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Cooking should be something fun and relaxing but it can seem overwhelming and complicated without the right approach. Natural, healthy food has the reputation of taking too long to prepare, but I completely disagree. With the right tools healthy-eating can be easy, quick, and delicious! Have no fear. What’s faster than fresh fruits or a smoothie?
Here’s my guide to cooking using my favorite tools that I rely on daily and weekly to prepare snacks, breakfasts, and meals. These appliances also make it more fun to eat vegetables in different ways and shapes so you don’t feel like you are always eating the same thing.
A blender is my number one appliance. I use it every day and sometimes multiple times a day. From smoothies to soups, dips, desserts, you name it— it really does it all. My favorite one, and the best on the market, is the Vitamix. It’s a bit of an investment but totally worth it. Restaurant-quality results and the food tastes better, more homogeneous, and creamy.
If you are new to blenders and don’t want to commit to a Vitamix, a good entry-level one is a NutriBullet. Easy to clean and that works very well; it makes a great option for top-notch smoothies.
I use my juicer every week. It is such a good way to drink all your greens and ensure quick absorption. For me, there is no other way to eat celery, kale, ginger, spinach, parsley, and apples all in one sitting for breakfast.
3. VEGETABLE PEELER
A vegetable peeler makes cooking effortless. It’s important to peel your vegetables if you buy them non-organic. Lots of the chemicals sprayed on produce will affect mostly the outer skin.
4. SALAD SPINNER
A simple tool to make washing your salads and veggies much easier is the salad spinner. I’m all about being practical and making kitchen prep safe and more efficient.
5. MANDOLIN SLICER
A Mandolin slicer is particularly useful when you want to slice your veggies precisely. I use this tool quite a lot to cut my vegetables finely. It can be used for all sorts of produce, like when baking an apple pie or potato chips and slicing everything all into the same sizes.
6. GLASS BOTTLES / JARS
Have you ever noticed everything tastes better out of glass? I love drinking from glass bottles or mason jars. First of all, you don’t ingest the nasty chemicals from plastic bottles (which come when plastic is exposed to the sun and heat releases toxins into the water). Second, you’re protecting the environment, opting for a sustainable, reusable option. Third, I store all sorts of foods, pre-cooked and leftovers, into mason jars for long lasting freshness, and it even looks more organized too! Lastly, it’s always recommended when adding supplements and/ or essential oils to your water to do so in a glass container.
I love this tool for making noodles out of practically everything! From beets to zucchini, sweet potatos, carrots, and more. With my Spiralizer, I usually eat the vegetables raw and make interesting salads or a healthy “pasta”.
8. A SHARP KNIFE
It makes all the difference in the world when you’re using a sharp knife. Keep them sharp with a whetstone or a sharpening steel. Prepping your meals with a sharp knife makes cooking easier and even more pleasurable.
9. NUT MILK BAG
Very useful for making your own almond milk at home, these are very simple to do and you avoid all those preservatives they add to the ones you buy at the store. Nut milk bags ensure you receive fresh homemade nut milk. Another way to use the bag is to strain your juices. If you don’t have a juicer you can blend them and then strain the fiber through the nut milk bag.
10. FOOD PROCESSOR
A food processor is the type of appliance that’s excellent for making many recipes. Although it might have its similarities to a blender, it’s the best for recipes requiring doughy-consistency rather than liquid. Chop an onion very finely, slice veggies quickly, and mix a dough hassle-free. I use it mainly for baking desserts.
* This article was contributed by Martina Avanzini, holistic health coach at Martinaturally.