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Before I got married and had kids, food and nutrition weren’t nearly as much of a focus in my life as they are now.
As a single woman living alone, I relied on quick and easy meals like scrambled eggs or pasta and broccoli.
If I cooked, it would have been something like a piece of pan-seared salmon but snack foods like hummus, crackers and cheese sticks for dinner were just as good—seriously!
Of course, Chinese take-out was always an easy option too.
When I met my husband however, I became more interested and inspired to cook healthy, delicious meals.
Since he works in the restaurant business and even worked as personal chef, he taught me how to use a knife and cutting board, how to roast a whole chicken and how to prepare a real meal from scratch.
Although cooking techniques like blanching still throw me off and I’m not all that adventurous with herbs and spices, I can hold my own in the kitchen today.
Of course, having kids has also been a driving force behind my motivation to cook. Between making homemade baby food, preparing their school lunches and cooking dinner almost every night, I’m always in the kitchen.
But let’s be honest: cooking takes time—time I don’t always have.
So over the years, I’ve found some amazing kitchen gadgets that have helped make meal prep easier, helped me pull together meals faster, and saved my sanity.
Here are 5 kitchen gadgets I can’t live without.
I recently received the Vitamix as a Christmas present from my husband and after getting over the initial sticker shock, I was hooked.
Unlike the small blender I was using, I love that you can put several types of vegetables for a smoothie in the Vitamix and it blends up everything into a super-smooth consistency, much like a juicer, but the fiber is still there.
The other great thing about the Vitamix is that it isn’t just for smoothies. You can use it to make homemade nut butters, dips and spreads, soups, frozen desserts, flours and dough and non-dairy milk.
2. Solid Wood Chopping Bowl
This solid wood chopping bowl and mezzaluna knife is hands down, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and a tool I use every day.
There’s nothing more delicious than a chopped salad and with this bowl, you don’t have to drop $10 at your favorite lunch spot to get it. I simply add salad greens, onions, carrots and avocado and chop everything up in the bowl. I add dressing and a protein and lunch is ready in minutes.
If you want your kids to eat more vegetables, it’s also a great tool to get them in the kitchen to prepare—and get excited about—healthy meals too.
3. Pampered Chef Pan
Pampered Chef is known for their stoneware and for good reason.
I use this Pampered Chef pan most days of the week to roast vegetables and make sweet potato fries, and meatballs. Everything you make with the pan is evenly cooked, crispy on the outside but moist on the inside and bursting with flavor.
It’s also a breeze to clean and doesn’t require any soaking or scrubbing.
4. Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner
If there’s one kitchen gadget that ensures you’ll always have a quick and easy meal on hand, it’s the Oxo good grips salad spinner.
It’s a totally old-school kitchen gadget but it’s a must-have to wash salad quickly and keep it fresh all week long.
5. Cuisinart Stand Mixer
Another classic tool, the Cuisinart Stand Mixer is a kitchen gadget I’ve had since I got married and it’s become quite useful throughout the years.
If you love baking as much as I do, the mixer is a must-have.
Although it’s not in my regular daily rotation, it’s come in handy for making breads, my nana’s famous Christmas cheesecake and my kids’ birthday cakes.
What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets? Leave me a comment!