Making good dietary choices is important to your long-term health, but old habits are hard to change. That’s why convincing people to change the foods they eat is so difficult – we want to eat the foods we grew up on, to enjoy comfort food the way it was “meant to be.” This isn’t about replacing the pasta in your mac and cheese with spiralized vegetables or eating baked tofu instead of fried chicken. Instead, the idea is to change how we cook rather than what we eat.
Testing out new cooking tools and devices is a great way to diversify your diet, try new things, but also enjoy old favorites in healthier ways. So what’s in your kitchen? These 5 tools could be great additions.
One of the least healthy things you can do to your food is to drop it into a deep fryer, but as anyone will point out, fried foods are delicious. How do you strike a balance? Your best option might be an air fryer.
Air fryers use a very small amount of oil to achieve the same delicious crispiness of deep frying. We recommend the NuWave Brio Digital, which circulates the oil around the food at a constant speed, preventing parts of it from over-crisping and others from getting soggy. You don’t need to give up every drop of oil to eat healthier, you just need to minimize your use for greater cooking efficacy.
Go Cast Iron
When purchasing frying pans, most people generally assume they have two options: nonstick pans that lose their coating over time and uncoated pans that require significant fat to keep foods from sticking. Luckily, there is a third way and one that will cut down on the fat in your cooking.
If you’ve ever been in your grandmother’s kitchen, you may have noticed her heavy, black pans that can move between the stove, oven, and even the fire pit. That’s a cast iron pan and it not only cooks evenly and lasts forever, but cast iron pans and Dutch ovens contribute flavor to your food and enrich it with added iron. Some pans are even pre-seasoned with natural, in-season organic oils, meaning you get all of the flavor and less of the fat.
It’s important to be careful when cleaning your cast iron pan if you want to keep this layer intact. Avoid using soap and clean the pan with an iron brush. If you accidentally scrape off some of the nonstick layer, you’ll have to re-season the pan using hot oil, but it will take time for the pan to regain its prior coating quality.
Drink More Water
This is the simplest rule of healthy eating – you need to drink more water. The problem is that many areas have sub-par water that simply doesn’t taste very good coming from the tap. In fact, it might not even be totally safe to drink without additional filtering.
Rather than buying countless cases of bottled water to up your water consumption, consider investing in a quality water filter. Choose one with a minimum of four filtration stages and an easy to change filter to be sure you’ll use the device regularly. While a classic Brita filter will do the job, you can also get a filter that attaches to your faucet. Soma’s plant-based water filter is also very popular, offering an elegant solution for a common task.
Get A Better Blender
You probably have a blender at home already, but if your blender is old and dull, you’re not likely to use it very often. Invest in a quality blender to amp up your diet with everything from natural (and healthier) Nutella to delicious, vegetable-rich soups without all the sodium and additives of the canned variety. You’ll quickly see how simple these foods are to make yourself.
Amp Up The Flavor
Finally, if you want to cook smarter and still eat delicious food, you need to focus on bright, palate-pleasing flavors. Make it easier to enjoy fresh herbs and citrus by investing in an herb mill and zester for your kitchen. These simple tools hardly take up any space and will give your dishes the tantalizing tastes we normally depend on fat and salt to provide.
So much of the food we eat starts out on a level playing field, so it’s not about avoiding “bad” foods. Rather, it’s about maintaining the best qualities of your foods through proper cooking practices. It’s time to get in the kitchen and test out these tools – you may be surprised how delicious the results are.