Zoodles and other veggie noodles are one of the hottest new trends in the kitchen, and it's no wonder. They taste good, provide the base for whatever tasty sauce you'd like to pour on top, and pack a powerful punch of nutrients without wheat or other grains you might want to avoid. You can buy pre-spiralized zoodles in many markets these days, but they are expensive. Save your dollars, and do your own spiralizing instead.
Just choose one of the five cutlery-grade stainless-steel blade plates included with the Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, clamp your veggie or fruit into position, and turn the crank. Voila, you've got thin curls of veggie deliciousness that are perfect for stir-frying, soups, salads, pasta dishes, bowl lunches, or just about anything else you can cook.
The spiralizer comes with five different blades, and each one produces a slightly different thickness, twist, or shred. The spiralizer holds tight to your countertop with suction-cup feet, cleans up in the dishwasher, and works beautifully to spiralize just about any fruit or veggie that's firm, including zucchini, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, carrots, ginger, broccoli stalks, apples, pears, and cabbage.
Pros: A great way to add interest to vegetables and cut back on wheat and other carb consumption, includes three free recipe eBooks
Cons: You might eventually tire of the zoodle trend
The EZ Salad Cutting Bowl takes all the fussy chopping and slicing out of salad prep so you can eat salad more often.
If too many of your lunches come from vending machines or drive-thru burger joints, you can healthy-up your diet by choosing salad at least a couple times per week. The EZ Salad Cutting Bowl makes it easy to mix up a great salad quickly.
Just add your favorite mix of veggies to the EZ Salad Cutting Bowl – lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, or any others you like – rinse them right in the bowl, close the bowl's base, turn, slice through the bowl's slits, turn again, slice once more, and then open up the cutting bowl and enjoy your chopped salad. You can make fruit salad, as well.
With the Velesco Silicone Baking Mats, stuck-on baked goods, meats, or vegetables are a thing of the past, and you'll cut down on oils and fats, as well.
I use my aluminum baking sheets quite a bit, and not only for baking. Sheet-pan meals, heating up frozen foods, cooking bacon in the oven, and toasting seeds are all fairly common activities in my household. Scrubbing the sheets, however, was never much fun. It took me a while to discover the joys of silicone baking mats, but once I did, there was no turning back.
I've had my set of two Velesco Silicone Baking Mats for a year or so now, and despite frequent use, they are still unstained and have no signs of wear or tear. They fit nicely in my 16x12-inch baking sheets, and wash-up quickly with just a swirl in the sink and a little dishwashing soap.
I also use them to line my roasting pans; they fit nearly perfectly. No more cooking-oil sprays — which leave impossible-to-remove buildup on your cookware — no more soaking and scrubbing to remove cooked-on food, no more greasing the pan before I use it. Food also cooks evenly and removes easily from the food-grade silicone material.
The half-sheet baking mats are also perfect for rolling out cookie dough or kneading bread, rolling meatballs, or making candy. Go ahead and put the mats in your dishwasher, microwave, oven, or freezer and they will come out unscathed. They are also affordable when compared to the trendy Silpat brand.
Pros: No need for grease, butter, or oil on your baking sheets or roasting pans, and foods won't stick, even if burned
Want to add a powerful dose of flavor to your meals? Then instead of relying solely on salt, or automatically reaching for dried herbs and spices, get fresh herbs. It's hard to underestimate how much fresh herbs improve the taste of nearly any dish, including soups, roasts, salads, eggs, and stir-fries. While you can chop, chop, chop with a kitchen knife, it's so much faster and easier to use a pair of Jenaluca Herb Scissors instead.
Made of stainless steel with ergonomic handles, the herb scissors have five stacked blades on each side, so it's easy to snip your herbs or scallions as small as you'd like — even down to confetti-sized bits to use as garnish. The herbs won't be crushed, ripped, or bruised, either — just fresh and flavorful. You can even use the scissors to cut up deli meat, mushrooms, or dried fruit.
The Jenaluca Herb Scissors come with a cover that includes a small brush for wiping the blades clean, but they are also dishwasher safe.
Pros: Much faster and easier than chopping herbs with a knife
You won't need a colander to keep your pasta, beans, or veggies from sliding down the drain when you clip the Kitchen Gizmo Snap 'n Strain onto your pot first.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who's ever lost the entire potful of pasta while attempting to drain the cooking water into the sink. Too bad I didn't have a Kitchen Gizmo Snap 'n Strain — my dinner wouldn't have dropped down the drain.
