Good nutrition starts in the kitchen and it is so much easier to cook nutritious foods if you have the best equipment available. Here are some terrific gift ideas to make healthier cooking easier.
Computerized Kitchen Scale
A top-of-the-line kitchen scale calculates the calories, protein grams, carbohydrate and total sugar grams, and the amount of fat, fiber, sodium, and cholesterol. It can also calculate your net carbohydrates and displays the glycemic index value of your foods. A must-have for someone who needs to monitor calories, macronutrients, and portion sizes
Steaming vegetables is better than boiling because vegetables cooked this way retain more of their healthy nutrients
. You can steam your vegetables with a basket steamer, but it's much more convenient to use a stand-alone unit. After your rice or vegetables are cooked, you can use the steamer to keep them warm.
Knife Block Set
A good set of knives makes food preparation much easier. What new cook wouldn't love this set of Wusthof knives and block? A beginner's set usually includes:
- 3 1/2" Paring Knife
- 8" Bread Knife
- 6" Cook's Knife
- 9" Sharpening Steel
- Kitchen Shears
- 9-Slot Block
Bamboo Cutting BoardEvery cook needs at least one cutting board and two is better so you don't have to keep washing them while you're in the middle of your food preparation. Bamboo is an excellent choice because it's more durable than a typical maple cutting board. It's also resistant to bacterial growth.
Vacuum SealerUse a food sealer to prepare your foods for storage. It's also handy for sealing extra meals so you can keep them in the freezer until you're ready to heat them up for a future dinner.
Digital Meat ThermometerA programmable thermometer makes it so easy to measure the internal temperatures of the meats and casseroles you cook. Look for one that has an alarm that goes off automatically when your food reaches the preset temperature.
Stainless Cookware SetUsing old worn-out pots and pans makes cooking and cleaning more work (and they look ugly too). A beautiful stainless steel set is the perfect replacement - in fact they're almost too pretty to keep in your cabinets.
MandolinA mandolin vegetable slicer is an excellent kitchen tool for slicing vegetables. A typical mandolin has blades that allow the cook to slice, julienne, crinkle-cut or waffle-cut vegetables at different thicknesses.
Food ProcessorFood processors serve so many purposes in healthful cooking. A first-class food processor has plenty of power, plus a large bowl and easy to clean dishwasher-safe parts.