Top 5 Kitchen Tools for Cooking Healthy

by in Healthy Tips, February 6, 2009

These days, it seems like there is a kitchen gadget for just about everything — so which tools are must haves for making a healthy meal? Here are five I’d be lost without.

Microplane
1) Microplane or Rasp
These hand-held graters are perfect for citrus, hard cheeses, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and chocolate. A small amount of any of these ingredients can add tremendous taste without a lot of calories. Citrus zest adds flavor, essential oils and specs of color –- add orange zest to a vinaigrette or lemon zest to cupcake frosting. Make a gremalata for roasted potatoes. Grate hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Romano over pasta or bruschetta. There is nothing like the smell of freshly grated nutmeg –- add it to creamy sauces and or baked fruit dishes. For a low calorie treat, sprinkle dark chocolate shavings in your coffee or hot chocolate.

Mini Chopper
2) Mini Chopper
I used to think I needed to chop everything by hand and only resorted to the clunky food processor for large jobs — then I discovered the mini chopper. It’s the perfect size for small ingredients such as garlic, ginger and fresh herbs. Some models even come with an adjustable blade for grinding spices. Chop up some cilantro, garlic, ginger, serrano chili and scallion, add to a bowl with some lime juice, honey and canola oil, and you have a healthy and flavorful marinade for chicken, fish or vegetables.

Reamer
3) Lemon Reamer
Toby makes fun of me but I am a huge fan of the reamer! Get all the juice out of your winter citrus with this simple hand-held tool. A citrus press is also wonderful for this. Add vitamin C and bright citrus flavor to sweet and savory dishes. Liven up dips. Juice lemons, limes, grapefruit, blood oranges — whatever!

Scale
4) Measuring Tools
Measuring cups and spoons are a healthy cook’s must-haves. You don’t have to measure everything you eat, but take the time to measure high-calorie ingredients such as oils, nuts and cheeses. A good looking scale is gorgeous on any kitchen counter and will come in handy too.

Meat Thermometer
5) Meat Thermometer
It’s not always easy to tell if meat is cooked properly. The easiest solution? A meat thermometer, which also works well for poultry and fish too.

    Try your tools out with these recipes:

  • Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Gremolata
  • Edamame Dip
  • TELL US: What are some of your favorite tools?

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Comments (30)

  1. JC says:

    I received a set of 4 Taylor thermometers, 2 meat and 2 poultry, that fit into a holder for Christmas. They looked just like the one pictured above. They didn’t work, and I overcooked two beautiful steaks. My fiance’s mom also had the same experience with a set that she received. We threw them away. I wouldn’t endorse that particular thermomter.

  2. Joi Caplen says:

    The TofuXpress gets all the water out of tofu thus enabling it absorb delicious flavors. Check out the website at TofuXpress.com

  3. Jack Kinsman says:

    While out shopping at Christmas, I picked up 2 Taylor thermometers (1 digital and 1 dial gauge as shown above) for my own use. After overcooking some steaks that I had measured with the digital model (temps checked in several different spots in the meat), I put both of them in a cup of boiling water. The digital read 15 degrees lower than the other one. This week, I picked up a digital Polder brand and this morning put all three in another cup of boiling water. The Polder reads 10 degrees lower than the Taylor digital and 25 degrees lower than the Taylor dial gauge. If anyone at the Food Network knows of an accurate, durable brand of thermometer, please send me an e-mail…..anything under $100 is fine.

  4. KjK says:

    I have had the same Taylor Instant read thermometer since 1978 and it still works perfectly. I use it nearly every day.

  5. Mary G. says:

    I was wondering, what about knives? I did see the show regardidng which knives to have in the kitchen. If I recall the 2 knives really needed was a good chopping knife (sorry forgot the real name) and a paring knife. Could you please suggest good brands?

  6. wesley seale says:

    where can i find the oil bottle and baster that alton brown has in some of his shows? i have looked at lab surplus shops and cannot find them without buying cartons of them at one time . thanks , wesley seale

  7. website do you see all store items

  8. macgaff says:

    I have a few bridal showers coming up, this is perfect!!

  9. Carol says:

    I watched a program where a man was teaching how to clean up old cast iron cookware. I would like to try this on mine. How is it done.

  10. RoMay Sitze says:

    A must have in my kitchen is a pastry blender. Not only is it useful for cutting shortening into dry ingredients, but I use it for slicing eggs for garnishes, chopping eggs for egg salad, and mashing avocados for guacamole.

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