You have heard the quote, "Abs are made in the kitchen" and it couldn't be closer to the truth. I am a firm believer that a successful fitness plan needs to be concentrated around eating clean and nutritious foods. That means, learning to prepare your meals and spending a good amount of time in the kitchen. With the right kitchen gadgets, not only can you decrease preparation time but you can have a much more enjoyable experience. It is definitely not fun chopping vegetables with a dull knife or what about hand drying every piece of lettuce that gets washed?! Over the past decade, I have collected quite a few, what I call, "Kitchen Must Haves" that have made my food preparation easy, efficient and enjoyable! Having the right tools can really help you in your fitness journey! Check out my Top 12 Kitchen Must Haves. Over time, you can start to add these to your shelves and see what a difference it makes in your fitness journey!
Top 12 Kitchen Must Haves
1. Food Processor:
My Food Processor saves me so much time! Rather than individually chopping everything up! From veggies to nuts, I simply place everything in the food processor, press the button and within seconds to minutes everything is ready to go. I use my food processor for just about everything! Some of my favorite things to prepare in my food processor are nut butters, salsa, sauces, soups, and to finely chop my vegetables. Now that I am a mom, I am using my food processor to make homemade baby food too!
2. Vitamix (High Powered Blender):
I have gone through several blenders in my time. The Vitamix is by far my absolute favorite and I would have to say the one thing I use the most. I use it several times a day to prepare my protein shakes, smoothies and green drinks. I have even used my Vitamix to make soups and sauces but for the most part use this for my blended drinks.
3. The Magic Bullet:
I use my Magic Bullet when I travel. I prefer my shakes blended with ice so they are thick and creamy. My Vita-mix is a bit too big to take on the go, unfortunately, so the Magic Bullet does the job. It is small, portable and allows me to get in my protein shakes and green drinks no matter where I may be. Some may say, why don't you just shake your protein with water? The truth is, what keeps me on track is preparing things the way I like them so if bringing a portable blender with me on the run is going to help me stay on track, I will take it anywhere. :)
4. The Slap Chop:
I use my Slap Chop similar to my food processor but it is a bit smaller and if I am not chopping a large amount of something, it is easy to grab from the cupboard and quickly chop. It is perfect for a single serving of something and when I am not cooking in bulk. My food processor takes a little bit more time to set up and clean up whereas my Slap Chop is a bit faster to grab, use and clean. I mostly use this to finely mince vegetables or chop nuts.
5. Different Size Mixing Bowls:
Any kitchen needs a few mixing bowls but who has room for all these bowls? That is why I love these stackable mixing bowls that come with lids. Whether I eat a large salad right out of one, prepare turkey burgers, crack eggs or just use them to store leftovers, I use my mixing bowls all the time. I love the ones that have lids so I can use them to store too. Simply put a lid on them and place them in the refrigerator.
6. An Egg separator:
Egg Whites are a staple in my diet. Rather than deal with separating the egg yolks from my egg whites, this egg separator is a simple tool that does the trick. I love my egg separator and use it all the time!
7. Mini Muffin Pan:
I bake a lot of protein muffins and my famous zucchini loafs. I like to change it up and prepare them in my mini muffin pan. I have found that changing the size and shape of my protein muffins, makes it fun and for some reason makes them "taste different". I also have found that when you have 6 mini muffins vs. 1 big muffin, it feels like you are eating more, which has been one of my diet tricks that has worked for me! ;)
8. Waffle Maker:
Just like I like to make my mini muffins and protein pancakes, I love waffles. I simply pour my Protein Pancake batter into my waffle maker and make a perfectly healthy waffle. Changing the texture and adding variety to your menu helps keep things fun and exciting. One of my favorite simple recipes is my Pumpkin Protein Waffles.
Gina's Pumpkin Protein Waffles
2 egg whites
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Simply mix and pour into a waffle maker sprayed with non stick spray. Cook and enjoy!
9. Mini Pancake Pan:
Similar to my mini pancake pan, my mini pancake pan is fun to use. Rather than getting 1 giant pancake, I create 7 mini pancakes. I love this pan and use it on a daily basis!
10. Salad Spinner:
I am a salad lover and eat salads around the clock. My salad spinner saves me dry time. Rather than patting my chopped lettuce dry, I simply place it in my spinner, give it a spin and it removes all the excess water from the leaves. A must have for those salad lovers out there!
11. Food Scale:
This is a must have, especially for those that are learning about serving sizes and watching their portions. You would be surprised what a 3-4 ounce piece of lean protein looks like. Whether you are new to this fitness lifestyle or are a veteran, it is really easy to serve more than 1 serving so keeping yourself in check with a food scale is essential towards reaching your goals!
12. Garlic Peeler:
For less than $10, this amazing creation is a must have for garlic lovers. I love using fresh garlic but use to get frustrated peeling it. I heard about this garlic peeler, which is literally just a floppy tube, that peels a clove of garlic by placing the unpeeled cloves in the tube and adding pressure as you roll it a few times. It has been a life savor and saved me peel time! This great kitchen gadget is less than $10, another plus!