Staying healthy in today’s fast food culture is a tall order. There is simply too much to do and too many convenient food options to choose from when you are feeling rushed. However, even as life gets busier, some people are choosing to return to the basics for the extra energy life demands. Cooking at home and using healthy, whole ingredients not only tastes better, but it feels better too. If you are new to cooking or are just learning, you might not have many tools and gadgets at your disposal. This handy guide can help you identify and acquire the tools foodservice experts rely on for delicious and healthy meals and snacks.
Garlic is nothing short of a modern miracle food. Garlic contains a compound called allicin. Allicin is now being credited with reducing the risk of infection and lowering cholesterol levels among other benefits. Plus, garlic just tastes great! With a garlic peeler you will always have enough fresh peeled garlic to cook with — and you won’t miss having garlic-scented hands.
Store-bought citrus juices — even fresh-squeezed — can sport a surprisingly long shelf life (and plenty of preservatives). If you love juice your best bet is to squeeze it fresh at home. A citrus juicer will squeeze out every ounce of fresh juice while leaving the peel and seeds behind.
Gone are the days when a cook has to spend hours prepping every ingredient by hand. Today’s food processors are better than a kitchen assistant to help you dice, slice, chop, mince, puree, blend and mix anything your recipes call for.
One of the most common of all kitchen injuries is cuts, and many cuts are the caused by using an old, dull knife. If you buy a high quality knife set, your knives will stay sharp longer and the blades will remain resistant to nicks and scratches throughout their useful life. If you cook around or with kids or teens, try the knives that come with a protective sheath.
If you love vegetables you want to be sure you get the most nutrition out of them that you can. Steaming vegetables keeps all the flavor and nutrients inside (unlike boiling which can leach most of the nutrients out into the water). Best of all, your steamer can be used for much more than just vegetables — use it for pasta, eggs and more.
Olive oil is one of the most heart healthy foods you can eat, but a little goes a long way. With an oil mister you can use olive oil (or other healthy oils) to flavor your food and coat your pans without overdoing it.
A crock pot is a fabulous addition to any kitchen because these innovative pots take most of the work out of cooking. You can make a variety of dishes in a crock pot with very little effort. For items that have different cook times, you can layer the items (longest cook time on the bottom). This way you don’t have to keep returning to add in items as your meal prepares itself.
Many spices are now known to have health benefits, such as turmeric to reduce inflammation and ginger to calm nausea. With a spice grinder you can have flavorful fresh spices with every meal or snack and also extract every ounce of health benefits from them. From freshly ground cinnamon to spicy hot cayenne pepper to warm holiday cloves and toasty nutmeg, your spice grinder will make you forget you ever tasted stale spices. You can keep a supply of your favorite fresh spices on hand and just take a few out to put in the grinder as you need them.
With an indoor grill you can enjoy all of the deliciousness of grilled meats without enduring inclement or uncomfortable weather. Grilling reduces fat in meats and also lets you grill vegetables and even bread!
These nine essential kitchen implements will have you feeling like a seasoned professional chef in no time and enjoying your cooking adventure even more.
About the Author: Aynsley Peet is an e-commerce manager who enjoys sharing his business expertise online and building relationships with those interested in the food service industry.