Healthy kitchen gadgets can make eating well so much easier. Editor Anna Magee on the gadgets that live in her kitchen and make healthy eating a breeze
1. Best lemon squeezer: The Lemon Press
Having water with fresh lemon juice in the morning can have a cleansing effect, which is one of many tips by natural health guru David Wolfe.
I was first introduced to this gadget by one of my favourite nutritionists Ali Godbold who I love because she is a fantastic healthy cook but also makes everything super easy. I use it every morning to make my trusty pint of hot water and lemon. Just place the lemon (or lime for that matter) into the press and well, press. It takes care of all the pips and pressing hard means you extract much more juice than you would with manual squeezing. One of my favourite bargains of all time.
Available on Amazon: Lemon press squeezer – Mexican elbow Price: £5.92
2. Best blender: Vitamix Pro 750
This is probably a predictable choice but honestly, I can’t live without my Vitamix! I got mine for Christmas in 2014 and my husband splashed out and bought me the ‘pro’ version and I am so glad he did. At £650 it’s eye-waveringly expensive but here are the reasons this really is the creme de la creme in the healthy kitchen gadget department.
Along with blending anything, including super-hard beetroot into smoothies, it’s also a soup maker and makes piping hot, cooked soup from scratch in about 10 minutes. You simply throw in the ingredients, set it to ‘soup’ and ten minutes of loud noise later, you’re ready. I throw in kale, stock, garlic and then top it off with shredded spring onions or parsley for a light detecting soup.
But there’s so much more. There is also a ‘frozen desserts’ dial which means you can make fresh sorbet with nothing but frozen fruit. I always have frozen strawberries in the freezer and the Vitamix turns them – plus a bit of stevia to sweeten it – into the most divine sorbet. I also like using frozen banana, pear and a little cacao powder for a chocolatey treat.
Should I keep going or are you totally bored? One more thing it does and then I will stop. It makes the most profound nut butters with nothing but nuts. Peanuts. almonds, brazils, cashews. For making nut butters I use the dial you can control yourself so I can monitor the consistency (I like peanut butter crunchy but cashew butter smooth).
I know it’s pricey but having broken a gazillion other blenders with my brutal smoothie-making habits, this is money well spent. Plus, given all the freebies I get sent, the fact that my husband actually walked into Selfridges and actually paid full price for this (after I ordered him to of course) is saying something.
Available on Amazon: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender 010337 Price: £650
3. Best smoothie-maker: Nutribullet
So why would I need a Nutribullet and a Vitamix? Well, I keep the NutriBullet in the office for making smoothies for snacks or if I am running late and need breakfast in the office.
But if you are looking for a more affordable blender than the Vitamix, the Nurtibullet might be the gadget for you. You wouldn’t believe it judging by it’s size but this tough machine is built with bullet cyclonic action (yes this is serious stuff) and turbo extractor blades that reach a whopping ten thousand RMP. At this speed the blades can pulverise all of the fiddly bits that are packed with goodness into a lusciously thick smoothie that’s easy to digest, meaning your body can get to work absorbing every last drop of nutrition more effectively. The strength of the blades gives room for much experimentation.
Chuck in ice or frozen fruits for a slush-puppie, blend nuts into a smooth creamy butter or even mill oats into flour for a wholesome breakfast shake. The secret with the NutriBullet is to blend for long enough so that your smoothie really gets, well, smooth and to avoid putting really hard vegetables like beetroots into it.
Available on Amazon: Nutri Bullet Price: £99.99
If you love the soup feature on the Vitamix but are looking for a cheaper version the Tefal Easy Soup might be just what you need. It has four different programs, chunky, smooth, compote and simple blend which allow you to make not only soup but also healthy smoothies. I have this at home and love it because you can choose a chunky soup option which I love. Just throw in the ingredients and it’s done in 25 minutes. For the price, this is a steal. It also makes stewed fruit which is a great sugar-free dessert (pears, plums and peaches work well)
Available from Amazon:Tefal Easy Soup Automatic Soup Maker Price: £66.66
5. Best spiralizer: Harcas Vegetable Spiralizer
Spiralizers are all over Instagram, Hemsley and Hemsley are doing them and spiralizing is one of the hottest food trends of the moment. We’ve found the easiest way to make the zoodles (sprialized courgettes) is this int and cheap gadget.
