The advantages of eating healthy whole foods are well-known—and compelling. If it were easier, wouldn’t more of us be eating our minimum five servings of fruits and veggies each day? Unfortunately, we often fall short on our good intentions due to the reality of too-busy lifestyles brimming over with responsibilities and diversions that cut down on the actual time we have available to prepare and cook healthy meals. Yet, in truth, healthy eating does not require hours laboring in the kitchen. There are a number of new, innovative tools specifically designed to make healthy eating more efficient. The following are a few of our favorites for whipping up fast, easy, and delicious healthy fare—in record time!
A New Twist
If you haven’t tried spiralizing fruits and vegetables, get ready for a real time-saving treat with these spiral slicers. Available in many varieties, from hand held to counter-top types, spiralizers easily and magically transform fruits and vegetables into “noodles” perfect for pastas, side dishes, salads, and garnishes. Much like an old-fashioned apple peeler, spiralizers make it fun and easy to turn out ribbons of zucchini, sweet potatoes, apples, onions, or just about any vegetable or fruit you can push through its blades. Think sweet potato “swoodles” served with cream sauce and zucchini “zoodles” as a fresh and nutritious salad topper. Your creativity is sure to come into play when you’re in the kitchen with the spiralizer. This simple tool makes serving up veggies easy, breezy, and all-around fun. Happy spiralizing!
Your New No-Pressure Pal
Mashed potatoes in 15 minutes, one-hour chili and steamed veggies in as few as 4 minutes. Those are a just a few good reasons to check out the new “smart” electric pressure cookers available that cut cooking time by up to 70 percent. The ultimate in ease and convenience, these new pressure cookers do the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. Once you choose and start using one, it could easily become your new best friend—or definitely one of your favorite kitchen companions, helping you save valuable time while making it a cinch to cook healthy, wholesome meals.
A number of built-in smart programs provide you with options for cooking a wide variety of foods and ensure they come out perfectly. Just add ingredients and press a button, then sit back and relax while your new smart pressure cooker takes the heat out of the usual hustle and bustle associated with cooking a warm and hearty meal. While you sip your wine, er, green juice, you can attend to other concerns, knowing this indispensable tool has it covered, monitoring the pressure and temperature, keeping time, adjusting heating intensity and duration, and even changing the cooking time based on the amount of food in the cooker. What could be simpler? Be sure to choose a brand with cooking programs that have been lab-tested for consistency and optimal results.
You’ll discover that these new versions of pressure cookers are manufactured with the health conscious in mind too. Designed to eliminate food faux pas like harming or spoiling food, they often come with multiple proven safety mechanisms and patented technologies. Some are available with a stainless steel inner pot that is easy to clean, leakproof, durable, and free from non-stick coating residue, as well as a steel outer pot that is coated with heat-resistant paint that is fingerprint resistant, making it easy to clean and pretty to look at on your countertop.
Even better, most of these new smart cookers come with a 24-hour timer for delayed cooking and an automatic keep-warm function that maintains the food’s temperature until you’re ready to eat. Are we hungry yet?
Whether you are whipping up freshly squeezed orange juice, limeade, or a lemon vinaigrette, get your hands on these hand-held citrus squeezers, a.k.a. juicers, that easily extract all the juice with one simple squeeze. Found in your local health food stores, these colorful (lemon, orange, and lime) hand-held juicers separate seeds and pulp as they push the juice out. Simply slice the citrus in half, place it in the juicing bowl with the cut side down and squeeze the handles together, inverting the peel and pouring every last drop the fruit has to offer into your waiting cup.
Look for hand-held juicers with comfortable handles and strong, durable hinges that hold up over the long haul, as this quick efficient juice savior is sure to become one of your most loved (and used) time-saving squeezes. Lemonade, cocktails, breakfast drinks, salad dressings—whatever citrus-containing creations you can concoct—this squeezer is your solution to the messy juice pressers of days gone by. You’ll love how just a little effort yields volumes of pure liquid bliss.
Meet the Miller
There’s nothing like cooking with freshly ground herbs and spices to bring out the best flavors of your food. But let’s be honest, sometimes we just don’t have the time or patience to take extra time to chop, cut, and grate herbs and spices. The sage chefs out there have likely discovered the wonders of the spice mill. We recommend a solid refillable grinder made from stainless steel and glass/ceramic for lasting durability and a luxurious look. The refillable grinders allow you to add your own dried herbs and spices. Easily able to grind flax seeds, cinnamon, dried chili peppers, and other hard-to-grind spices, you can count on an indispensable mill to spice up any meal in minutes.
Shake It Up
When time is an issue, as is often the case, convenience is key to keeping healthy greens in our daily diet. And admit it, what better way to doll up those salad greens than with an awesome homemade dressing? If you think making your own dressing is too time-consuming, perhaps you’ll reconsider when you see the new (why didn’t we think of this before?!) super simple salad dressing mixers designed to measure, mix, and serve dressing in one container! With the salad dressing recipes printed on the side of the glass bottle, complete with measuring marks showing how much of each ingredient to add (think fill-to lines) and directions, it doesn’t get much easier—or faster—than this! Look for these salad-dressing sensations at your favorite health food store. We suggest choosing one that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.