We’re back with another submission for this month’s Healthy Living Tuesdays series: Favorite Healthy Cooking Tools!
The best part of our HLT series is the open-invitation to participate. Here’s how you can play along: Sometime in the next few weeks, write a post on your own blog under the “Favorite Healthy Cooking Tools” theme. When the last Tuesday of the month shows up, we’ll host a link up. Participating is a great challenge: How will you make your post stand out in a community of bloggers writing under the same theme? Plus, the link up at the end of the month is an awesome way to promote your greatest content!
Between now & then, we’ll be showing off some of our members own posts on the subject manner – so, be sure to come back and visit each week to get a taste of how others are tackling the topic themselves. It’s a great way to find new bloggers to read and get to know your fellow HLB Members.
My name is Elyse & I blog over at Lizzie Fit. I’m a 25 year old engineer working as a technical sales rep in Atlantic Canada but after hours I spend most of my time in the kitchen or at the gym.
I’m no “cook” by any means. Things rarely turn out right the first try and I don’t stray too far from a recipe. However, I absolutely LOVE to be in the kitchen and I’m getting a little better everyday. My excitement for cooking is fueled by my passion for healthy living and my belief that you are what you eat. Our food becomes us and we become our food.
Having the right tools can truly turn cooking from a chore into a hobby. In no particular order, here are my top 12 favourite cooking tools that help me stick to a healthy lifestyle:
1. Food processor
Homemade sauces, dips, and nut butters have never sounded so easy after owning a food processor. I prefer to eat unprocessed food with minimal ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. When I make my own hummus or pasta sauce I know exactly what’s going into it and I can control the calorie content as well. I also use my food processor for raw nut crusts, protein bars, and healthy banana “ice cream”.
Sometimes a high speed blender can sub for a food processor but I would say the average person owns a standard, middle of the road type of blender. Us folks need both. I use my blender daily for smoothies and post-workout protein drinks. Smoothies are an easy way to get your fruits & veggies in and they help a busy girl stay healthy on the go. Before traveling I make smoothies and freeze them to take in a cooler!
3. Quality set of pots
When I moved to my first apartment without roommates, my mom gifted me with a set of gorgeous Lagostina pots. They’re thick and heavy to prevent burning and heat food evenly throughout. I’m surprised at how often I use every size from the smallest one for a single soup serving to the largest for a week’s worth of stew. It’s also very convenient to have numerous pots when cooking a big meal.
4. Ceramic non-stock pans
A few weeks ago I would have simply said, a good quality set of pans. That was before I tried a ceramic non-stick cooking pan. These things are amazing! No PTFE or PFOA and no sticking what-so-ever. Rinse the pan when finished cooking and it looks like you didn’t even use it. You can be cooking the healthiest foods on earth but if your teflon pan is leaching toxic chemicals you may be doing more harm than good.
5. Sharp set of knives
The real hero in taking cooking from a chore to a hobby. Not to mention dull knives are one of the most dangerous tools you can use, period. I can’t believe how much more enjoyable cooking is with a chef’s knife, a pairing knife, and a bread knife. Steak knifes are NOT for chopping tomatoes!
6. Vegetable spiralizer
Curly fries are pretty cool, but veggie pasta is rawesome! I like to incorporate raw food meals into my diet and veggie noodles are nice alternative to salad. I’m currently loving this Raw Zucchini Alfredo but I also enjoy spiralized sweet potato noodles which I warm just enough to soften. I bought the Paderno World Cuisine Spiralizer on Amazon.
7. Bamboo cutting board
I’ve tried many cutting boards and the bamboo is still my favourite. Glass cutting boards are noisy and delicate. A friend once placed a hot pot on a glass cutting board and it shattered into pieces! You want to avoid wooden cutting boards with coatings that can wear off and get into food and ones that allow deep cuts into the wood. My bamboo board allows some shallow scratches but nothing deep enough to trap food, odours or bacteria.
8. Wire whisks
So simple but so necessary. A spoon just doesn’t cut it for jobs like mixing dressings and combining dry ingredients. As a vegan, I’m always whisking up flax eggs but the wire whisk is also ideal for combining the yolk and the white of a chicken’s egg. I also opt for whisking flours vs. sifting to save a little time.
9. Wooden spoons
Another oldie but goodie. I love my wooden spoons for stirring batters, soups, and even sautéing veggies. They don’t scratch my pots and pans or clang around in a mixing bowl. They handles are long enough to fit into a deep bowl and the wood is strong enough to hold up in even the toughest batter.
10. Slow cooker
This is the solution to “I don’t have time to cook”. All you need to do is a little chopping and you’re armed with healthy choices for several meals! Soups, stews, even oatmeal can be made with minimal prep-time and zero monitoring. If your slow cooker has a timer, let your meal cook while you sleep or work. Some even have the option to “keep-warm” when the cook time is up.
11. Colander and/or strainer
I eat a lot of produce, beans, quinoa, rice, noodles, and many foods that require rinsing, washing, or draining. I used my colander on a daily basis. I also have a wire strainer that I use for small grains like quinoa but it’s much easy to clean a colander after rinsing canned beans.
12. Apple corer/slicer
This is definitely a non-conventional item but I absolutely adore my apple corer/slicer. I eat loads of apples: chopped in oatmeal, sliced atop salads, pureed in soups, as a snack with peanut butter, sliced for apple nachos, the list goes on. It is SO convenient to have a tool to remove the core and give you 8 even slices in no time.
Money spent on practical but good quality kitchen tools is money well spent. If you love being in the kitchen you know you’re going to use it. If you don’t, the right tools can change your outlook on cooking… and you’ll use it! As a result, you’ll cook more meals at home, leading to a healthier, happier life for you and your family
Thanks to the lovely Heather at HLB for inviting me to talk kitchen tools and I’m looking forward to connecting with more HLB members through this awesome community.