7 Best Kitchen Tools for Healthy Cooking

No matter how luxurious or basic your kitchen is, it's hard to eat well unless you have the proper tools.

The good news is that you need only a handful to turn out beautiful, good-for-you dishes. Here are seven things no health-conscious cook should be without:

1. Grater. A small piece of cheese goes a long way when grated over a steaming bowl of pasta and veggies. For pretty, tasty salads, grate layers of carrots and zucchini over a bed of greens. And a small amount of lemon or orange zest grated into baked goods adds a world of flavor with no fat.

2. Nonstick Pans. Why waste calories greasing your pots and pans with cooking oil? Nonstick pans allow you to prepare meals with little added fat and are easy to clean. Save the olive oil for spritzing over fish or grilled veggies.

3. Blender. A blender or food processor lets you create many different textures and incorporate ingredients that might normally be out of your comfort zone. Pureed black beans as an ingredient in brownies? Sure. Chopped nuts to use as a coating for salmon? Why not? You might also consider an immersion blender, or stick blender, which blends food right in the pot or bowl in which it's being prepared. You can make delicious pureed soups without having to transfer the cooked ingredients into a standing blender.

4. Hot-Air Popper. Popping corn in oil adds lots of calories and fat, and microwave popcorn can be full of chemicals. A hot-air popper lets you make basic popcorn that needs just a pinch of salt and a spritz of butter spray for flavor.

5. Food Thermometer. When you're cooking lean protein such as chicken or pork, it's important to make sure the meat reaches a high enough temperature to kill any harmful organisms. Use a food thermometer to keep your meals safe as well as healthful and delicious.

6. Steamer. These come in different forms, but they all let you cook food quickly and with absolutely no added fat. Steaming also keeps nutrient loss to a minimum.

7. Kitchen Scale. Not only will it help you be more precise when using ingredients, it's an invaluable tool for portion control.

Alison Massey reviewed this article.



Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Equip Your Kitchen for Healthful Cooking." Web. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470201#.UC0sOqCnKSo

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. "Baker's Dozen of Healthy Cooking Gadgets." Web. http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/FACTSHTS/MGT-SBB-005.pdf