6 Gadgets You Need in Your Kitchen

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Do you dread cooking because it takes too much time and energy? You can cut prep work, simplify cooking, and streamline cleanup just by stocking your kitchen with the right gadgets and utensils. Which deserve precious space in your drawers and cabinets? Here are a few of my must-haves that you might want to look into purchasing for your kitchen:

Slow Cooker

If you don’t have one of these babies, I highly advise getting one.

It’s like having your own personal chef. You can be out of the house all day long and still come home to a healthy, homemade meal. Simply dump all your ingredients into the cooker in the morning, turn it on, and several hours later enjoy a meal that took virtually no effort at all.

Food Scale

We are notoriously bad at sizing up portions—and perhaps not surprisingly, we tend to underestimate. If you’re watching your weight, a few extra calories here and there can add up quickly, causing weight loss to stall, or worse, result in weight gain. The best way to track how many calories you're consuming is to use a food scale. Hands down, it’s one of the most effective weight loss tools you can use. Don’t worry, though. You won’t need to lug it with you wherever you go. Once you learn to approximate portion sizes at home, you'll be much more serving savvy in restaurants as well.

Food scales, much like our phones, have gotten pretty smart.

They can automatically deduct the weight of the food container when weighing your food and easily convert from one measurement to another (say, from grams to ounces). Many come with a built-in nutrition database, which makes the scale a great tool for doing nutritional analyses of your favorite recipes, or for figuring out how many calories are in a food that doesn't come in a package with a Nutrition Facts label.

Food Processor

Why waste time chopping individual foods by hand when you can toss them all in the food processor, hit a button, and voila: Seconds later, you’re ready to go. I use my food processor to make a variety of dishes, from ice cream to delicious dips to applesauce.

Oil Mister

Invest in a good re-fillable oil mister—it’s money well spent. Not only will it save you a ton of calories (120 calories per tablespoon trimmed), but it will also save you cash because you end up using much less to coat the pan or dress your foods. Not to mention, it’s way more environmentally friendly. Choose a heart-healthy oil, like olive or canola and spritz away.

Immersion Blender

This handy gadget can cut prep and cleanup time. It allows you to make sauces and soups right in the pot, instead of dirtying up a bowl or two or lugging out the blender or food processor. It’s speedy and simple to clean.

Onion Goggles

Nothing makes me tear up faster than an onion. Cutting into an onion releases a sulfur compound that can irritate and burn your eyes and cause them to water.

And let’s face it, watery, irritated eyes aren’t a good thing when you’re handling a sharp knife. Protect your peepers and precious fingers with onion goggles. You can them find at most home good stores for just about $20. No more tears.

 

By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks. Joy’s latest book is From Junk Food to Joy Food.

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