We've all heard that cooking is better for your health than dining out. And considering the average sit-down restaurant meal serves up 1,200 calories, and it's easy to see where that assumption comes from. But we're calling foul! As over the top recipes and how-to cooking videos take social media by storm (you know the ones we're talking about), it's no longer safe to assume that homemade meals are actually the smarter pick.
Thankfully, staying on track isn't too difficult. Stock up on The 57 Healthiest Foods on the Planet, stay away from recipes you know look far better than they could ever make you feel, and stock your home with the right prep and cook tools. Although you probably have basic stuff like measuring cups and a baking pan, there are some additional kitchen aids that make it easy to slash fat and keep away those excess pounds. Here, we show you the best of the lot and tell you exactly where to get your hands on each one!
IVATION ELECTRIC AIR FRYER
Want that deep fried flavor you love without all the fat? Then pick up an electric air fryer. Using a tablespoon or less of your favorite healthy fat, you can make homemade French fries, chicken fingers and more!
This kitchen gadget-of-the-moment makes spiral cuts, shoestrings and "noodles" out of your favorite veggies. If you've been jonesing for some pasta since going Paleo or gluten-free, you're going to love all the yummy dishes you can whip up with this. Zucchini and carrot "pasta" anyone? How about some homemade curly sweet potato fries? For some recipe inspiration, check out these 21 Mouthwatering Spiralizer Recipes!
IVATION 8-IN-1 PROGRAMMABLE MULTI-FUNCTION PRESSURE COOKER, STEAMER, SLOW COOKER, RICE COOKER
Want healthy, flavorful dishes in a flash? Invest in this eight-in-one cooking gadget! Not only is it a slow cooker, it's a pressure, and rice cooker, too! It can even be used as a yogurt maker, steamer, and canner. All that for just 99 bucks? That's a pretty solid deal if you ask us! For even more money-saving, healthy eating tips, check out our exclusive report, 17 Simple Swaps That Save Money on Groceries!
CUISIPRO FRESH HERB KEEPER
Nothing amps up the taste of a meal like fresh herbs, but popular varieties like rosemary, thyme, and basil often go bad before the whole lot can be used up. Thankfully there's an easy way to stop wasting your money on herbs. By allowing the plants' stems to draw in fresh moisture from the bottom of the vat, a herb keeper can extend the life of your spices (and asparagus, too) by up to two weeks. For more intel on boosting the health factor of your favorite dishes—without upping the calorie count—check out these 5 Healthiest Spices on the Planet.
PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONAL ONION, TOMATO & AVOCADO KEEPERS
Here at Eat This, Not That!, we love avocados and avocado recipes—guac, smoothies, ice cream, you name it, we're probably obsessed with it. But sometimes, you don't use the entire fruit in one shot, and oftentimes, it turns all brown and yucky before you have a chance to go back for more. But thanks to these trusty keepers, your spoiled produce will become a thing of the past.
BAYOU CLASSIC CAST IRON SKILLET SET
If you usually use a few pads of butter or a couple tablespoons of oil to grease your pan, you may be adding hundreds of unnecessary calories to your otherwise healthy dish. Nix the need for excess grease and cut fat from your plate by investing in a cast iron cookware set. Yes, non-stick pans serve the same purpose, but they can release potentially cancer-causing toxins into your food. While the Environmental Protection Agency doesn't suggest forgoing nonstick cookware altogether, they also don't yet know the long-term health effects of nonstick chemicals, so it's better to err on the side of caution and stick with cast iron. This set provides a three of the most basic everyday pieces so you'll be prepared for any culinary adventure that lies ahead. Not sure what to make first in your new cookware? How about one of these 20 One Pot Dinner Recipes For Weight Loss?
It's not exactly a newsflash, but steamed foods are lower in calories and fat than their fried counterparts, making it a must-buy item for those looking to lose belly fat. Nab one stat to start steaming everything from veggies and chicken to fish and shellfish.
KITCHENAID 5-SPEED BLENDER WITH BPA-FREE PITCHER & CULINARY JAR
Do you typically wake up the entire family whipping up your early a.m. smoothie or protein shake? Invest in this eerily quiet KitchenAid 5-Speed. It's not only quiet as a mouse, but also free of BPA—a chemical found in plastics and metals that has been linked to obesity and other health conditions. Beyond smoothies and shakes, the KitchenAid can be used to mix up soups, sauces and oh-so-much more. And thanks to the culinary jar it comes with, you can store your extras in the fridge or take your weight loss smoothies on the go!
How many times have you shelled out cash on fresh fruits and veggies, only to find them rotting in your refrigerator before you were able to enjoy them? It's beyond frustrating—and a waste of money, too. The solution: BluApple, a gadget that absorbs the ethylene gas in your fridge that's responsible for rotting your apples and berries (two of our favorite overnight oat toppers).
