We’ve all heard that cooking is better for our health than dining out. And considering the average sit-down restaurant meal serves up 1,200 calories, it’s easy to see where that assumption got its roots. 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 cooking tools. Although you probably have basic stuff like measuring cups and a baking pan, there are 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 (they’re all worth every penny!) plus, 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!
$100, on Walmart.com
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!
$23, on Amazon.com
IVATION 7-IN-1 PROGRAMMABLE MULTI-FUNCTION PRESSURE COOKER, STEAMER, SLOW COOKER, RICE COOKER
programmable multi-function pressure cooker, steamer,
slow cooker, rice cooker’>
Want healthy, flavorful dishes in a flash? Invest in this seven-in-one cooking gadget! Not only is it a slow cooker, it’s a pressure cooker and rice cooker, too! It can even be used as a yogurt maker, steamer, and canner. All that for just $160. For even more money-saving, healthy eating tips, check out our exclusive report, 17 Simple Swaps That Save Money on Groceries!
$159, on Walmart.com
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 the stuff. By allowing the plants’ stems to draw in moisture from the bottom of the vat, an herb keeper can extend the life of your spices (and asparagus, too) by up to two weeks!
$21, on Amazon.com
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 more often than not, it turns brown before you have a chance to go back for more. But thanks to these trusty keepers, spoiled produce will become a thing of the past.
$17, Get it here!
HYPERCHILLER ICED COFFEE MAKER
Thanks to the HyperChiller, you can transform hot brewed coffee (which is far less expensive than cold brew) into an iced morning treat without any dilution. Once you pour hot coffee inside, the liquid is exposed to two layers of ice cold stainless steel that do the work of 30 large ice cubes and make your java warm weather-ready. This is a must-buy for iced-coffee addicts everywhere!
$30, on Amazon.com
It’s not exactly a news flash, but steamed foods are lower in calories and fat than their fried counterparts. Nab one stat to start steaming everything from veggies and chicken to fish and shellfish.
$14, on Amazon.com
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’s 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 creations on the go.
$150, on Amazon.com
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.
$14, for a pack of two on Amazon.com
JOKARI HEALTHY STEPS PORTION CONTROL PASTA BASKET
Carb-a-holic looking to trim down? Jokari’s Portion Control Pasta 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 finish 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’s 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.
$10, on Amazon.com
BALL MASON JAR
What do mason jar salads, soaked oats, and omelets in a jar have in common? They’re all über-healthy, hip and made in these traditional glass canisters. 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.
$10 for a set of 12, on Target.com
SUNSELLA MIGHTY POP SILICONE POPSICLE
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, mix one cup of almond milk with a few spoonfuls of a flavored almond butter, divide the mixture among the molds and freeze.
$11 for a pack of 6, on Amazon.com
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 finely chop and shred produce (like carrots and potatoes), herbs, seeds, and cheese.
$35, on Amazon.com
BRIEFTONS SALAD SPINNER
The only thing worse than not eating vegetables is making an effort to so, then winding up with a bowl full of soggy greens. If that sounds familiar, invest in a salad spinner. No other tool dries washed produce and greens quite as quickly or efficiently.
$20, on Amazon.com
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! And not to mention, it basically pays for itself after one use. Yogurt can be pretty pricey.
$20, on Amazo
While it’s possible to cook burgers on a skillet during 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 out of your mouth and off of your frame.
$80, on Amazon.com
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.
$45, on Amazon.com
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 dressing 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 a bonus, too.
$13.50, on PamperedChef.com
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.
$36.50, on PamperedChef.com
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.
$26, on Amazon.com
MISTO OLIVE OIL SPRAYER
The key to using any cooking oil is moderation—especially since a tablespoon is about 120 calories. A Misto makes it easy to spritz an entire dish without running into the problem of overdoing it. Bonus: This non-aerosol sprayer is refillable, BPA-free, and free of chemical propellants.
$10, on Amazon.com
BNTO BY CUPPOW MASON JAR LUNCHBOX ADAPTOR
Typically bring mason jar salads for lunch? With this canning jar adapter, you can store dressings and condiments that would usually make your greens soggy their own separate area within the jar.
$9, on Amazon.com
With Dreamfarm’s Supoon, you’ll never have toss hard-to-reach peanut butter into the trash again. The silicone spoon has a hard edge that helps you scrape out every last bit of food. Another great feature? The bent handle, which keeps countertops clean by sitting your spoon up and off your prep space.
