Must-have healthy cooking gadgets

Woman's Day

Healthy kitchen gadgets

(Photos : Matthew Orlando Photography; Frank Dondoyano; Prepara; Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc.; Sur La Table)

Help your family eat well with these top kitchen tools $25 and under.

Sticking to a nutritious diet isn’t always easy. But you’d be amazed by how a handful of new budget-friendly gadgets can make healthy eating less challenging. Toss those dusty, rarely used kitchen tools to make room for these super seven, which make it simpler to enjoy wholesome meals, snacks and even drinks. 

Salad Saver

(Photo: Jokari/US Inc.)

Salad Saver

Throw drowning salads a life preserver with this nifty dressing cruet.

First, make a flavorful vinaigrette with one of the easy recipes embossed right on the bottle—no searching for recipe cards and less sodium, saturated fat and additives than many store-bought varieties.

Next, squeeze your homemade dressing into the single-serving chamber at the top of the container and pour on a sensible portion.

Healthy Steps Portion Control Dressing Cruet, $11;

Fish tongs

(Photo: Matthew Orlando Photography)

Great Catch

The widely touted benefits of fish, a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, have converted schools of former fish forgoers, not that cooking fillets has become any easier.

If following the American Heart Association’s recommendation of eating fish (especially the fatty kind like salmon) at least two times a week is frustrating because your fillets fall apart in your baking dish or pan, try these tongs. They’re specially shaped to pick up fish in one piece, and the silicone won’t scratch your pan.

Cuisipro Fish Tongs, $19.95;

(See also: Best iced tea brands)

Apple corer

(Photo: Frank Dondoyano)

To the Core

You might be thinking, “Hey, this apple corer looks familiar.” Don’t be fooled: This one trumps the old-school gadget in functionality.

Forget about the days of wrestling broken wedges out of the sharp base. After plunging the slicer through your apple, flip the cover back under the base, press down and voila: eight perfectly popped-out apple (or pear!) slices.

Progressive International Wedge and Pop Apple/Pear Slicer, $9.99;

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Chef’n Corn Scrub Brush

(Photo: Chef’n Coporation)

Aw, Shucks

At meals, you want to aim for a plate that’s half-filled with fruits and veggies, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Who doesn’t love when sweet corn on the cob (or grilled corn salad or salsa) takes up a big piece of that real estate? Alas, the pesky silk that’s tough to shuck away from those ears can be quite the turn-off. Enter this clever brush with tapered bristles, which clears the strands without bursting the juicy kernels.

Chef’n Corn Scrub Brush, $8;

Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Single-Serve Blender

(Photo: Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc.)

Solo Sip

Dragging out the big blender to make a fruit smoothie can be, well, a drag—and that’s before you have to clean the clunky appliance. This compact contraption blends together all your nutritious ingredients right into a stainless-steel drinking cup. It’s ideal when you’re on the go, since it nestles into most cars’ drink holders and comes with a convenient lid.

Hamilton Beach Stainless Steel Single-Serve Blender (model 51108), starting at $25; Yahoo! Shopping.

Prepara Roasting Laurel

(Photo courtesy of Prepara)

Above It All

Here’s a laurel you’ll want to rest on—or at least rest your poultry, beef and pork on. These bendable silicone leaves elevate roasting meat so your food doesn’t soak up unhealthy fat drippings.

Other perks: This pretty dishwasher-friendly vine allows the sides of your bird to brown well and eliminates the need for hard-to-wash roasting racks. You can also use it to steam fish above simmering water in a covered pan.

Prepara Roasting Laurel, $24.99;

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Sur La Table Microwave Popcorn Maker

(Photo courtesy of Sur La Table)

Pop Star

Packed with fiber and antioxidants, popcorn can be a stand-up whole-grain snack—if you eschew the pre-popped, chemical-doused store and movie versions.

With this simple microwave popper, you can have plain, additive-free popcorn in minutes—and for less moola than the microwaveable bags. For a flavor boost, sprinkle on garlic powder or a little parmesan (that’ll add a calcium kick, too). As an occasional treat, put a dab of butter or margarine on the silicone lid, and the topping melts onto kernels as they pop.

Sur La Table Microwave Popcorn Maker, $20 for 1-quart size;

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