on and also for jotting down any ingredients we have run out of and need to pick up on the next trip to the store.
3. Ninja Blender – We started out a couple of years ago with a Nutribullet and used it all the time. Recently we upgraded to the Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System with Auto-Spiralizer and we are in LOVE! This thing spiralizes our veggies, purees our soups and blends our smoothies. We use our Ninja several times a week and it has earned a permanent home on our counter.
4. Meal Prep Containers – If you plan to prep your meals on the weekend and enjoy them all week long, it’s a great idea to have a set of meal prep containers. These containers are re-usable and make prepping pretty easy. I like the containers with multiple compartments so that I can separate my veggies from the meat, etc.
5. Instant Pot – You already know how much I love my Instant Pot, as I post about it all the time. I am always adding new Instant Pot recipe round ups to the blog as well. So far I have Instant Pot breakfast recipes, Instant Pot dinner recipes and Paleo Instant Pot recipes. So here’s the thing about the Instant Pot – it has all of these bells and whistles, which, while they are nice, I rarely use. (Mine has yogurt, rice, egg, saute functions and more). For me, the very best advantage to having an Instant Pot is the pressure cooker option. Pressure cooking yields incredibly delicious, flavor-packed meals in a fraction of the time that traditional cooking methods take. I can come home from a long day out of the house and toss a half frozen roast and some raw veggies into my IP. In less than an hour, we are sitting down to a savory meal that tastes like it has been simmering the entire day.
6. Meal/Menu Planning Service – You might not have access to a computer in your kitchen, but chances are probably pretty good that you have a smartphone or tablet within reach. Sometimes one of the easiest ways to get off track with your eating goals is not having a plan. When I have a meal plan for the week, it significantly increases the likelihood that I’ll skip the takeout and use the ingredients we have already bought. Meal planning is also very helpful when someone in the family has an allergy or dietary restriction. You can plan accommodations accordingly. We recently started a subscription with Real Plans and I am looking forward to using it to plan our dinners!
7. Slow Cooker – If an Instant Pot isn’t on your must-buy list, I highly recommend a traditional slow cooker. You can prep food a few days ahead if you’d like and you can let the slow cooker simmer your meal throughout the day until dinnertime. Sometimes we will use our slow cooker on the weekend to cook meals for the week ahead. Then on busy nights, we simply reheat the meal and dinner goes on the table in minutes.
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