I love things that make my life easier, don’t you? These 10 products have helped me lose weight and stick to my diet easily. Most of them are quite inexpensive, and almost all of them save me time in the kitchen and helped with weight loss. And that’s why I love these products– they help me save time, money, and calories! Woohoo!
Following the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way of eating, some of the biggest challenges are keeping your kitchen clean and staying on plan! You definitely don’t have to cook for every meal or dirty every dish in your kitchen, but somehow I seem to do that a lot. These easy gadgets have helped to cut down on the clutter while keeping my waistline trim (haha, although I guess I could count all that dish washing as exercise ;).
1. Pineapple De-Corer and Peeler
This tool is so incredibly easy to use and fits perfectly in the center of the top rack of my dishwasher! I absolutely love fresh pineapple and cottage cheese for an easy and quick low fat (THM: E) snack that doesn’t even require added sweetener.
But, I always avoided buying fresh pineapple until I had this nifty little gadget to remove the core and peel it for me. It takes me less than five minutes to prep a fresh pineapple with this, and the fresh fruit tastes so much better than canned! Pineapple often goes on sale at Aldi for $1 a fruit, so it saves you money, too!
2. Vegetable Spiralizer
This handy little tool makes zucchini or squash noodles in a flash! Instead of spending $4 on a small package of already spiralized veggies at the grocery store (which usually shrink when cooking and end up as a mere cup of food instead of the anticipated plateful), invest that same $4 towards a vegetable spiralizer that you can use again and again.
It usually takes me just a minute or two to noodle-ize 2 or 3 large zucchini, and there are so many great ways to put those “zoodles” to work. I see shrimp scampi, zucchini Alfredo, and pad Thai in your future!
It’s also a great, low carb way to sneak an extra dose of vegetables into a meal while you’re enjoying delicious, succulent toppings.
3. Magic Bullet Blender
I love this little blender for cutting down on food prep and clean up! The individual smoothie cups can go right into the dishwasher when you’re done with your smoothie, and the blender blade attachment takes mere seconds to clean.
It doesn’t blend as smoothly or completely as a larger, more powerful, and more expensive blender. However, clean up is such a snap that I find myself more apt to use it just so I don’t fill my sink with dirty dishes! It’s perfect for baby frappes, strawberry protein or collagen milk, and healthy, frothy coffee creations.
In the interest of full disclosure, be careful for a few points with this blender. It doesn’t tolerate extremely hot liquids well, especially if you blend something, add extra ingredients, and try to blend it again. The steam can build up and make it challenging to reattach the lid securely… which might result in spilling broccoli cheese soup for one all over the inside of the base (if you’re me :).
Also, my blender gets almost daily use, and this one lasted me about two years. For the price and amount of time it saved me from washing dishes, I felt like it served me well. However, I wanted to let you know that this blender may have a shorter lifespan than others.
4. Coffee Grinder
This little machine can make you so happy! In a flash, you can grind up flax seeds for tasty, easy treats like a cinnamon muffin in a mug or to make your own frugal flour for low carb baking. You can also use it to grind up low glycemic index sweeteners to make your own amazing frosting. I love it for grinding fresh coriander for my Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Chili. Of course, you can definitely use it for coffee beans, too!
5. Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are such a great, versatile tool! You can use them for the classic toast, as a mini oven for making single-serve treats, or crisping up a yummy piece of low carb pizza under the broiler. My toddler’s daily quesadilla comes out great in the toaster oven! You’re also saving yourself from exposure to potentially harmful microwave rays by using a toaster oven, and covering the little baking tray with parchment paper will save you in clean up!
6. Shaker Cup with Blender Ball
This simple and easy kitchen gadget can help you get in your daily 64 ounces of fluids and keep all your creations appropriately mixed. The small, metal blender ball operates like a mini-whisk, so if you make THM Sippers (like their famous Goodgirl Moonshine or the Shrinker), you can keep all the little bits of ginger or cinnamon stirred up and incorporated. You simply close the lid and give it a shake before drinking to ensure that everything stays where it should.
