Healthy cooking is not only about low calories and low fat. There are many things which contribute to a meal being healthy. It includes the method of cooking and the things used for cooking. For example, if the utensils and kitchen tools are right, cooking at home can become healthier, easier and a more enjoyable experience.
Let us see the tools and equipment essential in a kitchen. Most of the equipment is inexpensive.
1. Durable non-plastic containers/ Mason jars
Durable containers made of heat resistant material or glass are a very essential part of the kitchen. You would need them to store various ingredients including spices, noodles, jams etc. Mason jars can be used in brewing kefir as well. They’re inexpensive, durable and they keep food in good condition. Buy a few plastic caps as well to keep them airtight.
2. Wooden cutting boards
A hard wooden cutting board is a must for chopping vegetables, meat etc. Wood does not affect the sharpness of knives and they’re not prone to bacteria manifestation either. Wood is generally not very withstanding of dish washers but a good wooden board made of bamboo or maple is a must for every kitchen. They can be cleaned and polished with edible mineral oil once in a while.
3. Non-stick spatulas and wooden spoons
Spatulas and spoons are the most handy pieces of equipment for the kitchen. They have not been modified much since the ancient times but a good stock can save you a lot of trouble and also make your cooking experience an enjoyable one. Wooden spatulas and spoons are recommended for non-stick cookware and every other cookware as well.
4. Cast iron skillet
Cast iron is a very durable and multipurpose material. Cast iron has a great heat retention capability. Cast iron cookware can both be used in the microwave and on the stove. Good quality and seasoned cast iron skillets, cauldrons and pots are non-sticky, heavy duty and can last a lifetime. They’re inexpensive and are frying or sautÃ©ing.
5. Metal mixing bowls
A couple of large or medium sized mixing bowls should be present in every kitchen. Small bowls are pretty handy when mixing spices, purÃ©es, sauces etc. You can use the mixing bowls for tossing salads, whipping up salad dressings, mixing dough, marinating chicken and much more. Stainless steel is the best of them as they’re lighter, more durable and a easy clean. Glass mixing bowls are pretty good but a slip of the hand and it’s all over.
6. Pyrex measuring bowls or glass
Pyrex bowls are the most versatile and durable pieces of equipment out there. They can be used for measuring the amount of food, grains etc. They can be used in the microwave and also on the stove or open fire. They’re made of forged plastic and can be used for both measuring and cooking.
7. Chef’s knife
There is no known substitute for the chef’s knife. They’re sharp, do not blunt or dull out easily and they provide fast, accurate and sharp cuts. They can be used to cut vegetables, fruits, celery, meat, fish and everything else you require to cut or chop. They’re a bit expensive and you need to find the right one to fit your hands, but they’re worth the investment. Keep a few boning knives as well, they’re good to strip off meat from bones when cutting chicken.
8. Non-stick cookware
Not much explanation is required here for sure! Non-stick cookware is fast to consume heat, so they get heated pretty quickly and they hold it longer as well. If you want cook with less oil, then non-stick pans are pretty much indispensable. They can be used for frying, baking, sauteing and they’re very easy to clean.
9. Sharp peelers and colanders
A peeler is a necessity when it comes to peeling vegetables like potatoes, carrots etc. They save you time and frustration which can be created if using a knife.
Colanders are useful when it comes washing and draining vegetables. They can also be used to drain pasta, noodles etc and as a steam basket. A metal colander is cheap and lasting.
10. Saucepans, stockpots etc.
Saucepans and casseroles pans are a must have kitchen equipment whether you’re concerned about cooking healthy or not. You can use them for making stews, gravy, soups etc. Larger stockpots are used for making stocks, stews and even brewing beer.