We're not going to sugarcoat it: Healthy cooking can be hard. Especially when you're avoiding the temptation to sauté everything in butter or make a creamy one-pot pasta because that's really all you know how to make.
Even the idea of making a healthy meal can feel daunting. Well, equip your kitchen with the right tools and healthy cooking becomes so much easier. Vegetables can become pasta, your formerly fried sides can be steamed and flavor can come from fresh, wholesome ingredients rather than packaged dressings and sauces.
Stock these easy-to-use tools and gadgets in your kitchen to up your healthy cooking game — because what's more motivating than new stuff?
If you've resisted buying a spiralizer because they're just too trendy, or you can't imagine life without actual spaghetti, fear not. You can spiralize to your heart's content and still have your spaghetti on the side, or mixed in with zoodles (or zucchini noodles) for extra volume, which will make you feel more full! Take it from a pasta pro, a meal with half zoodles, half real noodles isn't so bad.
Try: Spiralizer, which has five blades so you can switch up your spiralizing style, $29.99 at Amazon.com
The most efficient way to cook vegetables and proteins without oil? Steam! Set this bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water, line it with cabbage or parchment paper, and steam all of your favorite ingredients. Delicious.
Try: 10'' Bamboo Steamer Set, which has two compartments for different cook times, $24.99 at Amazon.com
If you're negligent about making salads, invest in a spinner that will dry your lettuce — it'll make washing your greens a heck of a lot less dreadful. Try a spinner with a removable basket that can work for tossing your salad and storing your salad after it's spun and composed.
Try: Salad & Berry Spinner, which has removable parts and a storage lid, $68.50 at PamperedChef.com
If you wanted to play parent to yourself and sneak vegetables into everything from soups to sauces to desserts, get an immersion blender. You'll thank yourself when you see (or rather don't see) how many veggies you're eating.
Try: Cuisinart SmartStick, which comes in a variety of colors and blends like a magic wand of blending, $29.99 at Amazon.com
Glass herb keeper
The next best thing to growing your own windowsill herb garden? An herb keeper! Fresh, leafy herbs are a fantastic way to add tasty and unique flavor to your cooking without adding substantial calories or fat. If you're not quite ready to try a new recipe, mix up your cooking routine by adding herbs and taste the difference.
Try: Glass Herb Keeper, which doubles as decor when filled with greens, $19.95 at CrateAndBarrel.com
Originally created for woodworkers, the microplane was adopted to the kitchen for zesting citrus, grating roots (ginger! turmeric!), hard cheeses and more. Using a microplane to add more flavor is another incredibly low calorie and healthy way to spruce up your cooking with an inexpensive tool and cheap ingredients.
Try: Microplane Rasp Grater, the OG microplane, $14.95 at Williams-Sonoma.com
Vidalia Chop Wizard
If chopping is keeping you from cooking your own food, chop no longer! This easy to use, power-free appliance chops and dices with a single motion, so you can add fresh ingredients to everything!
Try: Vidalia Chop Wizard, $19.99 at BedBathandBeyond.com