Photo: Tilson PR

Because great gadgets can truly make all the difference.

Jaime Milan
January 08, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

If you’re like most of the population, you’re probably trying to eat healthier this year. For different people, that means different things, but one thing our editors all agree on is this: The right kitchen tool can make all the difference when it comes to meal prep.

Sure, all you probably need is a good set of knives and a couple pots and pans to get the job done, but if your kitchen feels dull and lifeless you probably won’t be super inclined to spend time there prepping something healthy to bring for lunch. Upgrade your tools, and you’ll want to spend more time cooking with them—and eating healthier in 2018.

But there are some tools that, while they look snazzy, are just unnecessary. Those are the ones you might be tempted to get, but end up gathering dust in the back of a drawer before the year’s out. So here is our list of the tools you’ll want to use—and the ones you can leave behind.

New Year. New Food. Healthy Eating Starts Here, With the Cooking Light Diet.

A Cute Water Bottle

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Hydration is key to staying healthy, and you’re much more inclined to keep sipping if you carry around a water bottle you can refill on the go. This 16-ounce glass bottle is BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and super cute.

($40, Amazon)

A Great Set of Knives

Photo: Williams Sonoma

Chopping, dicing, and mincing fruit, veggies, and herbs is so much easier (and safer!) with sharp blades. Invest in a good set, and you will not be sorry—we promise! (got a set you love that are getting dull? Learn how to keep them sharp!)

($100, set of 9, Amazon)

Mason Jars

Courtesy of Amazon.

Great for overnight oats, chopped veggies with dipping sauce on the bottom, or mason jar salads, this powerhouse storage container will change your meal prep game.

($20, set of 12, Amazon)

Spiralizer

williams-sonoma.com

Spiralizers make vegetables more exciting and feel more substantial in a meal. Sub out your pasta for some zucchini “noodles”, or use spiralized apples for a healthy take on apple pie.

($40, Amazon)

TRY THIS: Spiralized Apple and Fennel Salad with Wheat Berries

A Mandoline

Photo: Tilson PR

You don’t need fancy knife training at culinary school when you have a mandoline—it slices everything evenly and perfectly, making everything from salads to side dishes more fun to make and to eat. Mandolines have super sharp blades, and we love this version because it comes with a handy guard to protect your fingers.

($119, PrincessHouse.com)

RELATED: Why You Need a Mandoline

A High-Tech Lunchbox

Vaya

We love this Tyffyn lunchbox from Vaya because of its ability to keep food hot or cold for hours—the three compartments are also super convenient for packing multiple entrees or snacks. Bonus? If you know you have piping hot soup or a crunchy salad waiting at your desk, you’ll be less inclined to eat out (saving you calories and cash!)

($44, Vayalife.com)

RELATED: 25 of Our Best Soups

A Steamer Basket

amazon.com

Go ahead and skip frying in oil or sauteing in butter—steaming cooks meat and veggies to fork-tender perfection, without adding in any extra fat. ($18, Amazon)

A Salad Spinner

bedbathandbeyond.com

Spinners make washing your favorite greens and veggies way easier, so throwing together a quick salad is a breeze.

($16, Amazon)

An Immersion Blender

Photo: Cuisinart

Handheld blenders are ideal for making something like cauliflower or squash feel creamy in a soup, so you can forego the heavy cream or cheese. Plus, there's no need to transfer hot soup from the pot to the conventional blender and back again, making cleanup a breeze.

($30, Amazon)

A Good Food Processor

Photo: Best Buy

Forget store-bought versions, and make hummus, pesto, nut butters, and more at home. Bonus? You can control the fat, sugar, and sodium levels.

($70, Amazon)

Storage Containers You Want to Use

Photo: Tilson PR

We’re all about reducing food waste, especially in our own kitchen. These handy containers keep your produce fresh for up to a week longer (we tested, and it really works!) The clear lids make it easy to see what’s inside, and the produce storage guide printed on the container takes out all the guesswork.

($24, PrincessHouse.com)

And, because we’re looking out for you, here are some gadgets you just don’t need.

A Tomato Slicer

This thing is just...so unnecessary? Tomatoes are probably the easiest fruit to cut, just grab a serrated knife and go to town.

A Tool That Peels Shrimp

Peeling shrimp is incredibly simple, and I’m not sure why we need to complicate it with one of these. If you have a spare kid running around, task them with peeling the shrimp. No knife or blade required, just use your hands.

A “SLOTDOG”

Not that we want to be eating a ton of hot dogs anyway, but if you desperately need cross-hatches in your franks, you can use the paring knife by your elbow—not some single-use contraption that’s been hiding in the back of one of your drawers.

A “Cob Corn Stripper”

The name of this product makes us feel super uncomfortable, and we have questions: If you hate eating fresh corn off the cob, why not just buy frozen or canned kernels? Why not just use a knife to cut your corn? Some people just want to watch the world burn.