Must-Have Cooking Tools and Equipment for Fast and Healthy Eating

Cooking Tools You NeedKitchen horror? Oh no!
Image: Alessandro Valli / CC BY

Is cooking becoming a chore? Sure, you’d like to eat healthy. But who has the energy to prepare anything when the kitchen is just the most boring place you can be?

Not to mention you’re busy. There are probably reports to finish, friends to meet, movies to watch, new books to read. Who has time to make one lousy meal?

And let’s be honest, if you don’t spend so much time in the kitchen to rack up some cooking experience points, everything just takes forever to get done.

But really, with just a bit of practice and some handy kitchen tools and equipment, cooking can be easy and convenient. Healthy, too.

So why fall back on frozen dinners or take out all the time? These essential cooking tools can get you excited about creating home-cooked meals and have you whipping up delectable creations in no time!

1. Garlic everything.

Garlic BulbsGarlic isn’t just for fighting vampires, you know…
Image: David Pursehouse / CC BY

There’s something about garlic. And it’s called allicin. It’s a compound known to lower cholesterol levels and fight infections. So adding some fresh garlic to food instantly gives a health boost, not to mention it enhances any dish’s flavor.

Unfortunately, allicin only forms when exposed to air.

Of course, peeling and chopping those little cloves can be time-consuming and frustrating sometimes. It’s a good thing then that you can actually buy garlic peelers. You can buy one at less than $10. This is one of the most important kitchen utensils that you need to have.

garlic cardgarlic peelergarlic press
Garlic peeler, card and press
All photos courtesy of Amazon.com

Need to mince those peeled cloves now? Then a garlic card should be in the list, too. It’s basically a pocket-sized grater that will turn your garlic into tiny pieces so you can easily slip them into a dish. Amazon has one at only $5.

If you don’t want to get peeling, procure a garlic press. A single squeeze will get the job done.

2. Fruits and vegetable must-haves
fruits and vegetablesColorful and healthy
Image: Ali Karimian / CC BY-SA

No one can deny that fruits and vegetables are beneficial to you. You can eat them as is, blend them together, juice them, or add them to dishes. They’re mostly low-calorie, high-fiber and just fun to eat.

Try keeping them fresh for long, though, and you’re in for a challenge.

So what better way to keep them longer than BluApple? It’s a little kitchen device that looks like, you guessed it, a blue apple. Its only function is to absorb the ethylene gas build up in your fridge to sustain the freshness of your real produce.

BluAppleFor long-lasting freshness
Image courtesy of BluApple

Now that you have your food safe, it’s time to bring out the blender! No kitchen is really complete without one. You can make smoothies and pestos and soups without losing your entire afternoon. Just throw your ingredients in and it will do all the chopping, grinding and churning for you. Try looking for one that has a BPA-free carafe for added health benefits. It is one of the essential cooking tools.

If you’re more of a citrus kinda person, then a citrus juicer is also a good buy. An inverted press can help you extract juice from lemons, limes and oranges so your cocktails and baked goods can get an extra dose of vitamins and minerals.

Done juicing? Don’t throw away the peel just yet. Studies indicate those citrus peels contain limonene and might actually lower the risk of some cancers. So spare some cash to get a zester/grater. That could also double for grating cheese, chocolates and ginger roots.

Finally, invest in a good vegetable steamer. Fried food loses its nutritional value. Steamed foods are lower in calories and fat and still maintain the flavor.

Tired of steamed food? Make it into a salad instead. Yes, I know. You hate chopping. It’s tedious. It’s time-consuming. And with your rookie hands, possibly dangerous. And that, dear, is why salad choppers were invented.

It’s almost like a blender. All you need to do is get the ingredients in and it shreds away. You don’t risk chipping your ceramic bowls, you don’t risk chopped fingers.

3. Keeping your hands safe.

kitchen glovesSlicing and dicing soon…
Image courtesy of Amazon

Okay, so you don’t really believe all the grating and peeling will leave your precious hands unscathed?

No problem.

Microplane actually makes cut-resistant gloves. Slip it on before handling any sharp kitchen tool and escape nicks and cuts. Chopping has actually been known to lift moods and you shouldn’t really miss out just because you’re scared you’ll injure something. once you get good at it chopping will be much faster and you will not have to worry as much about cutting your fingers. It took me about 6 months of cooking to feel comfortable with it.

4. Ceramic-tastic!
ceramic cookwareWhat’s cooking?
Image: Emilian Robert Vicol / CC BY

Just last year, the possible health risks of cooking with Teflon came to light. Many people threw out their non-stick cookware and went back to good ol’ stainless steel pots and pans. Of course, they didn’t really realize that stainless steel also had its share of controversy.

Because steel is composed of a mixture of metals, any one of them can trickle into food. What’s a healthy cook to do then?

Well, there are safer and healthier alternatives, really. One of them is anodized aluminum. The anodizing process locks in the cookware’s base metal so it can’t get into food. Cast iron cookware, meanwhile, is durable and provides even heat distribution. It has the added benefit of letting iron seep into the food in small amounts. Iron is needed to produce red blood cells.

But your best option? Ceramic cookware.

It’s got the feel and heat distribution of cast iron BUT does away with the iron. Most are smooth, colorful and dishwasher-friendly, so even clean-up isn’t so much of a chore. There are even nonstick ceramic pans now. This is what I use most of the time. You just have to be sure you are getting your pans from a quality brand. One of my favorites is Green Pan.

Cooking can eat up a lot of your time, that’s true. But with the right cooking tools and equipment, cooking time can be cut down drastically without sacrificing flavor and nutrition. With the help of the right kitchen utensils and equipment, you might just find that cooking is also fun and enjoyable and definitely worth the trouble.