10 Kitchen Appliances For Healthier Cooking And Losing Weight In 2012

Exercise is only one part of the equation in losing weight.  You need to eat better and healthier, too.  If you’re willing to be proactive and begin preparing your own healthy meals, these ten kitchen tools and appliances will make themselves useful for ensuring less of the nasty fattening stuff gets… uhm… stuffed in your face.  Bonus: you’ll look like a master chef with a counter top full of gear for cooking sorcery (just don’t actually try cooking for anyone else so you don’t get found out).


T-Fal Actifry

One tablespoon of oil for 2 pounds of crispy fried food — that’s the magic that the T-Fal Actifry brings to the table.  And it doesn’t stop at faux deep fry, either.  You can use it to cook a variety of meals, including chili, risotto, stir-fried meat and vegetables, gumbos and a whole lot more.  The magic happens courtesy of an internal convection oven that heats to 338º F, then evenly circulates the hot air to cook meats, potatoes and spring rolls with the same crunchy exterior produced by a 3-liter deep fat fryer.  Since you only use a tablespoon of oil,  almost every bit is absorbed by the food, eliminating disposal hassles.   Features include simple on-off operation and a countdown timer with buzzer.  Basically, fatty food with much, much less of the actual fat.  Who couldn’t get with that? [HammacherSchlemmer]


Oster 5711

Know what’s better than low-fat fried food?  Food with no added fat whatsoever.  That’s what you get, of course, with an Oster 5711 Food Steamer.  Designed to work fast, it generates steam less than a minute after being turned on and finishes steaming most vegetables (think brocolli, asparagus) within 10 minutes or less.   It features two tiers, 6.1-quart capacity (a 3.8-quart bowl on top and a 2.3-quart bowl on the bottom), collapsible steaming trays and 8 egg holders.  So you can go back to playing Skyrim while steaming, it has a 75-minute timer, with auto-shutoff once time runs out.  [Amazon]


Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500

Built to last, the Vita-Mix TurboBlend 4500 is a heavy-duty blending machine for making a whole load of healthy fare, from smoothies to soups to spreads to cocktails.  Yeah, cocktails aren’t healthy, but we both know you’ll be using it for that, so let’s stop pretending.  Features include an unbreakable 64-ounce container, steel-enclosed blade assembly, thermally-protected 2hp motor and 2-speed control (so you can slow it down to get everything mixing just right).  Comes with an instruction book for using it to make various types of recipes, too.   [Amazon]


Bodum Bistro Two-Speed Juicer

Best juicer ever?  Probably not.  Prettiest juicer ever?  Now we’re talking.  The colorful silicon body just makes you gravitate to it, making you want to use the juicer instead of grabbing another Coke in the fridge as you originally planned.  The design is a lot like conventional manual juicers, except with a motor, so you’ll have to press at the cone on top to push the fruit into that thing that milks it dry.  It comes with two speeds, a cyclone function (to pull juice out of excess pulp) and a taller-than-usual  height so you can fit taller glasses under the mouth.  Plus, did we say it’s pretty?  Comes in black, white, red, green and orange, too.  [Amazon]


EatSmart Precision Pro Scale

If you’re going to eat right, you need to do it with the proper portions.  And that’s where the EatSmart Precision Pro comes in.  A  digital kitchen scale, it can weigh food items up to 11 pounds, with the results displayed on the LCD in four units (pounds, grams, ounces and kilograms).  Features include 3-minute auto-shutoff, container weight elimination (you can weigh the plate or bowl first before filling it up, so you get an exact measure), and precision down to 1 gram.  If you hate buying those overpriced coin cell batteries, you’ll also love that this digital scale uses regular AAAs.  Affordably-priced, too.  [Amazon]


Black & Decker 3-Cups Rice Cooker

This is a simple rice cooker: wash the rice, put it in the inner pot, add water, flip the switch and leave it cook.   No magic there.  Rice is awesome for those on a diet, though, as it’s a rich source of complex carbohydrates and fiber (just don’t eat too much — carbs can get you blowing up).You get two modes (cook and warm), a nonstick cooking pot and an included rice paddle.  Do note that this is a small rice cooker for 1 to 3 diners.  If you’re feeding a large family or you have an Asian in the house (or you live in an Asian house), definitely get something bigger.  Unless you want everyone to lose weight by going hungry, of course.  [Amazon]


Sushezi Sushi Maker

Sushi is delicious.  Except those made in restaurants often come with a small fish, a slice of fruit and a large gob of white rice.  Sometimes, they even dump in mayo just to piss you off.  Ick.  If you like sushi and want to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you want, prepare your own at home.  Nothing makes that process simpler than the Sushezi, a clever sushi-making tube.  Designed to perform one and only one function, it lets you make one perfect roll of sushi (2.5-inch diameter) faster than any non-robotic gadget can do (you’ll still have to cut it into bite-size round slices, though).  Since it’s basically a tube where you dump all your sushi ingredients, you can use it to make other similarly-shaped fare, such as cheese logs and cake rolls.  But only on your cheat day!  [Amazon]


Progressive International Folding Mandoline Slicer

Vegetables need to be sliced and this compact mandoline slicer can probably do a better job at it than similar full-sized products.  Offering six cutting options, it can slice your tomatoes and onions in four different thickness sizes, as well as julienne your carrots and potatoes in two thickness sizes.  Features include three double-sided blades, non-skid base and ridges (so it stays in place), grooves on the underside (so you can put it over a bowl) and a comfort grip handle.  If you decide to give up on your diet, it might find use for slicing large blocks of chocolate, too.  Okay, maybe not.  [Amazon]


Microwave Potato Chip Maker

You love potato chips.  And it’s terribly unhealthy.  But you know you will die of loneliness without getting your daily quota.  What to do?  Get this Microwave Potato Chip Maker.  It includes two components: a potato slicer that will cut off your unpeeled (wash it first, however) spuds into thin round thingies and the rack that holds the chips for putting in the microwave.  There’s no oil or deep frying involved — it literally just crisps on your nuclear cooker. We’re not sure how it turns out crunchy taters like a bag of Lay’s, but we’re happy to be ignorant this time. We just love ’em chips. [Amazon]


Crock-Pot Slow Cooker

If you often resort to unhealthy fried crap and fast food because you “don’t have time to cook a proper meal,” consider getting a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker.  Set it low before you leave the house for all-day simmering and return home with a decent cooked meal that’s tastier than any of the hastily-made options you resort to before.  This particular model features a 3.5-quart capacity, removable stoneware crock and two cooking settings (high and low).  Do note that vegetables could lose some of their trace nutrients when slow cooked (due to degradation and evaporation), although your meats will taste heavenly.  [Amazon]