With restaurants offering limited dining options across the U.S. due to COVID-19, many of us are spending more time cooking at home (or learning how to cook!) than ever before. Those who are new to cooking—as well as those who have kicked their cooking habits up a notch—have probably found that they’re missing some much-needed kitchen accessories to help cut down on cooking time and cleanup.
Whether you’re an aspiring cook hoping to escape the Grubhub takeout cycle or an experienced chef looking for some kitchen upgrades, here are the must-have accessories to make whipping up clean, healthy meals a breeze.
NutriBullet or Vitamix
There are few better ways to get your nutrients in than with a smoothie, and the Nutribullet is the premier blending machine. In addition to smoothies, the Nutribullet is also ideal for making soups, acai bowls, dips, sauces, salad dressings, nut butters, and so much more. If you want to splurge a bit, Vitamix also offers several premier-level blenders, which range in price from $350 to $550+. The Vitamix has self-cleaning technology which makes cleanup a whole lot easier.
Not only does a salad spinner make getting the water off of lettuce leaves infinitely easier, but it also cuts down on paper towel use, which is what most of us tend to gravitate to when soaking moisture out of lettuce. A salad spinner has several uses beyond just salads, and can be used to remove water from pasta, beans, herbs, berries, vegetables, and more.
Ideal for the winter months, slow cookers are a great way to make hearty soups, stews, and meat dishes. They use less electricity than ovens, and they don’t heat up a kitchen the way an oven typically does. A slow cooker is ideal for those working during the day, as the ingredients can be placed in the slow cooker in the morning, cook throughout the day, and will be ready to go by dinnertime. All ingredients go into one pot, saving on preparation time and cleanup. Additionally, if you have tougher meats you want to add to dishes but are unsure how to prepare them, a slow cooker is the best way to help tenderize the meat and enhance the flavor.
Deciding to eat healthily is more important now than ever before, as many of us are working from home and are surrounded by the temptations to snack on junk food or order takeout in between Zoom calls.
Egg Yolk Extractor
High in protein yet low in fat, calories, and cholesterol, egg whites are a great option when trying to eat healthily or lose weight. But removing the yolk when preparing egg whites can be messy business, often resulting in the yolk spilling into the dish you’re attempting to make. However, with the silicone Quirky Pluck Yolk Extractor tool or a stainless-steel egg yolk separator, you can separate the yolk center from the egg whites without the mess. The tool is ideal for making scrambled egg whites, muffins, and other dishes, and results in far less waste than attempting to extract the yolk with a spoon.
Incorporating healthy meals into your diet means you will most likely begin adding more vegetables, rice, and fish into your daily meals. Steaming is often the best way to go, especially when avoiding cooking with oil. This Hamilton Beach 5.5-Quart Digital Steamer makes steaming several dishes at once much easier, while eliminating the need to steam items in several different pots. The steamer’s stackable feature makes it possible to steam a seafood dish on one level while simultaneously steaming vegetables, eggs, or rice on the second level. This handy tool is great for those seeking to get the maximum nutrients out of their food while staying away from traditional frying.
Speaking of frying, just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have fried food! Using an air fryer to make fried dishes can remove up to 75 percent of calories and fat when compared to traditional frying methods. Air fryers create a similar result to regular fryers and can be used to cook chicken, vegetables, fish, french fries, and baked items. Several air fryer models also have bake and toast settings, making them ideal for baking desserts if you’re having a sugar craving. They’re typically about the size of a toaster, and those with toaster settings can be used to replace your kitchen’s toaster altogether. According to Amazon, the COSORI and Ninja models received great reviews and are an affordable price compared to other, more expensive models.
Silicone Baking Tray
When roasting vegetables in the oven, it is often easy to coat the veggies in oil or butter to reduce the possibility of sticking to the pan. However, oil and butter are both high in fat and add additional calories to dishes. When trying to cut down on the cals, silicone baking sheets ensure that your food doesn’t stick to the pan, eliminating the need for baking spray, butter, or oil. They’re an affordable addition to any kitchen that makes cleanup far easier while helping you eat clean.
As fun and enjoyable as cooking can be, sometimes replacing a meal with juice can be equally as satisfying. Making juice at home can save you a pretty penny when compared to buying a $9 juice at your local green juice spot and is packed with just as many nutrients. From making fresh orange juice in the morning to whipping up a ginger and lemon shot in the afternoon for an extra boost of energy, juicers have a world of benefits. This Breville juicer packs a ton of power and is more affordable than many of its counterparts.
Key Takeaways about Kitchen Accessories
Deciding to eat healthily is more important now than ever before, as many of us are working from home and are surrounded by the temptations to snack on junk food or order takeout in between Zoom calls. The good news is, there are tons of simple, affordable additions that can help make your meals healthier, simple to prepare, and easy to clean up.
Along with buying new accessories, it is equally as important to live in a home that offers the space to house these helpful new gadgets. Draper and Kramer’s apartments feature spacious kitchens, upgraded appliances, large countertops, and several areas for storage, making cooking a far more enjoyable experience. We invite you to check out our apartments for yourself by booking a virtual tour appointment today.