$12, on Amazon.com
BEE’S WRAP REUSABLE FOOD STORAGE WRAP
Stop wasting money on chemical-laced plastic wrap and foil and switch to these sustainable food wraps. (More on the dangers of the stuff you’re currently using here.)
$18 for assorted 3 pack, on Amazon.com
BACK TO THE ROOTS GARDEN-IN-A-CAN
Most of us don’t have the time or money to purchase fresh herbs every week. And yes, keeping dried herbs stocked in your pantry can certainly boost the flavor of your dish, but fresh basil is the only option when it comes to a proper Caprese salad. What’s the solution? Grow your own! You’ll always have fresh herbs on hand and a decorative plant to brighten up your kitchen.
$12, on Amazon.com
BAYOU CLASSIC CAST IRON SKILLET SET
If you usually use a few pats of butter or a couple of 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 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. Although 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 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?
$66, on Amazon.com
OLDE THOMPSON TWIN GRINDER
Seems like a small thing, and it is, but delicious, healthy cooking is all about doing the small things well. Shake pepper from a pre-ground container, and you’ve already lost all of its fragrant, fruity spice. If you want one way to improve your food instantly, buy an inexpensive pepper mill, fill it with whole peppercorns, and get your grind on. The fact that this one also has a salt grinder is just a happy bonus.
$20, on Target.com
VICTORINOX FORSCHNER FIBROX BREAD KNIFE
It’s always good to have one blade on hand that can cut through everything. This is that blade. Slicing bread, tomatoes, citrus fruit, and sandwiches just got a lot easier.
$55, on Amazon.com
LE CREUSET DUTCH OVEN, 5½ QT
Yes, it’s pricey. But it’s time. This year, get that Le Creuset round Dutch oven everyone’s always raving about. Why is it so good? Year after year, it’s been named top of its class by the Consumer Reports of cooking, America’s Test Kitchen. Why? Its interior enamel that resists chipping and its flawless ability to evenly distribute heat. Not to mention that it also has a lifetime warranty. Consider it a future family heirloom — this kitchen workhorse will last for generations. It’s great for cooking up short ribs, soup freshly baked bread or comfy stews.
$319, on Macys.com
KITCHENAID CLASSIC 4.5 QT STAND MIXER
Just starting your kitchen collection? This mixer is a must when it comes to perfectly creaming butter and sugar for banana muffins or making homemade pasta.
FLAVOR FUSION WATER BOTTLE
Filled with flavorful fruit, detox water is a favorite among Eat This, Not That! staffers. But drinking it on the go can be a challenge. But this fancy water bottle makes sipping cucumber- and lemon-infused water on the go far easier. Fruits and herbs go in the lower compartment, and the water hangs out on top. They’re separated by slats with built-in strainers that allow the fruit to mix with the liquid while keeping pulp from clogging the spout. Pure genius!
$20, on UncommonGoods.com
RSVP INTERNATIONAL ONION GOGGLES
Whether it’s over spilled milk or thanks to a pungent onion, crying in the kitchen is a waste of tears. That’s why we love these handy onion goggles. They may look a bit silly, but hey, that’s a small price to pay.
$20, on Amazon.com
MR. GRILL STAINLESS MEAT INJECTOR
When you can’t use your pressure cooker (see #3) or marinate overnight, use this shortcut to moistness and flavor proteins.
$15, on Amazon.com
PL8 PROFESSIONAL MANDOLINE
A quick way to slice everything but, ideally, your fingers.
$60, on BedBathBeyond.com
VACU VIN WINE PRESERVER
Keep wine and champagne fresh—your abs don’t want you to drink the whole bottle anyway.
$14, on Amazon.com
MICROWAVE POPCORN MAKER
Skip the stove-top mess and the overly buttered packaged stuff, and make your popcorn in this beaut instead. To make a healthy, whole-grain snack in minutes, just fill the cup with popcorn kernels, add oil or butter, and pop it in the microwave. Once you’ve washed it clean, it collapses flat for easy storage.
$25, on PamperedChef.com
TAYLOR DIGITAL MEASURING CUP SCALE
This is one of the only measuring cups with the ability to measure ingredients by volume and weight. It also automatically converts measurements from ounces to cups. Cooking meals from international cookbooks and recipe sites has never been easier.
$25, on Target.com