Easter is this Sunday and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. I know, chocolate and candy and cake are all yummy. But this year, why not support those special people in your life to reach their health goals? Easter basket goodies and Mother’s Day gifts don’t have to be edible. . .
With kitchen gadgets (especially the ones in the under $20 range), quality and simplicity are the two most important factors. You don’t need one thing that will do lots of different things poorly or a cheap gadget that will break after a few uses. As you’ll see, the “top picks” in each category have one specific function, are high quality, and most are stainless steel or glass so they will last a long time versus their aluminum or plastic counterparts.
Citrus Juicer or Press
Have you ever tried to juice a lemon with your hands? It works- you get some juice, but there is a lot left in the lemon. Not to mention, trying to make lemonade or lemon juice for a salad dressing often takes more than a couple of lemons. That is where a citrus juicer or press comes in handy. I’m not talking about the super fancy electric ones with a cord and a motor, just a simple juicer or press is all you need to get the most juice from your citrus fruit in no time flat.
Many of my recipes start with one onion and a few cloves of garlic. Garlic can easily be chopped with a knife, but the most nutritional bang for your garlic buck comes from chopping it into really tiny pieces (which takes a while) or pressing it. Believe it or not, chopping garlic very finely or pressing it allows two compounds in the garlic to react to produce allicin (the compound responsible for the super health promoting properties of garlic). Your garlic press needs to be heavy duty enough to effectively press as much garlic as you need and also be easy to clean.
Top pick: OXO Stainless Steel Garlic Press
This little kitchen tool is awesome! It helps you to extract flavors and textures from foods. Use a microplane to grate or zest ginger, citrus fruits, onions, hard cheeses, or even chocolate. Microplane zesters are super easy to use and easy to clean. It’s one of those kitchen gadgets that works great for so many different types of foods and applications, you might not know what you did before you had one.
Top pick: Microplane Zester/Grater
Salad Dressing Bottle
Spring greens are tender, delicious, and super duper cleansing. That is, unless you douse them in heavily processed, preservative-laden dressing. What’s the solution? Make your own salad dressing. Some of these bottles even help you out with simple recipes for dressings and marinades. I’ll also be featuring some of my favorite salad dressing recipes on my blog in the next few weeks.
Small Liquid Measuring Cup
This tiny little measuring cup looks like a shot glass and is worth its weight in gold in your kitchen. Its great for making dressings, marinades, sauces, and measuring liquid ingredients for baking. Need 5 tablespoons of lemon juice for a recipe? No problem, just juice your lemons (see Citrus Juicer above) and pour the juice into measuring cup until you reach the 5 tablespoons mark. No need to use those pesky spoons 5 times! Ours gets used at least every other day.
Top pick: 4-Ounce Measuring Glass
For a complete list of essential kitchen equipment to make preparing healthy meals simple, check out my book: Real Food, Real Simple: A Personalized Plan for More Energy, Less Stress, and Healthy Meals in Minutes
Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget under $20 that you use frequently? Please share by leaving a comment below!