Zest your way to fresh and flavorful food with the Microplane Classic Series Zester/Grater ($14, ). Citrus zest is a healthy way to season dishes without adding calories, says Cassetty. The dishwasher-safe tool earned top marks in GHRI tests, easily zesting lemon rind without piercing the pith. Try a side of steamed broccoli with sautéed garlic and lemon tonight.
Fighting off the effects of aging can be as simple as drinking a cup of tea. Use the stainless steel Saeco Electric Kettle ($60, ) to prepare black, rooibos, and green tea, which help you stay young, says Cassetty. The jug-style kettle features a translucent window and illuminates the water, changing colors depending on temperature — making it easy to see when it’s time to enjoy your anti-aging brew.
The stainless steel Waring Pro Professional Immersion Blender SB10 allows you to puree nutritious soups and dips without straining your wrist, thanks to its ergonomic grip. The multi-speed device makes it easy to work on dense concoctions, taking only 90 seconds to blend a thick vegetable soup in a GHRI test. Use the blender to prepare satiating bean-based dishes packed with protein and fiber, says Cassetty. Try our recipes for white bean dip, hummus, or jalapeno-spiked black bean soup.
Just as easy to use as it is to clean, Yonanas ($50, ) purees frozen fruit into guilt-free desserts the whole family will appreciate. In GHRI tests, the appliance transformed bananas into a velvety creation similar in texture to ice cream and ground berries into a treat resembling sorbet. Adult and child testers enjoyed both treats, despite the lack of added cream and sugar. Cassetty suggests using Yonanas to whip up refreshments that are lower in calories compared with other frozen confections.
Fire up your grill to limit the amount of oils you use to cook lean meats and produce. The stainless steel Cuisinart Essential Grilling Collection ($60, ) includes tools that make grilling healthier and simpler, such as a burger flipper featuring grease channels and tongs that double as a scoop. “Use sturdier fruits like peaches and pineapple and veggies like zucchini and tomatoes,” says Cassetty.
Instead of munching on chips and crackers, call on the Presto PowerPop Popcorn Popper ($17, ) to make some popcorn, which has fewer calories. One cup of air-popped corn contains only 20 calories and no oil, says Cassetty. Relying on concentrated heat, the Presto PowerPop left hardly any unpopped kernels in its sturdy plastic bowl during GHRI testing.
Enlist measuring cups to appropriately portion meals and prevent overeating. Carefully measure foods that are easy to underestimate when cooking, such as pasta, cereal, and nuts, says Cassetty. Oxo measuring cups ($8, ), which contain angled strips with measurement markings visible from above, make it easy to stay accurate by eliminating the need to examine amounts at eye level.
Resorting to restaurant dinners during a busy week can be hard to resist, but food storage containers can prevent last-minute calls for takeout. “Cook up a healthy meal on the weekend and pre-portion it for the number of people who are eating,” says Cassetty. “Then stick it in the freezer.” Reach for your pre-prepared meal instead of your phone after a long day of work. GHRI recommends the plastic Rubbermaid Lock-Its ($15, ), which refused to break or dent when filled with frozen water and dropped from countertop height during tests.
Bake whole-grain muffins on Sunday and save them for grab-and-go-weekday breakfasts. Substitute white whole-wheat flour for refined flour to create a healthier, but just-as-tasty meal, says Cassetty. Our top-choice muffin pan, the nonstick Good Cook’s Bake, Take & Serve ($20, ), will churn out evenly browned baked goods that are slightly rounded on the top.