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When it comes to eating healthy, there seems to be a huge emphasis placed upon which foods you can or should eat, and which you should cut out of your diet.
So often, advertisers and fitness influencers will tell you to stay away from carbs like potatoes, rice, bread, and the list goes on. But this approach doesn’t work for most. It becomes restrictive and unsustainable, which only makes eating healthy even more difficult.
In reality, carbs aren’t the enemy. In fact, food in general is not the enemy. Finding balance within your diet can lead to sustainability and long term health. And that usually starts with making fresh, healthy meals in the kitchen.
When you take the time to cook your own meals, you know exactly what goes into them. You gain an appreciation for nourishing your body with ample nutrients that make it feel good. And you don’t have to be an experienced chef to create tasty, nutrient dense recipes.
The following are five simple yet effective cooking tools that have saved me time in the kitchen and helped me eat healthy for years. Hopefully, some of them can do the same for you.
This Popular Contraption
I am starting off with an essential that has become increasingly popular in recent years — the air fryer. An air fryer essentially allows you to fry foods extremely fast without the use of oil.
I have had an air fryer for years, and I especially love it for roasting veggies and baking tofu. While I could use a traditional oven to accomplish these tasks (and I sometimes do), I don’t always have 30 minutes to do so.
The air fryer cuts the cooking time in half for these kinds of foods, which helps me eat healthy on especially busy workdays when I’m in a rush and only have 25 or 30 minutes to cook a meal.
A Food Processor
My KitchenAid Mini Food Processor has been with me since I lived in a college dorm. It is a small but mighty appliance that just seems to keep going, no matter how much I use it.
I use my mini food processor all the time, whether I am making oat flour for healthy pancake recipes or baked goods, churning up some creamy vegan banana nice cream, or making homemade protein bites out of dates and nut butter.
Without my mini food processor, my snacks wouldn’t be near as tasty. It is an essential that I have enjoyed using for years, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to make healthy, homemade snacks.
This Silicone Mold
As someone who has been baking vegan treats for almost five years now, I have tried a number of different baking pans.
While traditional metal pans work extremely well for most vegan baked goods, I have always had trouble with donut pans. My old metal donut pan was extremely shallow, and my baked donuts and bagels always came out kind of flat.
Then, just last year, I purchased a pack of silicone donut molds on Amazon that had deeper cavities. Now, my donuts come out incredibly fluffy every single time.
For anyone who wants to make healthy baked desserts at home, these molds are an absolute necessity. Best of all, they only cost $5.
This Powerful Blender
I know that some of you who know a lot about cooking/baking are probably thinking that I bought a Vitamix Blender. While I would love to get one of those, they cost hundreds of dollars, which I simply can’t justify at this point in my life.
However, I did decide to upgrade from my NutriBullet to the more powerful Ninja Foodi Duo Blender about six months ago. I actually still use both of them for different things.
As for the Ninja Blender, I absolutely love it. It’s powerful, fast, and effective. My only complaint is that it is really loud. Other than that, it is awesome for making everything from smoothies, to oat flour to blender muffins. I even made tomato soup in it last week.
A high speed blender is, in my opinion, an absolute essential for anyone who wants to cook healthy meals, which is why I have included it on this list.
A Non Slip Cutting Board
I honestly didn’t know what I was missing out on until I bought a large, wooden, non-slip cutting board. In this case, ignorance definitely wasn’t bliss.
I have been accustomed to using a small plastic cutting board that slips and slides around while I’m cutting my fruits and veggies. While it was always annoying, I never really thought about investing in a non-slip cutting board.
This year, I have been cooking a lot more savory dishes loaded with veggies, and I began to notice that my cutting board situation was a little bit dangerous. So, I decided to buy a large, sturdy, non-slip wood cutting board about a month ago, and it was $20 well spent.
This might seem basic to some, but if you are still using a cutting board that slips and slides all around, I definitely think you should consider upgrading to the non-slip kind.
When it comes to your health, nothing is more important than the nutrients you provide your body with. Put time and effort into finding balance and creating healthy dishes that you truly enjoy, because you only have one body.
In the end, your long term health will benefit immensely, which will only help you live a happier, healthier, fuller life down the road.