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Eating well can be difficult, and there are many important nutritional topics to consider.
Furthermore, numerous challenges emerge as we endeavor to maintain a healthy diet.
These challenges may encompass our awareness of what we’re eating, the availability of time for food preparation, and the dilemma of choosing between convenient food and healthier options.
This article offers a guide to ten helpful nutrition-related appliances, services, and products that can assist us in addressing these challenges.
1) Manual Food Chopper
Many of us fail to incorporate an adequate amount of vegetables into our diets.
Research has indicated that one contributing factor to this trend is perceived time constraints; people often view vegetable preparation as a time-consuming task (1).
On this note, one effective approach to decrease the time spent on vegetable preparation involves the use of a manual food chopper.
These products are not only budget-friendly, but also operate without the need for electricity, unlike more expensive processors.
To chop vegetables with these devices, simply place the washed vegetables in the chopper, and, depending on the specific product, either turn the handle or pull the cord a few times.
As you perform this action, an internal blade spins, finely chopping the vegetables into smaller pieces.
2) Food Processor
For those who don’t mind the extra cost, a food processor offers greater versatility compared to a manual food chopper.
Unlike food choppers, a food processor can perform a wide array of valuable functions, which include:
- Chopping and slicing nuts
- Dicing and chopping vegetables
- Mixing and blending ingredients
- Pureeing ingredients into a thick liquid for making soups and stews
Depending on the specific model and specifications of the food processor, some can even knead dough or mince meat.
In essence, food processors have the ability to tackle kitchen tasks that would otherwise demand a considerably amount of our time.
3) Meal Delivery Services
In recent years, a variety of meal delivery services have sprung up, offering ready-to-cook meals delivered to your door. However, it’s worth noting that these services come at a premium compared with buying all the meal ingredients yourself.
On the other hand, these services provide everything you need for a meal, including precisely measured amounts of seasonings like herbs and spices. In some cases, this may be more cost effective than buying multiple ingredients separately.
While home cooking allows better control over ingredients, meal delivery services can also remove the need for grocery shopping and lessen the time required for cooking at home.
There is now a multitude of different meal delivery services, each offering something different. If you’re considering such a service, it is a good idea to explore the available options to find the right fit for your needs.
That being said, one delivery service that offers something a little more unique is Trifecta. What’s unique about this particular service is its delivery of chef-curated meals to your door, tailored to your preferred way of eating.
Whether your preferred dietary approach is plant-based, keto, paleo, or high-protein with grains, Trifecta offers options to cater for them all.
4) Air Fryer
Air fryers are a relatively recent addition to kitchen appliances, and they offer several advantages, such as:
- Energy-efficiency: They can help reduce energy costs when compared to running a large oven.
- Quicker cooking times: Air-fryers cook food quicker than a traditional oven, making home meal preparation less time-consuming.
- Easy to use: Air-fryers come with preset programs for a variety of foods, which makes using an air-fryer very user-friendly.
- Healthier fried food: Despite requiring minimal oil, air-fryers can mimic the taste of fried food. Compared to traditional deep-fat fryers, this makes the air-fryer a healthier option. A small amount of oil and the air circulation functionality of an air-fryer helps give food a fried crispy texture.
- Versatility: Air-fryers are suitable for cooking a broad range of foods, including meat and poultry, vegetables, fries, and more.
When searching for an air-fryer, it is important to consider its volume (capacity).
The volume is the determining factor in how much food an air-fryer can cook at one time. In this context, using a high volume air-fryer when you only need to cook a small amount of food reduces energy efficiency.
Likewise, a low-volume air-fryer may not be sufficient for preparing larger meals.
5) Transparent Labs
Navigating the world of supplements can be a minefield. While some supplements can offer genuine benefits, many are often over-hyped, ineffective, or clinically under-dosed. To make matters worse, some supplements may not even contain what they claim may even be contaminated with heavy metals (2, 3, 4).
Given these concerns, it is important to purchase supplements from reputable sources. One thing to look for here is the use of third-party testing. In this process, the company sends their products to an independent laboratory for evaluation. These tests assess the supplement’s ingredients, any contaminants present, the accuracy of the stated dose on the label, and so on.
One reputable supplement company that takes its commitment to transparency to the next level is Transparent Labs.
In this regard, Transparent Labs sends every supplement they produce to a third-party lab for testing.
What’s more, for ultimate transparency, they openly publish the lab reports, including analysis certificates and certificates of composition, for every product in their range right on their website.
6) Measuring Spoon Set
Many recipes call for precise quantities of ingredients like oil, sweetener, or other liquid-based ingredients.
But have you ever tried to guess what half a teaspoon, 10 ml, or any other measurement actually looks like when a recipe requires it?
In simpler terms, accurately measuring the right quantity of liquid for a recipe can be quite tricky.
However, a measuring spoon set simplifies this task considerably.
Some of the available measuring spoon sets offer precise measurements for a wide range of volumes, all included in one set.
Simply fill the corresponding deep spoon to the brim, and you’ll have an accurate 5 ml, 10 ml, half a teaspoon, half a tablespoon, or any other volume a recipe requires.
7) Digital Kitchen Scales
Estimating serving sizes when portioning specific foods can be quite challenging.
For example, an investigation by Consumer Reports delved into how much people tend to underestimate the average serving size of various foods.
As part of their research, they had 124 consumers use various cereal products to pour the quantity they typically have for breakfast. Notably, almost all participants (92%) exceeded the ‘recommended serving size’ (9).
Furthermore, the average overpour was even more significant for denser cereals, with granola being the most obvious example, at an overpour of 282%.
While some individuals may just prefer larger servings, many people are simply unaware of just how much they’re eating.
For these reasons, a set of digital kitchen scales can be a useful tool to ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of food, particularly when dealing with with denser food products.
These scales can help with portion control for foods like cereal, oats, nuts, seeds, dried legumes, and so on.
8) Slow Cooker
A slow cooker offers a straightforward way to prepare soups and stews.
Simply place the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and let the slow cooker do its job.
Additionally, using a slow cooker enables you to schedule the cooking process so that the meal is ready at a specific time.
The convenience of returning home from work or school to find a freshly prepared meal, hot and ready to eat, is both convenient and time-consuming.
In recent years, there have even been ‘smart’ slow cookers become available, which allow you to remotely control the appliance’s settings.
9) Immersion Blender
Unlike traditional blenders, an immersion blender allows you to blend or puree food directly in the pot or pan it’s being cooked in.
Among its potential uses, immersion blenders make it simple to create soups, stews, and purees from hot food. They are also handy for mixing things like fruit purees, batter mixes, protein shakes, and condiments such as hummus, mayonnaise, and salsa.
Immersion blenders are also commonly referred to as ‘stick blenders’ or ‘hand blenders.’
Furthermore, they eliminate the need to transfer cooked foods to a traditional blender, which saves both time and effort.
Another advantage of immersion blenders is their cost, as they tend to be more affordable than countertop blenders.
10) Grill Pan
Grill pans are a convenient and versatile kitchen pan that we can use to cook a wide variety of foods.
For those who enjoy grilled cuisine, a grill pan allows you to make grilled meat, seafood, tofu, vegetables, and much more.
Notably, a grill pan will also impart those distinctive grill marks that are a signature of foods cooked on a grill.
Moreover, you can grill everything in the same pan, on the stove, without requiring an oven or a barbecue. As a result, you can save time and money in the process.
The products, appliances, and services in this guide can each contribute to simplifying diet and nutrition-related tasks.
While none of them are essential, many of these products can assist in saving time, as seen with immersion blenders, or money, as demonstrated by energy-efficient air fryers.