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5 Essential Appliances For Easy Healthy Meals

Why did the blonde put her iPhone in her blender?
Because she wanted to make apple juice. Wattpad

Lots of people want to eat healthier, but aren’t sure how. If you want to make more healthy meals at home, I recommend investing in these essential appliances. When you learn to use these tools effectively, you can easily make healthy meals at home every day.

1. Water Filtration System

The taste and nutritional value of the juices, teas, soups, pasta and other dishes you make all depend on the quality of the water you use.

Any water filtration system is better than none, but some systems are better than others. Distilled water is the purest. It’s H2O. In addition to hydrating your body, another main function of water is to help detoxify your body.

Tap water, bottled water and well water typically add noxious substances to your body. Because they’re already contaminated, they aren’t as effective as distilled water in helping to rid your body of toxins. Doesn’t it make sense to use pure H2O to ensure you aren’t adding more toxins to your body through the water you consume?

Drink Distilled Water Daily to Detox and Defend Your Body

You may have heard a myth that you shouldn’t use distilled water because it’s acidic or it pulls minerals from your body, but consider the source. “Often it is heard that the body needs the minerals found in water. Not so. Our food supply is the proper source of minerals.” J. Edward Smith

2. High-Power Juicer/Blender

rainbow fruit smoothiesBegin your day with a juice drink. This is a great way to help flush your body and cleanse away anything left from the prior day or two. The first thing I drink every morning is a smoothie made with fresh fruits. I often have a blend of citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, mandarins, lime or lemon. You can drink it at home or take it to go, but it’s best if you drink it as soon as possible.

Over the years I’ve tried several different juicers, all of which had high ratings at the time. Many of them are cumbersome and difficult to clean. I’ve also purchased countless blenders in all the top brands, many of which were used to make smoothies numerous times a week by several family members. Very few blenders survived more than a year. They simply aren’t built to last. Despite the disappointment with most juicers and blenders I’ve owned, I never lost hope that eventually I’d find ones that were easier and more dependable.

One day several years ago I saw a guy demonstrating a Blendtec in a Costco. I had no intention of making such a large purchase that day, but the demo and the samples were so compelling that I decided to cave in to this impulse buy. He had what I wanted. The Blendtec has turned out to be the best juicer/blender I’ve ever owned. It works pretty much like a blender, but it’s much more powerful and much easier to clean.

With the Blendtec, you can make countless combinations of juices, smoothies, soups and sauces using whole fruits and vegetables. Unlike a juicer, it doesn’t extract the pulp, so you end up with less food waste.

I love drinking fresh juice not only for the health benefits, but because of how much I enjoy the tastes and because of how good I feel after drinking them.

3. Refrigerator/Freezer

Choose a refrigerator with lots of clear drawers. Most homes and apartments in the US come equipped with a refrigerator, so most people don’t shop for them very often. But if and when you do have the chance to shop for a refrigerator, look for one that has lots of clear drawers that can easily be pulled out and placed on your countertop. This makes it easy to store produce. Many whole fruits and vegetables can be stored without any additional packing, except for what nature gave them, so if you have lots of drawers to organize them, you can keep a fruit drawer full of oranges and apples, for example. You can use the largest drawers to store larger vegetables or fruits such as cauliflower, cabbage or watermelon. My husband and I eat lots of produce every day. I store a lot of it (without any packaging) in drawers .

Become familiar with the shelf-life of various fruits and vegetables. Even if you regularly eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, it can be helpful to check to how long they typically last. StillTasty.com is a great resource to check when you want to see how long something will last. I just did a quick search for carrots, and came up with a dozen different ways to consider processing and storing them, including juicing, freezing, canning and more. It’s a great resource. I often get great ideas just by checking this tool. It’s especially helpful if you have a surplus of one type of food. I’m always open to trying new apps. I recently discovered EatByDate.com. It has a nice clean interface and might be a good tool for people learning to eat healthier, but it’s not very helpful for more experienced cooks.

If you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator for lots of fruits and vegetables, clear out the sodas, beers, condiments, packaged foods or whatever else is using up your refrigerator space. Chances are, you’ll be better off without them.

4. Cooktop

Is your kitchens well stocked with lots of pots and pans, including many you rarely use? If you live in a standard American home or apartment, you probably have a cooktop with four burners, but you rarely use more than two at a time. You probably have a big oven designed to hold a huge turkey and all its fixings. But you only cook like this a few times a year, if that. Even if you like to bake, you could get by with an oven half the size.

chinese food cartoon Funday MorningSimpler is better. In order to compete with other brands, companies add new designs, materials and features to cooktops and cooktop/oven combinations. Whenever you have choice, go for simple.

You only need one or two burners to make a quick healthy meal. This is one of the many lessons I learned in China: two burners are better than four. How many times do any of us use three or four burners at once? Not often, right?  Yet most cooktops sold in the US have four burners. Four burners take longer to clean than two. Our kitchen in China had a cooktop with two large gas burners (not four) that put out big flames. Directly under the two burners were two large drawers, one to hold the wok and a ceramic soup pot and another to hold a rice maker. The few cooking utensils hung on the hung on the wall near cooktop. This simple design made it so easy to cook and clean up. The kitchen in our upscale Chinese apartment did not have an oven. Yet we were able to have healthy meals every day without one.

You can make a quick healthy meal in one pot. One of the biggest lessons I learned from Zhu, our cook in China, is that you can cook just about anything in a wok. Before I moved to China I didn’t know anything about preparing Chinese foods. I had owned a wok for years and used it from time to time, but I had no idea of how powerful one kitchen tool could be. Zhu would clean, chop and prep all the ingredients first and then move on to the cooking.

Most foods, when prepped appropriately, can be stir fried in minutes. Check out this clip by Luke Nguyen, owner of Red Lantern, to see how quickly and easily you can prepare foods in a hot wok.

Although some ingredients may take a few more minutes, you can see how easy it is to prepare tasty dishes. If you want to make several different ones, you can make them simultaneously in the same wok or skillet. That way you only have one pot to clean up when you’re finished cooking. If you plan to use it for your next meal, store it on your cooktop to save time.

Stir-fry cooks come from all woks of life. PunOfTheDay

5. Food processor

What’s your idea of a quick and easy meal? A food processor is to a healthy eater what a microwave is to a Standard American Diet (SAD) eater. Depending on what you’re making, food processors can cut your food prep time in half.

Get a BPA-free food processor with high ratings and good reviews. I’ve owned a number of different food processors over the years. They all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. I recently purchased a Cuisinart 9-cup food processor not only because it’s BPA-free and has great reviews, but also because it fits between my countertop and cabinets. I also like the sleek design and the fact that it came in a brushed stainless. It only takes a quick wipe to make it look clean, which isn’t always the case with other finishes and colors.

Make a big pot of soup every week. When you have distilled water, a refrigerator full of fresh ingredients and a food processor or Blendtec, you can make a big pot of soup on your cooktop that you can enjoy for several meals in the upcoming week or or month (if you freeze some).

4 Super Smart SOUP Recipes You Can Savor Year Round

Donate your toaster, can opener and  other unnecessary gadgets to make room for your Blendtec and food processor. If you keep them on your countertop in the location where you’ll use them most, it makes it much easier to get to them and you’ll use them much more often.

One final word of caution. Never leave a pot of alphabet soup on the stove when you go out or it could spell disaster. PunOfTheDay

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doctorlorraine

Author doctorlorraine

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