You can also make quick protein shakes with almond milk and protein powder with this apparatus. It’ll save you from having to whip out the blender!
The blender ball is usually dishwasher safe, and the plastic cup should be easy to wash out. If you’re concerned about estrogens and other materials leaching out of the plastic into your drink, especially if it’s a drink that you’re going to sip on all day and thus have more exposure to the lining of your bottle, you can try the blender ball out in a mason jar. Please shake carefully if you do!
7. Ninja Master Prep Blender and Food Processor
Sometimes you just need a good, sturdy blender and food processor. I love this one by Ninja for its affordable price tag and quick speed. When the reviews say that it mixed their margaritas too well, that’s the blender that I want for blending okra, cauliflower, and other veggies into oblivion to add to my soups, smoothies, and more.
So far, I’ve had this one for almost a year, and it’s still going strong! It makes the most delicious cauliflower mashed “potatoes” in the food processor and is also perfect for pumpkin cheesecake! Technically, it’s dishwasher safe, but I feel more comfortable washing the food processor cup by hand.
8. Immersion Blender and Whisk
I think that I use this every day. It has been such a time saver and lets me make so many delicious, slimming foods! This powerful little immersion blender is great for creaming up soups like black bean or tomato basil bisque, and I love using it to add berries to my daily kefir. Plus, everything is dishwasher safe to make clean up a breeze.
For more on why I drink kefir daily, check out this post on Fixing Food Sensitivities.
And my favorite use for the whisk? Maple whipped cream!!! Once I started making my own simple maple or gingerbread whipped cream, I couldn’t go back to store-bought!
Simply pour some heavy whipping cream into the bottom of the dishwasher-safe cup. Then, add a dash (I usually use 0.5-1 tsp) of maple syrup or molasses (for THMers, also consider sugar free maple syrup for a personal choice item or make your own on-plan version), and whip on high until it thickens into whipped cream. The whole process usually takes 2 minutes or less, and the delicious end result stores in the fridge for up to 3 days.
9. Donut Pan
This little invention is perfect for creating almond flour bagels and pumpkin donuts! I love having options for breakfast, and I find that it’s easier to start the day eating healthy if I have some healthy foods already prepared. Both almond flour bagels and donuts can be made ahead and frozen, so you can just pop them out of the freezer on a hectic morning and know that you’re already crushing your morning with healthy treats for breakfast!
Side note: The bagels are good alone or toasted with butter, but I found that they are absolutely amazing and taste like the real things when topped with cream cheese and Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. It really takes them over-the-top-delish! This seasoning is also wonderful sprinkled on top of Asian dishes. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by, check it out here.
10. Single Serve Coffee Maker
This little gem greets me every morning, and a good cup of coffee helps me to jumpstart my day (with 2 kiddos 2 and under, I’ll take any help I can get!). I’ve considered getting a Keurig, which is definitely easier, but for the price, I love how simple and inexpensive my little one cup coffee maker is!
I like having a reusable filter, and that’s pretty much the only part that you need to clean. This also lets me save money since buying bags of coffee tends to be much cheaper per serving than buying coffee pods for Keurig or other similar machines. Also, with a single serve coffee maker, it’s quick and easy to whip up my favorite, healthy Iced Caramel Coffee on a warm summer afternoon!
Bonus Item: An Instant Pot
I almost didn’t include this one since I just got one for Christmas, but I find that I’m absolutely loving it and using it more and more! It’s a programmable pressure cooker, and it makes cooking super easy on those busy days when you forget to defrost meat and it’s already 4pm!
I love my crockpot, but the Instant Pot offers similar results in way less time. With a toddler running around and another little blessing on the way, I see lots more Instant Pot dinners in my future. And I’m cooking up some instant pot recipes for you to try soon (think super-creamy cheesecake and husband’s-favorite mozarella stuffed bacon meatballs and spaghetti.
My Top 10
I love and use these 10 (11) items frequently to save time, energy, and mess in my kitchen! They’ve all been super helpful on my journey to a healthy weight and lifestyle, and I hope that they can do the same for you! Here’s to a healthy 2018!
Which gadgets help you the most with your healthy lifestyle?