Sometimes it’s not the outside temptations that stop us from whipping up a healthy home-cooked meal. We scroll through Pinterest or flip through that new cookbook, eager to try something new.  We’ve got our grocery list checked off and hungry mouths to feed, but we soon realize the effort it takes to prep, cook, and clean up meal after meal.

And of course, we also need the right tools to bring a meal on paper to delicious fruition. We want soup now, but it calls for a 4-6 hour cook time. Our Paleo pizza recipe doesn’t bake up quite like the original. And throwing cauliflower into an old blender fails to make the Paleo “rice” we were hoping for.

In the post below, we feature 10 of our favorite kitchen appliances. We use at least a few of these tools every week. We’re confident that these these appliances will help you expand your culinary skill set and spice up your repertoire of recipes! Most of the links below lead to Amazon, in case you’re interested in any of these time-saving and health-promoting tools.

  1. Spiralizer
    Gluten-free or not, diving face first into a big bowl of pasta will likely give you the “must lay down, so sleepy, so full” feeling. It’s no surprise, considering that just one cup of spaghetti noodles has over 43 grams of carbs! And let’s face it, whether you’re eating out or making pasta at home, you’re likely to have more than one cup in your bowl.

As far as “pasta alternatives” go, spaghetti squash is a popular option. But we can’t expect this to be our only choice when it comes to “noodles.” We first used the Spiralizer as way to replace pasta in recipes. But we’ve found a million other reasons why it’s so great. The Spiralizer will help you transform a wide assortment of nutrient-rich vegetables.  From summer slaws to spicy beet sauté, your vegetables won’t know what hit them! Plus, as easy as it is to use, it’s fun for the little ones, too!

Check out Inspiralize Everything for recipe ideas!

  1. Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker
    It’s hard to stay true to a healthy diet when nostalgic favorites like pizza are there to tempt you. And let’s face it: Pizza is one of the more difficult meals to recreate without the use of refined flour. Our sister company, Wellness Bakeries has created what we believe is the BEST gluten- and grain-free pizza crust mix ever developed.

But if you want to take your home made pizza to a whole other level, we highly recommend the Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker. The stone inside heats up to a blazing 500 degrees. It’s like having a hearth oven right in your kitchen, except it only takes up a little over one square foot of counter space. In just 10 minutes, this stone will turn your dough into a perfectly crisp and chewy pizza. We suggest throwing your dough on a piece of parchment for easy placement. Now you can have not only the best pizza for you, but the best in town (without a delivery fee!).

  1. Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender
    This is one of those handy tools you don’t know you need until you try it! Use it to create creamy smooth sauces, perfect mashed cauliflower or potatoes and all manner of soups. When we followed the GAPS diet, our soup list grew well beyond the basic broth with veggies. From borscht to smooth broccoli soup, we started to see just how far we could take this spinning resource. Turns out, it makes the best pureed butternut squash, without having to wait for it to cool. Plus, instead of scraping the sides of a blender to get those last little bits, you can simply pop off the handle, tap it on the side and without sacrificing any of your tasty treat!
  2. Instant Pot
    When you’re cooking for others or just preparing for the week ahead, a slow cooker is a great “set-it-and-forget-it” option. However, despite the little work it takes to toss in ingredients and turn on, the slow cooker still requires hours of cooking time. Pressure cookers are taking over the highly coveted spot for a one-stop meal pot. And for good reason! The Instant Pot not only speeds up cooking time drastically, it does so without compromising nutrient loss. In fact, since it cooks so quickly, it retains more nutrients than most other cooking methods! Instead of the days needed to make the richest gelatin, it takes less than two hours. That whole chicken in the freezer? Make it fall-off-the-bone tender in half an hour. The Instant Pot is truly a culinary wizard, and one that we’re never without in the Healing Gourmet Test Kitchen! Check out a few of our most popular Pressure Cooker recipes.
  3. Breville Smart Oven
    While most of us have said goodbye to our pop-up toasters, this toaster oven is a must-have on your countertop. What started as an effort to bake separate dishes simultaneously became one of the best investments for our test kitchen. Literally a miniature oven, the size makes it all the more beneficial. With a quarter of the space to heat, it not only saves energy, but also heats up faster than our conventional oven. The temperature setting is also more accurate (which is especially important for baking). In fact, since we have been using this countertop Smart Oven, we hardly use our full-size oven any more. Try it out for baked goods, roasts, toast or just reheating your leftovers.
  4. Alpha Grillers Garlic Press
    We’ve heard time and time again of the benefits of garlic. This anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal superfood not only helps fight colds and infections, it can also be powerfully protective against cancer and other chronic diseases. So, why aren’t we eating our recommended daily dose? Often, it is because the standard peeling, chopping and dicing is such a sticky, smelly mess. Luckily, there’s a simple tool that skips the chopping and delivers your potent spoonful in just seconds. This tool is easy to use, easy to clean and stores easily.

