Are your cupboards full of cooking gadgets you never use? Hands up if you have a pasta maker getting dusty in the shed? Clients in clinic often ask me what they really need to make healthy eating a breeze, so here are my favourite must-have kitchen gadgets that you’ll actually use! Just in time to ask Santa …
Makes light work of chopping, pureeing, blitzing and whisking. These usually come with a range of versatile accessories, like mini chopping bowls and whisks. Just the job for blending soup or chopping up nuts.
I LOVE: Dualit 700W Hand Blender in Polished Chrome (http://amzn.to/2io54RF), has everything you’ll ever need and more, including the wand itself, a whisk plus TWO chopper bowls – one of them has a feed tube so you can add ingredients as you go, just like a food processor. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it is pretty special (and why have a cheapie model on your wish list, right?).
If you are a fan of juicing (a great way to get your 7-a-day in one hit!) you really need a slow juicer – sometimes called a masticating juicer – because it creates less friction/ heat as it deals with the fruit and veg, therefore retaining more of the nutrients. Prices for this type of juicer vary enormously, but many come out of the same factory in Korea, so you’ll still get something that more than adequately does the job for a fraction of the price of the top-dollar ones.
I LOVE: this one from Hotpoint (a new name in the world of juicing) costs the same as many centrifugal juicers, but will give you a much better quality juice. Find it here https://amzn.to/2BTxp9N.
Aldi also does its own brand for less - you might need to wait till the New Year detox season is underway!
There are a number of these compact, counter-top appliances that will whizz you up a decent smoothie and, if you’re the kind of person who struggles to get the recommended 7-10 portions in each day, you should definitely consider one.
I LOVE: NutriBullet (http://amzn.to/2xbWubr), is still my favourite and it’s on special offer right now, and you’ll want to make sure that (regardless of what you choose) you pick one with a 600+Watt motor to ensure that nuts and seeds are efficiently blended. This one is also very easy to use and to keep clean. Aldi also does its own brand for less - you might need to wait till the New Year to get it...
Helps you easily cut the starchy carb content of your meals by making courgetti (courgette spaghetti) and boodles (butternut squash noodles) effortless.
I LOVE: Spiralizer 5-blade Slicer (http://amzn.to/2gVz3gq) is great value and has 5 blades so it can turn its hand to pretty much any cutting task.
Slow cooks meats, makes one-pot wonders, curries and winter-warming stews. It makes meals quick, easy and healthy.
I LOVE: Morphy Richards Sear and Stew (http://amzn.to/2xbLk6p), is great value, but what is really good about this model is that the inner pot comes out so you can sear the meat in to start you off, then pop into the slow cooker to do the rest. The cooking pot is also dishwasher safe.
A water filter is essential for removing chemicals from your everyday drinking water.
I LOVE: Big Berkey Water Filter System, which is an investment at around £250 (http://amzn.to/2xT0WQp) but it is the leading water filter of its kind and is big enough for a large family (it holds 8.5l).
If this is too much of a stretch, you’ll want a water filter jug, like the Brita Aluna water filter jug (http://amzn.to/2xaq7K7), which is slim enough to fit into the fridge door. Or, for when you’re on the move, the Bobble Water Bottle (http://amzn.to/2x9GZk7), which has a built-in charcoal filter to get rid of the nasties and is good for 300 refills.
Sprouts are the real stars of the vegetable world. Sprouted beans and seeds contain many more nutrients and enzymes than non-sprouted varieties. The vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans or nuts increases by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of sprouting! Research shows that during sprouting, beansprouts increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285%, vitamin B2 by 515% and niacin (for heart, brain and skin health) by up to 256%.
There are many health benefits to drinking coffee but that’s not the only reason to get yourself a coffee grinder – it’s perfect for grinding seeds and spices for sprinkling on salads, porridge, soups, yoghurt, and so on.
I LOVE: Chef’s Inspirations Electric Coffee Grinder (http://amzn.to/2yBaxbY), a good value electrical grinder that will whizz up your nuts, seeds and spices in a flash plus it’s easy to clean.
Making your own yoghurt is a great way to get more gut-friendly bacteria into your life without the additives and preservatives of shop-bought stuff. I love creating my favourite flavours using seasonal berries. It’s great for those who are dairy-free as you can experiment with different milks.
I LOVE: Lakeland Yoghurt Maker (https://amzn.to/2KWT2ZU), which makes up to 1 litre of healthy homemade yoghurt in just 8 hours.
Dubbed ‘the world’s most intelligent food processor’, it allows you to weigh, chop, blend, mix, grind, grate, cook, steam, whisk, knead and more.
WHY I LOVE IT: Although it costs the same as a brand new kitchen in some homes, it’s an incredible piece of kit that can really transform your cooking. It’s a favourite of so many nutritional therapists I know. From velvety soups and sauces to homemade dough, it makes light work of cooking whatever your skillset. And anything that can grind 100g of coffee beans in 60 seconds gets my vote. If you have something like this, you won’t need many of the other products mentioned here!
The 60-second Salad Cutter Bowl (https://amzn.to/2PkerN5) makes a mess-free neatly chopped salad. Put whole veg and salad leaves in, chop through the gaps, turn 90 degrees and repeat. This gadget means less mess when chopping which is a win-win for busy (and hungry) people.
The Oxo Apple Divider (http://amzn.to/2l1Sokx) slices and cores apples with very little waste – a really easy and fast way to make apples easier to eat for fussy children and a fun way to get them involved in healthy eating.
The Joseph Joseph Lotus Steamer (http://amzn.to/2l369PM) is a fast and easy way to steam veg and retain the nutrients. And, because it collapses, it doesn’t take up much cupboard space.
A traditional bamboo steamer (like this one from Ken Hom, http://amzn.to/2yx6srP) is also brilliant for steaming veg or traditional Chinese foods. It’s designed to fit over a wok and the two tiers mean you can keep ingredients separate if you choose.
A 3-in-1 avocado slicer, peeler, stone remover (http://amzn.to/2yDVyQq), takes the faff out of trying to peel and slice an avocado. It also means you no longer have the hazardous job of trying to remove the stone by hitting it with a knife!
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