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November 29, 2022  |  Kitchen

Our nutrition expert shares the best gifts for healthy cooking

Many of us go into the new year vowing to eat healthier, but the specifics can elude us. Giving a loved one new cooking gear, whether they’re an advanced home cook or still learning, is a great way to set them on track to meeting their goals. While the market is flooded with tools and gadgets that promise to instantly transform our lives, BestReviews nutrition expert Molly Bremer highlights some of her favorites for healthy cooking that’s satisfying and rewarding.

In this article: NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z Blender, Rosle Stainless Steel Garlic Press, and "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" by Samin Nosrat.

Overcoming barriers to healthy cooking

As with any goal, cooking healthy food comes with barriers and challenges, which vary from person to person. Bremer recommends identifying your recipient’s barriers or “problem areas” and then "looking intentionally" (that is, avoiding being swayed by flashy advertising or unverified claims) for specific solutions.

For example, if you’re shopping for someone whose busy schedule makes it hard to find time for cooking, a kitchen gadget that can help them save time will be a welcome gift. Maybe the recipient is still learning the basics of cooking and can benefit from a cookbook that highlights easy, nutrient-dense dishes. High-quality spices or new cooking utensils can introduce creativity for someone who feels stuck in a cooking rut.

Best gadgets for healthy cooking

NutriBullet ZNBF30400Z Blender

“I love these blenders because it’s easy to throw in a bunch of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and nut butters, to make a smoothie,” Bremer said. The 64-ounce  pitcher is roomy enough for family-size recipes, its user-friendly design features three blending speeds and a pulse function and it's dishwasher-safe.

Sold by Amazon

Wusthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

A high-quality chef’s knife makes prepping ingredients much easier, not to mention safer. This world-renowned knife is made with high-carbon stainless steel and a long-lasting ergonomic synthetic handle. Its edge stays sharper longer, which means the recipient will experience hassle-free prep whether chopping, slicing or mincing.

Sold by Sur la Table and Amazon

Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag Bundle

Bremer loves having Stasher bags on hand for storing everything from chopped veggies to healthy snacks. Free of potentially harmful bisphenol A, this set of four food-grade silicone bags comes in two sizes to accommodate sandwiches and smaller snacks. They are dishwasher-safe and can be used in the microwave, freezer and even sous-vide.

Sold by Amazon

Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Straw Lid Insulated Water Bottle

“Hydration is an often-forgotten part of nutrition,” Bremer said. She recommends a fun water bottle the recipient will want to keep on hand to get their daily 4 to 6 cups of water. This 32-ounce insulated bottle is made from high-quality 18/8 stainless steel, comes in nine colors and includes a leakproof lid with a built-in straw. It’s also dishwasher-safe.

Sold by Sur la Table and Amazon

Ello Impact Reusable Stainless Steel Straws

With colorful BPA-free silicone tips, these reusable straws are a fun, eco-friendly way to help the recipient stay hydrated. They’re perfectly sized to fit through to-go cup lids yet thick enough for drinking smoothies. While they come with a cleaning brush, both the food-grade silicone tips and steel straws are dishwasher-safe.

Sold by Amazon

Yeti Rambler 30-Ounce Vacuum Insulated Tumbler

Having a sturdy to-go tumbler is “an economical and environmentally friendly way” to enjoy your favorite drinks, according to Bremer. Plus, having a high-quality cup at home makes brewing coffee easier and stopping for a sugary latte less tempting. This generously sized Yeti tumbler comes in dozens of colors and includes a magnetized lid.

Sold by Amazon

Rosle Stainless Steel Garlic Press

Mincing garlic is tedious and can discourage healthy cooking. This excellent stainless steel press is engineered for years of use. Its weighted handles press cloves with minimal effort, and its offset-arranged holes increase its yield. There's a hanging ring built into one handle for easier storage.

Sold by Amazon and Sur la Table 

Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker

The programmable features on this roomy rice cooker make it easy to create meals featuring perfectly cooked white or brown rice as well as other healthy grains. It also doubles as a slow cooker. It comes with a durable nonstick inner pot, a steamer basket, a measuring cup and a serving spatula.

Sold by Amazon

Best books for healthy cooking

"Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat" by Samin Nosrat

Bremer suggests this popular cookbook for its “plethora of great tips for cooking flavorful and satisfying meals.” Nosrat’s philosophy of mastering four key elements (salt, fat, acid, and heat) can help anyone become a more confident cook.

Sold by Amazon

“Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

This groundbreaking book challenges diet culture by helping readers develop intuitive eating, giving them the tools to make different decisions about what, why and when they eat. It shares 10 principles for a more satisfying, trusting relationship with food.

Sold by Amazon

"Gentle Nutrition" by Rachael Hartley

This book combines science-based self-help guidance with healthy recipes meant to create a healthier relationship with food and the body. With recipes for every meal plus snacks and desserts, it can be a valuable resource for healthier, tastier eating.

Sold by Amazon

"The Healing Soup Cookbook: Hearty Recipes to Boost Immunity and Restore Health" by Cara Harbstreet

Everyone loves a warm bowl of soup in the winter. This cookbook is nourishing for both the body and soul and features over 90 recipes, such as broccoli cheddar, matzo ball and spicy sweet potato soups. It also includes recipes for essential stocks and broths, including bone broth, dashi and chicken stock.

Sold by Amazon

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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.