This ingenious kitchen gadget has two clips that fasten to the sides of your pot or pan, and it's made of silicone to mold to the curve of the cookware. Just fasten the Snap 'n Strain in place before draining the cooking water and your food is safely contained in the pot — no need for a colander or separate strainer.
It's sturdy enough to hold back even heavy foods like potatoes, and can also be used to strain grease or fat from cooked meat.
The clip-on strainer fits just about any round pot or pan and is dishwasher safe. It takes up less storage room than a regular colander, as well.
Pros: Simplifies pasta making, reduces the chance of being burned by hot water, easy to store
Cons: Very small foods, such as couscous, might slip through the holes
Pineapple is loaded with Vitamin C, manganese (vital for collagen production and healthy skin), and bromelain, an enzyme that helps you digest proteins, thus reducing belly bloat and sluggishness. But serving pineapple can be a pain. Sure, you can open a can, but that doesn't come close to the glory of the fresh fruit. Slicing a whole pineapple, however, is not much fun. The leaves are sharp, the skin is tough, and the center core can be tricky.
Here comes the Super Z Pineapple Corer to the rescue. Just cut off the top of the fruit, center the stainless steel corer over the center of the pineapple, and then push while twisting. Boom, you have neatly sliced pineapple rings, just like the ones in the can, but fresh, juicy, and full of flavor. Eat it on its own, serve it in a fruit salad, or skewer chunks to grill with chicken or fish. So good.
Pros: Stainless steel construction is sturdy, turns out perfectly cored pineapple rings, encourages you to eat more of this healthy fruit
Cons: This is admittedly a one-trick pony of a gadget, but may be worth it if you eat enough pineapple
The Raniaco Stainless Steel Zester makes quick work of zesting and grating fruit, vegetables, cheese, chocolate, and many other flavorful ingredients.
Why break out the bulky box grater when it's so easy to use the Raniaco Stainless Steel Zester instead? This simple device has a comfortable-to-hold silicone handle and an 8-inch, stainless steel, sharply etched blade that easily grates and zests citrus, garlic, coconut, carrots, cheese, and just about anything else you want to reduce to finely ground fragments.
When finished, just rinse the blade clean under running water or pop it in the dishwasher. But watch out, because this gadget is sharp. It includes a safety case for storage.
Pros: Makes grating and zesting so easy, takes up little storage space
Cons: Only for finely grating ingredients, not for large or rough-chopped ingredients
Admittedly, there is nothing this kitchen gadget does that you couldn't accomplish with a knife. But a knife isn't nearly as much fun as the OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, and it's not as safe, either. Besides, anything that encourages you to eat more heart-healthy, delicious avocado is a must have.
I purchased this nifty gadget for my avocado-loving husband a couple years ago, figuring it would be a fun stocking stuffer. And it was, but to my surprise, we use this convenient device all the time. It's great for slicing avocados for salads, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and of course, guacamole. I even use it to scoop out avocado for my morning smoothies.
The OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer has a blade for slicing the avocado, a pitter for grabbing and removing the pit, and plastic blades to evenly slice and remove the avocado fruit from the skin. Once done, it easily rinses clean. The sturdy plastic is strong, and the gadget holds up to frequent use.
Pros: Fun to use and works well for preparing avocados
Cons: Another one-trick pony but worth it if it encourages you to eat more avocado
If you're vegetarian or vegan, you'll want to pass this one by. But if you love meat, the Bear Paws Shredder Claws are a must-have in your kitchen, or next to your backyard grill. These super-heavy-duty nylon "claws" make it easy to grab and lift a roast or other large cut of cooked meat, and when it comes to shredding, forget about forks or knives. Just dig these claws into the meat and shred away to your heart's content.
Of course, the Shredder Claws aren't only limited to shredding. You can also use one to stabilize watermelon, other large fruit, or a turkey or roast while you carve it. Once done, the claws are dishwasher safe. They're heat-resistant up to 475 degrees, too, so have no fear using them over the grill, but remember to protect your hands with oven mitts to prevent a burn.
Pros: Easier, faster, and safer than using a knife and fork to shred meat, useful for lifting large roasts or turkeys