1. Food Steamer Being a personal trainer and a health-conscious eater, I love steaming. It’s one of the easiest, fastest, and healthiest ways to prepare meals. This is my preferred cooking method, when I’m shredding. Not using oils cuts down calories, and the process of steaming retains healthy nutrients and minerals. You can find many options for steamers, ranging from $25 to $180. I prefer a convenient three-tiered design, which lets you prepare the entire meal simultaneously – from seafood and chicken to vegetables and rice. If you like healthy on a budget, Rosewill BPA-free, 9-5 quart Electric Food Steamer with Timer is my pick for you. It has three tiers and cooks the entire meal super fast. It’s easy to clean; the steaming bowls and drip tray are dishwasher safe. It collapses into one level, so it doesn’t take up much storage room.
2. Dehydrator Dehydrators are perfect for making healthy effortless on-the-go snacks that won’t undermine your fitness goals. Who doesn’t like snacking on delicious homemade dried fruits or crunchy cheesy kale chips or even beef jerky? I have a Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator and I couldn’t be happier. It’s extremely easy to use. It has five drying trays (made of safe BPA free plastic), so you can dry a big batch or a variety of foods at once. You can buy six additional trays and make even larger quantities. It works fast. I’ve owned other dehydrators that took days to dry what this product can dry in hours. The recipe book that comes with it is very helpful. The only one thing I would change about this dehydrator is that there is no timer to turn it off automatically, so you either have to anticipate your schedule before starting the process or plug it into a vacation light timer. To avoid this issue, you can always go with a more expensive option, such as a Samson Silent Dehydrator 6-Tray with Digital Controls Timer.
3. Rice cooker I didn’t discover the beauty of a rice cooker, until I met my husband who had one. Now I can’t live without it. I hate rice that is hard and undercooked, or soggy and mushy, or burnt and inedible. With the rice cooker, I can make white, brown or wild rice – or other grains, like quinoa or buckwheat – perfect every time. And it’s very easy to use: pour rice and water in, press a button, and wait. The benefit of having a rice cooker, such as Aroma Digital Rice Cooker, with a delay timer of up to 15 hours, I can have rice ready for me when I get back from work. It’s very handy and eliminates the chaos of trying to make dinner when hungry and tired.
4. Slow cooker Would you like your dinner to cook itself? I would! This is another must have for a healthy kitchen. Beef stews, casseroles, roasts, chili, ribs…the recipes for delicious easy wholesome meals that you can make in a slow cooker are endless and are only limited by your imagination! Many slow cookers don’t have a delay start, but I wouldn’t want raw food to sit in a crockpot at room temperature anyway. My preferred choice is Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. It’s efficient and functional, and offers a great solution for my busy life. The programmable digital control lets you enter cook times from 30 minutes to 20 hours, so you can have dinner ready when you get home. It’s a good size pot and will easily cook a meal for four. You can also buy a liner for one, which makes clean up ridiculously easy and fast. But even without a liner, brief soaking is enough to clean the pot. The latching lid is handy for travel, if you want to bring your dish with you to dinner parties, cookouts or potlucks.
5. Blender Whether you’re making nutritious protein shakes to fuel your muscles after a workout or a delicious fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast, a good blender is a must have. My NutriBullet has been my best friend for years. It’s very durable and powerful. It blends, shreds, grinds, purees, chops and pulverizes. You can make fresh low-calorie desserts and healthy drinks, like juice smoothies with pulp. This is a great way to add nutritional giants, like spinach and kale, to your diet and not even taste them. You can puree vegetables for delicious soups. You can blend and freeze seasonal fruits to use in smoothies in winter for the needed vitamin boost. The possibilities are endless. The recipe book that comes with NutriBullet is useful, but you can also find a ton of original delicious recipes online.