Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dietitian Picks - Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a ton of kitchen equipment (some of which I never use). I love trying out new products, especially if it makes my life simpler (or healthier).This week, I wanted to mix things up a bit from tips and recipes and give you a sneak peak into my kitchen! Today's post features just a few of my go-to kitchen gadgets/equipment (no affiliate links). Enjoy!

#1 - Immersion Blender
I love, love my immersion blender! It is way easier to puree a soup or applesauce right in the pot without having to transfer to a standing blender. I also really like that this is small and comes apart, which is great for storage. I originally purchased mine in a pinch at my local supermarket; however, you can also buy online. The model I purchased also came with a whisk attachment, which I use a lot for making icings (versus pulling out my hand-mixer).

#2 - Salad Dressing Bottle 
If you are looking to make your own dressings, this is a great kitchen staple. I modify the recipes a bit to decrease salt or sugar where needed. I like that the measurements are right on the bottle, so I don't need extra measuring cups. I bought this bottle from Amazon. This is also a great gift for Dietitians or just friends/family looking to live healthier.  

#3 - NutriBullet (or any blender)
I love making smoothies for a quick meal on-the-go, especially in the morning. I originally had a smaller blender, but, recently upgraded to the Nutribullet Rx. I went with this model because you can make soups in 7-minutes (and yes it works). This model is a bit big, so if you don't think you will use the hot setting, you could also go for the smaller model, which will work just as well (and take up less counter space).

#4 - Teapot with Infuser
I love my loose tea leaves, so I was really excited when I found this little teapot with an infuser built right in. It is the perfect size for just one person. I bought on Amazon; however, you can also buy other models in-store.

#5 - Stainless Steel Tea Infuser
Before buying my teapot (see above), I bought a new tea infuser for loose teas. I originally had an infuser that was made out of silicone; however, it didn't have small enough holes, so I ended up with a lot of loose tea in my cup. Also, I felt like it gave an off-taste to my tea. After my silicone one, I bought a tea ball; however, the side kept opening and spilling the loose tea all over. I really like this model because the lid locks on and it sinks to the bottom of the tea cup versus floating around. Another one of my Amazon purchases...are you seeing a theme here haha :)

#6 - Adjustable Measuring Spoon
This is great not only because it takes up less room in my kitchen drawers; but also, since I no longer have to root around looking for each individual measuring spoon. There are a lot of models out there online and in-store. I purchased this one from a catalog during National Nutrition Month!

#7 - Avocado Slicer
So this is one of the gadgets that I have that I don't necessarily NEED, but, I love how it functions! You use the left side to slice through the avocado, then the bottom portion to get out the seed, and the right side to slice the flesh and scoop out. This particular model was sent to me; however, there are a ton of inexpensive ones online and in-store. If you are an avocado lover (like me), you will certainly enjoy it.

#8 - Stainless Steel Water-bottle 
Okay, I will admit that I have about 20 different water-bottles (2/3 are in storage); however, this is my absolute favorite! It keeps my water cold for 8+ hours, even if the outside feels hot. I also have one that I use for coffee because I often never get time to drink it before it gets cold so this works perfectly.  I bought this particular one on a whim in a grocery store; however, they are literally everywhere.

#9 - Vegetable Spiralizer 
This is hands-down one of my all-time favorite kitchen gadgets! I mostly use it for zucchini-noodles; however, you could also make noodles out of potatoes or carrots too. They have larger models that sit on a counter; however, I wanted something smaller. I originally bought this one for about $8 maybe 3-4 years ago and it still works great. It also came with a small brush since it is really hard to clean the blades inside. You can spiralize using either end (varying levels of thickness).

Click the link for a healthy zoodle recipe (with fresh pesto). 

#10 - Mason Jars (or Glass Jars/Containers)
Confession time. I have a lot of mason jars. A LOT. In my defense, I do use them for practically everything though. I have a ton of different sizes, which actually serve a lot of purpose. The larger ones in the back of this picture I will use for making salads or overnight oats, storing leftover coffee or soup, or to put fresh fruit in when traveling (no leaking). The smaller jar to the left I will use for leftover smoothies or for salad fixings when I meal prep. The large, flatter, jar to the right I use for storing dips or homemade jams. Finally, the two small jars in the front I use for transporting ingredients for cooking classes or the holidays when I cook. I also will use the smaller ones for homemade jams/nut butters than I give away. I love the glass jars over plastic because they don't get funky after a while. Also, I never have spillage issues when traveling.

Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite kitchen gadgets/tools are!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lemon-Berry Muffins

Recently, I have been looking for a better-for-you muffin recipe that I could make and have as a snack when I wanted something sweet. A lot of the gluten-free, vegan baked goods are loaded with sugar and have really little fiber. I ended up combining a few of the recipes in my cookbooks with others I found online for these sweet little treats! I love making them in mini-muffin pans; however, for the recipe below, I used a standard 12-count muffin tray. Enjoy!

Lemon-Berry Muffins 
*Vegan + Gluten-Free 

1 large banana
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-count muffin tray or line with muffin cups.
2. Add all ingredients, except blueberries to a blender and blend until smooth. Mixture will be thick; however, if there are issues blending, add in almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Fold in blueberries. Spoon mixture into prepared tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes
-Makes 12 standard-sized muffins, serving 6.
-Can make in a mini-muffin tray; however, decrease cooking time to about half.
-Can substitute cashew milk or pea milk for almond. Pea milk will add in protein.
-Can substitute sunflower seed butter or peanut butter for the almond.
-If you are not gluten-free, can use regular rolled oats
-Store at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air-tight container or in the fridge up to 1 week.