Eating healthfully each day is certainly easier if you're set up and well-equipped to do so. Obviously, you need whole foods and good ingredients to start. You also need some good tools. As a nutritionist, I've learned that certain gadgets are not only nice to have — they're pretty much essential. I don't love all kitchen gadgets, though! There are a lot of unnecessary tools out there and I'm pretty picky about what I'll buy.
These are the 10 that I use almost every single day. They not only help me enjoy being in the kitchen, but also help me live a healthier lifestyle.
This is honestly the best paring knife I've ever owned. It not only slices and dices veggies and fruits, but it's also held up (it still looks like new!) after two years of consistent daily use. The reviews on Amazon are what convinced me to choose this over other brands when my last paring knife gave out, and the reviews were right because it's yet to let me down yet!
I had no idea how helpful these would actually be when I bought them. After reading the reviews, I was already prepared for how cute they'd be, but they're also very helpful when you need a dash of this or pinch of that. I love that, unlike lots of other measuring spoons, they fit inside all of my spice containers. I use them to measure out dry sweeteners, herbs, and spices where larger measuring spoons might dole out too much — especially for single servings.
When it comes to soaking and rinsing tiny seeds, grains, and nuts for single servings, most strainers are just too large to get the job done efficiently. This mini strainer works wonderfully and it's easy to clean. I use it most to rinse rice, oats, quinoa, almonds, seeds, and freshly made herbal tea. I'll even use it to rinse a small handful of berries.
4. OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush, $5
I use small and large Mason jars for day-to-day living and love the way they help me drink more water and other healthy beverages. They're also my choice way to store dried fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and more. They even make great overnight oat jars or containers for leftover coffee or homemade almond or oat milk. With this brush, I don't have to deal with those hard-to-reach places at the bottom of the jars that no washcloth or dish sponge ever seems to get.
5. Lemon Juicer, $9.50
I love this for lemons and limes, and you can also use it with small oranges and mandarins. It's perfect when you need a fresh squeeze of citrus for a salad, entrée, or tea. It's also very helpful if you're making your own homemade salad dressings and don't want to deal with any seeds.
6. Herb Scissors, $7
I can't believe I went so long in life without owning these or even knowing about them. A friend gave me them three years ago and I've used them on a regular basis ever since. Perhaps it's my imagination, but I swear they seem to make all the fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, thyme, rosemary, and tarragon I regularly buy taste so much tastier!
7. Glass Straws, $8 for four
I'm not sure if these count as a gadget, but I use them like they're going out of style. These glass straws are economical and pretty! I've bought four sets — that's how much I love them! I use them to drink ice water and iced herbal tea, and they're perfect to use in a Mason jar with homemade cold brew coffee. They definitely help me stay hydrated.
8. Nut Milk Bag, $7 for two
As someone who hasn't consumed cow's milk in more than 10 years, this is most definitely one of the kitchen gadgets I can't live without. I use this nifty nut milk bag to make my own raw almond milk, oat milk, and other dairy-free milk options. While a cheesecloth can get the job done, for the price I promise this is one item that you won't regret buying. Not into nut milk or dairy-free milk? You can even use this to make your own veggie juice! Blend the vegetables and greens with a touch of water, strain in this bag, and ta-da! You'll have freshly made green juice at your fingertips.
Another knife! Technically meant for bread, this is the knife you want if you want to perfectly slice into a fresh orange, grapefruit, or lemon. I use it daily to eat a fresh piece of citrus and to slice up my lemons for lemon water or herbal and green tea, and for making homemade dressings and sauces of all kinds.
10. GIR Mini Spoonula Spatula, $10
If you don't own a mini spatula of any kind yet, do yourself a favor and remedy that, pronto! This tiny spoonula spatula is by far my most-used spatula on a day-to-day basis. It's the best tool for scraping out the last bit of smoothies from the blender and is oh-so helpful when making your own salad dressings, sauces, or soups in the blender too. I also use it to empty out canned goods (like pumpkin) and when making small batches of oatmeal and whole-grain rice on the stove.
What are your favorite kitchen gadgets that help you live healthier each day?