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Next to self-will and determination, the hardest part about eating healthy is making most of your meals yourself. We’re not saying there aren’t nutrient-filled options on some restaurant menus, but the only way to know exactly what’s going into your food and what you’re putting into your body is by preparing it yourself.
However, while cooking can be time-consuming and sometimes difficult for the amateur at-home chef, there are kitchen gadgets that can make it a little easier, especially if you’re preparing veggies, eggs, grilled meats, smoothies and more.
One thing to note is that eating healthy isn’t always about losing weight, but rather about giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function at its best. By doing so, combined with other healthy habits like exercising and getting enough sleep, it can help you build a stronger immune system, gain more energy, achieve glowing skin and more.
“Food is one of the many tools we have — such as exercise, sleep, and mindfulness — that can help us in priming our bodies to perform at a high level. Or to simply stay safe,” he wrote.
Holder said you should treat food as your first line of defense, but building a stronger immune system is a slow and steady process.
“When people hear about foods that can ‘boost’ their immune systems, they think they’re some sort of magic cure. But the truth is that a real immunity boost takes time and consistency. For instance, rather than blasting a ginger shot in a moment of panic, try having one or two grams of ginger a day for a month — just buy powdered ginger and dissolve it in water. The slow and steady approach can help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body,” Holder wrote.
Keep this in mind as you set your own health goals, shop for foods at the grocery store and cook your own meals with these easy-to-use kitchen gadgets below.
1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skinny Grill, $99.95 (Orig. $185)
Grilling your food allows for it to cook with less oil than if you were to cook it on the stove or in an air fryer. However, charring your food isn’t exactly healthy. This grill pan by trusted cookware brand Le Creuset fits over one burner, can be placed in the oven or can even be placed on the grill to protect your food from the open flame.
For an easy meal, use it to make grilled chicken breast with veggies and grilled pineapple Nutella skewers (hey, it’s a healthier dessert at least).
2. Dash Egg Bite Maker, $19.95
Starbucks may have made egg bites famous, but they’re an easy high-protein breakfast dish or snack that you can make at home using this egg bite maker. All you need are eggs and a few of your favorite omelet fillings, like peppers, onions, breakfast sausage and cheddar cheese.
3. Farberware Avocado Huggers (Set of Two), $7.99
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, but if you want to use one half for your salad or avocado toast and save the other, these avocado huggers can help keep them from browning. This way, your avocado is just as good and green as when you cut into it the day or two before.
4. Paderno Handheld Spiralizer, $7.99 (Orig. $19.95)
If you love pasta, try substituting spiralized veggies for an added dose of vitamins and nutrients. Simply cook them in some olive oil on the stove for a few minutes or eat them raw with a little dressing. You could even add them to a bowl of regular pasta to boost the fiber in your meal.
5. Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor (3-Cup), $39.95 (Orig. $75)
A food processor is one of those tools that plenty of recipes call for, but hardly anyone has on hand. This one is big enough to get the job done, but small enough to store away in your pantry. You can use it to make dips, dressings, soups, sauces and more.
6. Dash Rapid 6 Egg Cooker, $19.99 (Orig. $29.99)
Eggs are a solid source of protein, and this egg cooker can make up to six soft, medium or hard-boiled eggs at a time in 12 minutes or less. It can also poach two eggs at a time with an included poaching tray. If you’re a fan of meal prepping, you can make your eggs ahead of time to eat as a snack or to add to any dish.
Kale is one of those veggies that’s hard to make taste good on your own, compared to your favorite salad place or restaurant. The key, however, is to remove all of the hard stems and give it a little massage.
Seriously, use a kale shredder like this to cut the leaves off of the stems and chop it into bite-size pieces. Then, place it in a bowl and give your kale a little massage, as if you’re kneading bread, for 3-5 minutes. This will make it much softer, less bitter and easier to digest.
8. OXO Pop-Up Vegetable Steamer, $19.95
If you want to cook your vegetables without using any oil or prevent them from getting mushy as you boil them, you can place a steamer basket like this into any pot or pan with a little water to steam in just a few minutes. The result is crisp, fresh veggies. Try this with broccoli or green beans and when they’re done, add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt.
9. NutriBullet 600W Blender, $49.88
If you love a good protein shake or smoothie, the NutriBullet is so easy to use. Just place your ingredients in the cup, screw on the lid with the attached blender blades, then flip it over onto the base and press down.
When you’re done blending, you can sip your creation straight from the cup and toss it (along with the blade) in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
10. OXO Good Grips Little Salad Dressing Shaker, $9.99
Store-bought salad dressings often have hidden ingredients and loads of sugar and salt. By making your own, you know exactly what’s going onto your salad. This salad dressing shaker is like a cocktail shaker with an easy spout for pouring.
11. Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, $79 (Orig. $99.95)
The Instant Pot may be known for making hearty stews, but it can make big batches of veggie-packed soups, cook a whole chicken, boil eggs and even make yogurt. For anyone who likes to meal prep, it’s a game-changer. But also for anyone who likes to throw everything in a pot to cook while they spend their time doing other things, an Instant Pot is key.
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