Studies have shown that garlic is most effective when it sits for 10 minutes after being crushed, so be sure to give it some time before consuming. We like to keep a bowl of fresh-pressed garlic, drenched in olive or avocado oil on the counter for an on-the-ready delivery of potent medicine! (Bonus: You can also use this garlic press for a fresh-pressed dose of healing ginger and turmeric too!)

Cook healthier, tastier food (in less time!) with the help of these 10 best kitchen appliances.

  1. BlendTec Total Blender
    Smoothies from home never taste quite the same as the shop. That’s partially due to the fact that most “healthy” smoothie options are loaded with sugar. But even without the extra helpings of sugar, the creamy, smooth consistency is only made possible with a high-powered machine. Enter the BlendTec. This versatile and powerful tool brings that smoothie-shop smoothie into your kitchen…and can even help you make soup, bread, hummus, baby food and more! Take a peek at the wide array of Blendtec recipes and behold your delicious future!
  2. Magic Bullet
    We love our high-powered blender and its many talents, but sometimes a quick salad dressing or solo smoothie calls for something more petite. The infomercial caught our attention, but it was seeing the many uses for this versatile tool that really sparked our interest. Turns out this machine isn’t just for the casual post-gym shake; it helps create the best spice blends and emulsified salad dressings in seconds!
  1. Breville Juice Fountain
    In the health world, juicing is always a hot (or better yet, cold-pressed) topic. Prepared juice cleanses for the New Year or before that summertime vacation can cost as much as $80 a day! Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed that the veggies will be organic. And often, they’re cut with high-carb and high-sugar fruits to appeal to the palates of the vast majority. Instead of turning to a high-dollar drink with questionable contents, arm yourself with a daily dose of nutrient-rich organic juice using the Breville Juice Fountain. The benefits of juicing go well beyond a delicious glass of fresh produce. In fact, juicers help break down cell walls so your digestive tract doesn’t have to. Best of all, since your body doesn’t have to do all of the digestive duty, the nutrients get into your system in a matter of minutes! To get the most nutritional bang for your buck, we suggest researching the best low-carb juice blends like a mix of organic greens, cucumber, spicy ginger root, tart lemon with a small bit of green apple. As for the dreaded clean-up, this juicer nixes that worry with a quick pop-off for easy rinsing!
  2. Lodge Dutch Oven
    When it comes to a stovetop accessory, Dutch ovens are hard to beat. Due to their versatility and exceptional results, they’ve been gracing open fires and stove tops for hundreds of years. Not sure what a Dutch oven is? Imagine your cast iron skillet inside of your gumbo pot that also happens to be a miniature oven. It’s a one stop cooking shop! These tried and true tools manage to braise even the toughest cut of meat to melting-ly tender… allow flavors to meld beautifully in your favorite Bolognese…. and are essential to making flavorful one-pot meals. Use it on your stove or in your oven and see just how many taste temptations emerge from this ancient cooking tool. (This will be the only Dutch oven you’ll ever own. Really, because it comes with a lifetime warranty!)