Give the Gift of Good Eating–Part 1

As a foodie, I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my cooking tastier, easier, quicker, or just more fun.  And, as a dietitian, of course I’m always looking for ways to cook healthier.  Put those two things together and I can come up with a pretty good list of great gadgets for the foodie in your life (or you). 

Whether the goal is increasing fruits and veggies, lowering fat, relying on less processed foods, or just plain old healthy yet easy cooking, there’s something on this list for you or you’re loved one. 

Microplane Medium Ribbon Home Series GraterMicroplane grater–Of course you can zest a lemon or grate some nutmeg with this which is reason enough to have one or more in your kitchen.  But, what I use it for most is grating garlic.  That’s right, garlic!  I use the medium ribbon grater version to finely grate garlic right into my pan–no more mashing, or pressing, or mincing for me.  

Rival Fold n Store Griddle–I don’t work for Rival but man do I LOVE this griddle!  First, it’s nonstick–so no buttering or oiling necessary which makes for healthier and lighter pancakes and french toast.  But, it folds in half for easy storage and the plates come right off and go into the dishwasher–not that they need to since NOTHING sticks–for super easy clean up.  Check it out:

Progressive International Lemon SqueezerCast aluminum lemon juicer–Forget that stuff in the green bottle.  For all natural good flavor get yourself a real lemon and give it a good squeeze.  Cooking with ingredients like fresh lemon and garlic can help you add flavor without needing salt.

Pineapple Slicer/CorerPineapple Slicer/Corer–The one I love is made my Vacu-Vin.  If you don’t buy fresh pineapple because it’s too much of a pain to peel and core, then this is the gadget for you.  Not only does it peel and core, it also slices at the same time.  I’ve lost count of the number I’ve given as gifts.

Garlic Peeler–I’m talking about one of this little silicone tubes you pop the garlic into, press slightly, and roll.  For years, I thought this was just one of those useless tools to fill up my gadget drawer, but boy was I wrong!  This is especially great with the microplane–you can peel and grate a clove in seconds flat!

A Good Quality Chef’s Knife–It’s amazing how much easier and quicker a good chef’s can make cooking.  I personally like Henckels or Wusthof brands, but they are on the expensive side.  Check consumer reports or other ratings to find other good brands.  But I will say, if you see one on sale at the grocery store for $4.99, I’m betting it’s not a good quality, sturdy knife.

Easy to use Knife Sharpener–No matter how good a knife you get, you should sharpen it regularly to keep it performing its best.  Also, you’re much less likely to cut yourself on a dull knife than a sharp one because you have to press harder and go back and forth over and over with a dull one.

A Blender–All you need is some frozen fruit and yogurt and you can whip up a nutrient-packed smoothie in no time.  Plus if you’re a fan of milkshakes, which I am, you can make them yourself.  By using just a couple of scoops of reduced fat, often called slow churned, ice cream, skim milk, and a few squirts of your favorite flavor you can whip up a shake that contains a fraction of the fat, calories, and sugar found in most restaurant or ice cream shop shakes.

Good Cook Classic Set of 2 Silicone SpatulasSilicone Spatulas–Heat resistant up to at least 450 degrees.  Stain resistant.  Dishwasher safe.  An array of colors to match any kitchen.  What else do I need to say?  They beat those old spatulas that melt, curl up, and stain by a mile!

Last but not least Lock & Lock storage containers.  Now before you think to yourself “yeah, yeah, all storage containers are the same,” let me tell you, you are wrong!  I used to be a lover of a certain brand famous for their home parties–you know the one I mean.  And they do make very good containers.  BUT…these lock and locks are leak proof, fridge, freezer, and microwave safe.  Are fantastic for packing lunches in for work or school, great for leftovers, but also wonderful to keep your pantry items fresher longer.  I’ve found they keep my cut produce fresher longer.  I keep cereal, rice, crackers, and SO much more in them.  You can find them at JCPenney and, but my favorite place is as they have by far the greatest selection of sizes, shapes, and colors.  Check out this link if you don’t believe me

These are tools I use several times a week if not every day (and I’m not getting paid by any of these companies, just my honest opinions here).  I hope you and yours enjoy them as much as I do.

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