Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Giving the Gift of Clean Eating (and fun kitchen gadgets I love or covet....)

My Christmas wish list this year looks a lot different than it has in years past. In the past I asked for books, cute clothes, sassy boots, books and lots of sparkly makeup. Since I have embraced clean eating and learning to make things for myself, I have found what kitchen gadgets are essential, what I need to get and what I really really want. I thought I would share what I have found to be some of the best purchases I have made since starting this lifestyle. (And some things I really really want.) So if there is someone in your life that is starting to clean up what they eat and avoid processed foods, think about a basket with some of these gadgets to help make being healthier everyday a little bit easier.

Olive oil sprayer --

I can not live without this. I use it almost every day and can fill it with the good stuff. I use it to spray oil on popcorn, in skillets, on salads and basically everywhere spraying oil is a good idea. And you use a lot less oil than when you just pour which can save a ton of calories. Win, win.

I have two different brands of these, a Misto and a Prepara . I like the Prepara. It costs a little more but it clogs less and it gives you the option of adding herbs and things to create infused oil. (And I like options.)

Electric Chopper

Sure you can cut up your own half an onion for that recipe but I like to avoid the whole crying into my dinner thing. I just cut it up in big chunks, throw it into this little baby and hit the button a few times (holding it down will turn it to mush) and boom! I have diced onions. No tears necessary. Plus it doubles to make mini goes of hummus or other dips. And it is small enough I can throw it in the dishwasher without it taking up the entire rack. (Dishwasher safe is an important word in this house.)

Air Popcorn Popper

This has been my saving grace on many occasions. There are just those nights when I am super snacky and I am kind of a popcorn-o-holic. So when I realized how many chemicals are in microwave popcorn, I knew I had to kick my popcorn habit to the curb. I was desperate to replace it with something and this little baby saved me. It is quick to pop and easy to clean. Plus it is like a super fun event in this house. My toddler loves watching for the popcorn to start popping and we top it with olive oil and whatever spices we feel like....fresh rosemary and sea salt popcorn anyone?

Immersion Blender

This thing may be my favorite kitchen tool of all time. I use it everyday to mix my Shakeology with frozen fruit and multiple times a week for things like pureed soups, salad dressings, hummus, pesto etc. It is so much easier to puree a soup in the pot than transfer hot liquid to a food processor. And it travels well so when I am taking my shakes on the road I pack this baby too.

Freezer Safe Jars

These are a must have for me. Freezer safe glass jars are designated by not having a curve under the neck of the jar. They are straight up and down. And are fantastic for freezing all the big batches of pureed soups I like to make.

Blender Bottles

Although I am trying to limit my use of plastics, I am finding it so hard to break up with these. I find them useful for so many things. I love keeping salad dressing in them.

Tortilla Press

Every since I visited my aunt in Texas and found them making fresh tortillas in the grocery store I was hooked. And they are almost impossible to make without a press. (Although if I do get one of these someone may want to come over and pry the fresh tortillas from my hand as I will certainly go to town for a while.)

Griddle Pan

For eggs, pancakes and all the tortillas I plan to make....all at once instead of cramming them into a tiny skillet.

Vegetable Spiralizer or as I like to call it a zucchini noodle maker

I have wanted one of these for a while now. I have visions of whole wheat pasta mixed with zucchini noodles dancing in my head. (And it will fit in my stocking *hint hint*)

Pineapple Corer

I saw one of these used at a mixology class and was amazed at how easy it was to core and slice a pineapple. (They intimidate me quite a bit.) And the leftover shell was used as a glass as a cocktail. Of course I want it.

Waffle Maker

My two year old is obsessed with waffles and it is really hard to find a decent brand of freezer waffles that meet my standard to toss into the toaster oven. I have dreams of making batches of these ahead of time and sticking them in the freezer for super busy mornings.

Food Dehydrator

I have a dried food addiction. It makes up for the fact that I love(d) all things gummy-- fruit snacks, candy, you name it. Dried apple rings are one of my favorite I feel like I am cheating snacks. And my aunt used to make homemade strawberry fruit roll ups that I loved. I have hopes and dreams of being able to make fruit roll ups (and eat them too!)

Check out this article for more info on how to choose the right food dehydrator for you.

Happy Shopping!

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