It has been discussed a zillion times already which foods you should be eating and which you should avoid, however, a smaller yet still important part of a healthy meal prep routine and a healthy diet in general, is the actual tools you use to cook healthy meals. If you don’t have any of these items, you better invest in them and leave them exposed at a spot in the kitchen where you can see them and be reminded of making healthy meals.
Here are some must-have items:
A food processor. Since the vast majority of healthy recipes involves some kind of vegetable or legume, you will need to have a food processor in hand that will chop and grate everything up in seconds. It will save you more time and effort comparing to chopping or grating things yourself the traditional way. Plus, it’s not as expensive as it looks as the average price of a medium food processor is $40.
A juicer or smoothie blender. Making your own detoxing juices and smoothies isn’t possible without getting a smoothie blender or juicer. They blend everything up e.g fruits and veggies in seconds and some can even crash ice so you end up with a fully refreshing and energizing drink. If you can find a 2 in 1 device that allows you to make both juices and smoothies, even better.
A slow cooker. Since frying your food is a no-no when it comes to healthy eating and causes a mess, there is a great alternative that lets you cook delicious, juicy, and healthy food that never tastes greasy or too bland: cooking in a slow cooker/crockpot. When you have one of these, all you need to do is dump some chopped veggies and hard protein of your choice e.g beef steak or pork chops along with your favorite herbs and let it work its magic for a few hours. Once you are done with your work or household chores, the food will be ready (without having to check it every few minutes).
Two-compartment lunch boxes. Lunch boxes are essential when it comes to healthy meal prep. You need at least 5 lunch boxes to prepare enough meals for the week. However, don’t go for aluminum ones, like many people do as these are highly toxic, especially when used with warm food. Buy instead some small pyrex ones or BPA-free plastic lunch boxes with two compartments or more, so you can fill them up with a good variety of healthy food e.g protein, veggie sticks, and dry nuts in a different section.
A grilling pan. Grilling pans make excellent cookware when you need something grilled fast--and it gets you these appealing grill marks that you simply can’t get with your oven’s broiler alone. Chicken breasts on a grilling pan are ready in 6 minutes and most veggies e.g peppers and zucchini slices also don’t make more than 8 minutes to get ready in a grill pan.
A digital food scale. When trying to cook healthier, it is important to count the amount of food you’ll be using. Ideally, you have to consume up to 5 oz. of protein every day, and 2-3 cups of veggies, 100 grams of fruit, and up to 100 grams of low-fat dairy per day to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals so get counting with a digital food scale and a cup measurer.
Other secondary yet useful kitchen utensils for healthy cooking and drinking are rice cookers, tea makers, veggie spiralizers, and oil sprayers (for spraying very low amounts of oil or liquid when cooking). Another good thing about all of these is that they cost less than $30 each so with $100 you can buy them all and take your healthy meal prep to the next level.