For 30 days this month we're exploring Whole30, the 30-day reset and refocus on whole foods. Whole30 isn't a diet or a judgmental labeling of foods as "good and bad." It's actually a simple reset that has helped many of our readers cook more and figure out the foods that make them feel their best. Read more about our coverage here.
Whether you've already decided to take the plunge and try Whole30 or you're still exploring the ins and outs of the program, it's important to realize that what you use to make your food plays just as important of a role as the food itself. You need the right tools to get the job done.
Here are five non-food kitchen essentials that will make your Whole30 journey as simple and enjoyable as possible.
1. Salad Spinner
You'll end up eating a lot of salads when you're doing Whole30. And once you see how much a salad spinner upgrades your lettuce game, you won't be able to go back to life without one. For less than $30 at most home-goods stores, you can eliminate soggy lettuce leaves and puddles of water at the bottom of your salad bowl for good. Not only will your lettuce leaves hold a more even coating of dressing after a whirl in the spinner, but in a pinch you can also use the bowl as a serving piece and the basket as a colander.
2. Sheet Pans
The easiest dinner is one you can just throw in the oven. Invest in a couple of solid sheet pans that you can throw veggies (tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper) onto. Then you can sit back and watch as they turn deliciously golden-brown. It's so easy that you'll wonder why you ever cooked your vegetables any other way.
- Buy some: Half Size Sheet Pan, $3.50 each at WebstaurantStore
- Read more: For Better Roasted Vegetables, Use Your Ugliest Baking Sheet
3. Storage Containers
Whether you're a hardcore meal prepper or just bringing your lunch to work for the day, storage options for your food are a must. It can be difficult to eat Whole30 when you're in a rush, and you might find yourself wishing you could just grab a convenient, unhealthy snack. That's where pre-prepped meals and snacks come to the rescue. Glass storage containers are my personal favorite, because they don't leach chemicals or hang on to any residual smells.
- Buy some: Snapware 6-Piece Glass Container Set, $18
- Read more: The Best Non-Plastic Food Storage: Glasslock Snapware Containers
4. Slow Cooker
The slow cooker is the ultimate vehicle for delayed satisfaction. You'll find countless Whole30 recipes online for delicious meals you can toss in the slow cooker in the morning and come back to as a finished meal at the end of the day. Magic! Better yet, you can find a good model big enough for a family meal for less than $40.
5. Immersion Blender
While not a requirement, my immersion blender has become one of my favorite kitchen tools both on and off Whole30. If you're interested in trying out recipes for thick and wholesome Whole30 soups, an immersion blender will save you the extra step and cleanup of using a standard blender. If you get one with the chopping attachment, it'll also make prep for recipes that require minced veggies a breeze.
- Buy one: Cuisinart Smart Stick 2 Speed Hand Blender, $53
- Read more: 10 Smart Ways You Should Be Using Your Immersion Blender