Normally, I’m the first person to skip past all the kitchen gadgets because they take up a lot of space, and really, how many times will you use it?
Well, as I move into my 30th week of meal prepping, these are the things I find myself using regularly! I’ve listed them in order of importance. Also, I’m NOT sponsored by any of these companies, I researched and bought each of these on my own.
1. Meal prep containersLiterally, the most important item for meal prepping is having enough containers. I use plastic because one, they are lighter to carry when your lunch bag has a million things in it and two, I never heat my food up in plastic containers (all those bpa things blah blah you know what I mean…and yes glass probably still would be better even if i’m not heating up my food but this is how I like it).
When counting macros or calories it is crucial to weigh most of your food. I always use a scale to weight out my protein, measuring cups just don’t cut it. Food scales are also really important when counting your macros because I calculate my macros for the entire recipe and divide that based on the number of servings. For instance, if I make 5 servings of chili in my Crockpot, I need to make sure I’ve divided the entire recipe into 5 equal portions.
I got my scale at Winners (which is essentially Marshalls) and yes it has a built in dock for an ipod [makes puzzled face]. You probably shouldn’t use the music feature and the scale feature at the same time. Seriously, who thought that would be a selling point. Anyway, I bought it because it was reasonably priced and was made in Germany…and it actually works really really well. You can change how it weighs things oz, grams, etc and it has a “tare” feature which deducts the weight of your empty container so you don’t have to do any subtraction in your head (meal prepping already has enough math involved, give your brain a break!)
My Oster waffle maker is super simple, no frills. It claims to have temperature settings but that’s debatable. Mine is permanently set to medium. For less than $20 usd (which is less than the cost of going out for waffles..for 2 people) you can make waffles everyday!!! Or, you can be like me and make waffles on the weekend, for the entire week!! Ps. Waffles freeze really well. Just take them out of the freezer the night before you want to eat them.
3. My Crockpot When they say, “set it and forget it” that is literally all you have to do. My favourite things to make in the Crockpot are pulled chicken, [toss chicken breasts in an oiled Crockpot with something as simple as a litre of chicken broth, bbq sauce or a fancy marinade..wait 4 hours a pull the meat apart with two forks. Ta da! Told ya it was easy], oatmeal, chili and chicken/turkey soup from scratch! Recipes like these only require about 15 minutes of prep time means I’m free to do something else, and there isn’t much clean up either. I’ve had my Crockpot for over 8 years and it continues to serve me well. It isn’t fancy, it just lets me choose low or high for cooking and then the cooking time. I honestly don’t need it to have any other features though.
4. My Food processorI use my food processor primarily for making cauliflower rice/cauliflower pizza crust/grating cheese, making hummus and dips. While you can definitely use a grater to make cauliflower rice, I’m a huge fan of my fingertips so..I don’t do that. I got the 10 cup food processor because I can fit 1/2 a cauliflower head in at one time which means I’m spending less time prepping and more time cooking.
Not only is spiralizing soooo much fun, it make super awesome things that make your tummy happy! I love making zucchini noodles and cucumber noodles, spiralizing carrots for salad and spiralizing sweet potatoes and yams to make my own shoe string fries [that I just pop in the oven..recipe to come]. I own a julienne peeler (which is okay to make short zucchini noodles) but, it is tiring and hard to maneuver as your zucchini gets smaller. I also have a hand spiralizer which works really well but its extremely tiring if you’re doing more than one zucchini. The Paderno Spiralizer is definitely the easiest one to use. Even when spiralizing tougher things like potatoes I don’t have to use a lot of force! I definitely did a lot of research before buying this one and I couldn’t be happier!
A late addition but….
6. My rice cooker has changed my life!
The biggest reason I would eat white rice before was because I disliked the texture of brown rice. Last year we splurged on a new Zojirushi Rice Cooker and it has forever changed the way we feel about brown rice. It makes it so fluffy and moist that my husband always double checks if it’s actually brown rice or white rice! Fun facts: Brown rice has fewer carbs and more fiber. It also contains more vitamins and minerals because it white rice has been refined. Lastly, brown rice has a glycemic index of 50 compared to white rice which has a glycemic index of 89!!! The higher the number the quicker the food causes your blood sugar to rise before dropping.