5 Kitchen Gadgets to Make Meal Prep Faster + Easier
I may be compensated through my affiliate links in this post, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Full disclosure statement here.
Meal prep is an incredibly important part of staying on track with your diet and making successful choices. However, no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen each weekend, slaving away to make the following week's meals. So, if you can, why would you not make your life easier? I think these are three incredibly convenient, easy-to-use, multi-purpose tools that make meal prep so easy.
So you all know by now that I'm a huge fan of a digital food scale because I think it's highly important to staying on track with your diet and accurately tracking your macros. There are hundreds of food scales out there, but it's important to find one that works for you. I love this one by Greater Goods for a variety of reasons. One, it's highly accurate, which is one of the most important factors when choosing a scale. But what's even more awesome, this scale, when you input the food code, gives you a read out of all of the macros for that specific food at that specific weight. It literally takes the guesswork out of wondering how many grams of sugar or protein is in your entire portion. At $39, it's slightly more expensive than your traditional food scale, but if you have trouble inputting your daily calories into a food tracker, this is such a solid option. If you're looking for something slightly cheaper, I've compiled a list here.
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
The Instapot does it all. I'm a fan of kitchen appliances doing more than one thing and doing it well, I might add. Not only does it do everything that a traditional slow cooker does, but it does it 2-6 times faster, all while using less energy! It does take a little getting used to - pressure cooking definitely depends on the density of the food, but this is such a great set-and-forget option, especially if you're prepping one-pot meals ahead of time that only require nightly cooking! I would highly suggest getting some great cook books to go along with the Instapot (I'm a big fan of simple, healthy recipes) and get to cooking!
Spiralizers have come back into popularity with the emergence of the Ketogenic diet and the resurgence of low-carb dieting. Even though I don't follow either of these ways of eating, I do love my spiralizer for making veggie "pasta" as a great alternative to heavy, flour-laden, non-Paleo pasta. And, if you haven't noticed, Zoodles (and other brands) are incredibly expensive when purchased pre-sliced in the grocery store. Having your own spiralizer allows you to quickly slice and dice zucchini, squash, and vegetables to create delicious vegetable dishes in a flash.Not only that, but I love that this spiralizer has adjustable and changeable blades, meaning that it doesn't do just one thing, which is a key factor in this post today!
Now, I won't lie, this spiralizer is a hand crank, which does take a bit of effort. If you're looking for the electric version, they do exist, although they are at a slightly higher price point with fewer blades and features. I, however, would still spend the extra few dollars if it meant that I could (and would!) make dinner efficiently each night. Sometimes the extra few dollars is worth it, you know?
If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, you're in luck, as they do sell an electric attachment for the front!
9.5 Quart Aicok Vegetable Steamer
There's just something about a really great steamer. Not only is it a healthy option, steamers are just a really awesome option for a multi-purpose device, especially if you're not interested in trying to learn to use a device or use a recipe book (like the Instapot). Steamers are easy and they are such a healthy way to cook food, since it adds no additional oils or fats. All you do is add water to the base, set the timer and walk away and your food steams!
I love this specific steamer because of it's tiny footprint (ie: it doensn't take up much counterspace or cabinet space!) and it has multiple levels, which means that you can cook multiple things at the same time, without mixing it all together. If you're pre-prepping meals, you can add all the separate ingredients to the steamer, leave to walk the dog, and come back to a hot meal!
Another key factor to note is not all steamers are BPA-free! This one is, which means that you aren't heating micro-plastic pieces into your food. The only drawback of this particular model is that it doesn't have a programmable dial, but it's an awesome price point for the functionality.
These silicone baking pans are amazing for their ability to do so many things. I'm sure that in your kitchen you have a standard set of baking muffin pans. They're good for one thing and that's placing them in the oven! Most baking pans can't be placed in the dishwasher and most definitely cannot be placed in the freezer. These silicone pans can do all of that! Not only are they 100% food-grade safe (aka no BPA!), but they can be put through the ringer and they will be fine!
The great thing about these muffin pans is that they can be stored just about anywhere because they are pliable, meaning that they can be folded up! These trays open up the window for so many cooking and meal prep options! You can use them to freeze your spices, make egg dishes, baked goods, or frozen treats! And because they are silicone, they are non-stick and easy to clean! All of my favorite things! These are the mini muffin tins (personally - I think one of the most versatile sizes), but you can find them in a wide array of different sizes, shapes and colors.