As a home cook and registered dietitian, I am always looking for the best kitchen appliances to help me prepare food healthier. I am a strong believer that the key to living a healthier lifestyle is simple: cook more at home.
There are so many hidden additives, ingredients, and oils in restaurant food that makes it challenging to know what exactly is in the food you’re consuming. This can be especially harmful to those that have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions where nutrition plays a role in disease progression.
Whether you have a specific medical condition, love to cook, or are just looking to eat healthier, these kitchen gadgets and appliances help make home cooking easier and healthier.
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What are the best kitchen appliances FOR healthy cooking?
Parchment paper who?! Silicone mats have truly changed the way that I cook. From chocolate chip cookies, to oil-free oven-baked fries, these nonstick silicone mats make clean-up and cooking so much easier. Because of the nonstick surface, you can cook with less oil since the silicone creates the nonstick surface. Simply wash after each use and you’ll no longer need to spend money on flimsy parchment paper. They are also great for minimizing the waste that normal parchment paper has.
Air fryers have been all the rage for the past couple of years and are worth all the hype. Air fryers are basically small, lightweight convection ovens that allow air to circulate more evenly which leads to crispier final products. One of the main reasons why I love air fryers is because of how fast it is at preheating. Traditional ovens take up to 15 minutes to preheat whereas an air fryer can get up to temperature in about 5 minutes. Air fryers are also safer to use since you don’t need to open a hot oven and risk the chance of getting burned. One limitation of air fryers is the smaller space which doesn’t allow as much food to be cooked at one time like a traditional oven would allow for. That being said, there are more and more air fryers on the market right now that have expanded to be double-deckers with a 10 qt capacity to allow for more food to be cooked at once.
If you’re looking for a multipurpose appliance with basically every function you’d need in the kitchen, then the Ninja Foodi is the appliance for you. I’ve had my Foodi for about a year now and absolutely love the versatility that it allows for in the kitchen. There are over 14 functions including air frying, slow cooking, pressure cooking, dehydrating, and sautée. One of its unique functions is the “steam and crisp.” As the name suggests, this cooks your food by first steaming it and then air fryer to create a crispy exterior. I love cooking chicken and other root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes using the steam and crisp method. Considering the versatility, the Ninja Foodi is definitely worth the investment for all home chefs.
We all are pressed for time nowadays and one tool that has made cooking more efficient is the vegetable chopper. Most of the time involved with cooking is the prep work beforehand. Using a vegetable chopper is a handy way to make prep work easier. This chopper does a great job at prepping vegetables with more consistent cuts, which helps with the uniformity of the final dish. For beginner cooks, this is also a great appliance to have as it is much safer and easier to use than a knife.
Oil from a traditional spout can be challenging to control and it is often easy to be a little heavy-handed.
Did you know that 1 tablespoon of oil contains around 120 calories? While certain oils can be healthy (olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil), it is important to keep in mind that excess oil consumption can result in excess calories which can be counterproductive for certain health goals. This Oil spray allows for more control of the amount of oil that is being used.
If you’ve ever tried making popcorn at home with kernels but ended up setting off a fire alarm, try making popcorn with this silicone maker the next time.
Popcorn can be easily made in under 3 minutes using this popcorn maker, some seasonings, and plain kernels. Plain, air-popped popcorn is a great snack that’s full of whole grains and fiber which helps with satiety and fullness.
Some of my favorite seasonings for popcorn are ranch seasoning from Trader Joes, nutritional yeast, and Tajin!
This popcorn maker makes the process of making popcorn seamless and easy. No more surprise fire alarms with this one!
Food processors have so much function and versatility when trying to make healthier meals. You can sneak hidden vegetables into various dips and soups. You can also turn a can of chickpeas into a high-fiber, high-protein hummus. There are plenty of other great recipes such as bean burgers, energy balls, or falafels. For those of us less talented with our knife skills, food processors also make chopping and mincing so much easier.
Sous vide is a great technique to cook tender meat and vegetables. Food is vacuum-sealed and immersed into a warm bath of circulating water that cooks your meal slowly and evenly using controlled temperatures. It’s a fancy technique used by many chefs but can be achieved at home. It’s a healthier cooking preparation, as many of the nutrients are still preserved.
Now that you’ve created all of your healthy meals, you’ll need to store them. This glass Tupperware set has all that you need to properly store and transport your food. I recommend using glass over plastic because of its durability. Glass lasts longer and also does not have the lingering smell of food that plastic Tupperware has.