You won’t believe how delicious spiralized courgette tastes until you try it. The funky handheld mandoline by Harcas turns your veg into pasta in seconds and it’s as easy as using a giant pencil sharpener!
I love it because it’s not only easy but it’s really small and easy to clean and uses no electricity. You can use any cylindrical vegetables such as courgettes, carrots or daikon (delicious long white Japanese radish).
Available on Amazon: Harcas Vegetable Spiralizer With Cleaning Brush Price: £14.97
6. Best grinder: Wahl Mini Grinder
Always wanted freshly ground coffee, or love recipes that include ground nuts? The Wahl James Martin mini grinder is the perfect addition to a healthy kitchen, making it easy to grind fresh herbs and nuts. I use this one to grind up my herbs and also seeds such as sunflower, hemp and flax. Seeds and nuts are easier to absorb and digest when they’re ground and this literally works in a few seconds.
Available from Amazon: James Martin Mini Grinder ZX595 150 Watt, Stainless Steel Price: £15.16
7. Best lunchbox: Black + Blum Punch Pot
I recently got myself a personal trainer and could only justify the expense if I made my own lunch every single day. I love this because it’s totally leak-free and packs into a snazzy hold pack. I have tested it with leaky things like soup and stew and its totally sealed. Looks quite nice too, no? The two sizes are great for one big lunch or a medium lunch and a snack.
Available on Amazon:Black + Blum Lunch Pot, Lime Price: £16.59
8. Best de-seeder: The Pomegranate Tool
I love pomegranate added to green leaf salads and they can make a good choice of topping for yoghurts or cereal. They also make a good healthy snack but they can be tricky to eat. Getting all the seeds out of the skin can be time consuming. This simple tool removes the seeds from the hard skin with minimum effort. It’s completely manual and dishwasher safe and there are three parts, a plastic bowl, a deseeder and a soft cover. Watch the video below to see the magic happening.
Available from Amazon: Fashion Convenient Pitting Pomegranate Seed Arils Removal Kitchen Peeler Tool. Price: £9.99
9. Best nutmilk maker: Lovetree nutmilk Bag
Nutmilk is expensive but this makes it easy and cheap. The bag is a breeze to clean and dry quickly and is made from super fine mesh so there is a no-bits guarantee.
If you want to make your own nut milk at home soak nuts such as almonds or cashews in cold water overnight. Drain them, wash and then blend together with filtered water. Pour the mixture into a nutmilk bag and press all the liquid into a glass. You can keep nutmilk up to one week in the fridge. I use the ‘bits’ leftover to sprinkle on porridge or chia pudding.
Available from Amazon Price: £6.97
No kitchen gadget round-up is complete without a food processor but I hate giant gadgets clogging up my bench space which is there for chopping, kneading and sitting on while chatting on the phone.
That’s why I love the Magimix Le Mini Plus which is a compact version of the Magimix classic. Healthy foodies such as Deliciously Ella swear by the brand but if you have a small kitchen you might not like the idea of having another big gadget to cover-up the last bit of surface you have left. But don’t worry, the mini-version is slender but powerful.
It comes with high quality Sabatier stainless steel blades, an egg whisk, a citrus press and a spatula. It also includes a smaller bowl, perfect for preparing single person portions or dips. It’s a true allrounder and can make fluffy meringue, creamy hummus or healthy energy balls fast (remember my benchmarks? Easy and fast).
The Magimix Le Mini Plus is available in white, cream, red and black or a sexy chrome / satin and the auto function will adapt speed according to the task at hand. It performs well grinding nuts and is surprisingly silent. The cleaning process is straight forward and quick too.
Available on Amazon: Magimix Le Mini Plus Food Processor, 1.7 Litre, Black Price: £149.99
Anna Magee is the editor of healthista.com