JOKARI HEALTHY STEPS PORTION CONTROL PASTA BASKET
Carb-a-holic looking to trim down? Jokari's Portion Control Pasta Basket basket is about to become your new BFF. After you've used the basket to scoop out the correct amount of your favorite pasta you can set the basket directly into boiling water. When your noodles are done cooking, lift out the basket and the water will drain out right into the pot, so all that's left to do is pour it onto your plate and enjoy! (If you prefer skinny noodles there is a hole on the basket handle that helps you measure the right amount.) For more ways to eat noodles and lose weight, check out these 40 Ultimate Pasta Tips to Stay Skinny.
BALL MASON JAR
What do mason jar salads, overnight oats, and omelets in a jar have in common? They're all über healthy and hip and require mason jars to be made! To get in on this good-for-you trend, pick up a big pack of jars. Aside from their culinary uses, they make great storage solutions for odds and ends, and can even be used as a vase. Talk about a multi-use item!
NUTRAWIN POPSICLE MOLDS
These BPA-free popsicle molds make it easy to create cheap, one of a kind frozen treats. Whip up your favorite smoothie, pour it into the molds and freeze it. Or if you want to make something super easy, simply mix one cup of almond milk with a few spoonfuls of a flavored almond butter (we like Justin's vanilla flavor), divide the mixture among the molds, and freeze.
CUISINART FOOD PROCESSOR
If your health goals include eating clean and cutting back on packaged foods, a food processor is a must-buy. Not only can the gadget be used to make pestos, hummus, "nice" cream (banana ice cream), bread crumbs, nut butters (yes, really!), and protein-packed energy bites. It can also be used to finely chop and shred produce (like carrots and potatoes), herbs, seeds, and cheese.
BRIEFTONS SALAD SPINNER
The only thing worse than not eating vegetables is making the effort to so and then winding up with a bowl full of soggy greens. If that sounds familiar, invest in a salad spinner! There's no other tool that dries washed produce and greens quite as quickly or efficiently.
EURO CUISINE YOGURT MAKER
Packed with gut-healthy probiotics, bone-building calcium, and satiating protein, yogurt has all the makings of a healthy food. But when food manufacturers get their grubby little paws of the stuff, they often turn their containers into sugary desserts in disguise. The best way to keep your favorite breakfast food out of harm's way is to make it yourself. And with the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Maker, you can do just that! Simply combine your favorite milk (or milk alternative) with a probiotic starter, and fresh fruit or toppings of choice and push go! In as little as six hours, you'll have seven six-ounce glass jars filled with delicious yogurt! It doesn't get much easier than that!
While it's possible to cook burgers on a skillet in the colder months, doing so doesn't give the grease anywhere to go..aside from your stomach, of course (which isn't where you want it!). This versatile countertop gadget serves as an indoor contact or full grill, and also makes a great panini press and griddle. Its design allows grease to run off so that extra fat stays our of your mouth and off of your frame.
YONANAS FROZEN HEALTHY DESSERT MAKER
Like magic, the Yonanas Frozen Dessert Maker takes everyday produce and turns it into amazing frozen treats! You don't have to be a culinary mastermind to use it, either. All you have to do is add your favorite frozen produce and add-ins, and let 'er rip! Twenty minutes later you'll have a batch of homemade "ice cream" made solely from the wholesome ingredients you threw into the machine. Kale and apple fro-yo anyone? How about banana, walnut, and cacao? The possibilities are truly endless. And these 21 Amazing Things That Bananas Do to Your Body are pretty cool, too.
PAMPERED CHEF MEASURE MIX POUR
The majority of salad dressings on supermarket shelves are laden with cheap oils, salt, sugar and chemicals, which is why so many health-minded folks wind up making their own. And this nifty Pampered Chef tool helps make the task a bit easier. It comes complete with measuring lines on the sides so you can make your favorite recipes right in the container, without dirtying anything else. It also has a built-in mixer to ensure all your dressings ingredients are well combined before you splash them over your greens. The airtight seal, which helps your homemade dressings stay fresh in the fridge, is an added bonus.
PAMPERED CHEF MICROPLANE ADJUSTABLE COARSE GRATER
If you typically buy pre-shredded cheese, you may be ingesting something called cellulose—better known as powdered wood pulp. Yum! It's used in most ready-grated cheeses (yes, even the organic variates) to stop the strands from sticking together. Steer clear of the ingredient by buying blocks of cheese and grating them at home. Why should you go with this Pampered Chef tool over a more standard box grater? Its design helps keep hands out of harm's way, and safety should always come first in the kitchen.
VREMI COLORFUL KITCHEN CUTTING BOARDS
Safety first! These color coded cutting boards ensure your chopped raw veggies don't get cross-contaminated with bacteria-strewn raw meats and fish.