One of my goals is to make healthy eating choices for myself and my family. Most of the time I do pretty well, but there are days when it’s a struggle. I have good intentions but I sometimes run out of time or energy and resort to less than stellar—and often expensive—meal choices. On those days I find it helpful to have a few kitchen appliances that make healthy cooking easier.

Slow Cooker
I love my slow cooker, and I use it regularly to make healthy dinners. Having a slow cooker means that I can take a less expensive piece of meat and cook it all day, so it’s nice and tender. All I need to do is add broth and vegetables, and I have a complete meal. Avoid heavy sauces and canned soups to make this a truly healthy dinner.

Pressure Cooker
One of the main reasons I love my pressure cooker is that it cooks dinner fast. On days that I forget to take something out to defrost in the morning, my pressure cooker is a life saver. I can cook a piece of frozen meat in less than an hour. No need to order takeout when you can rely on your pressure cooker for a healthy meal!

Digital Kitchen Scale
Have you ever looked at a food label and noticed that a serving is measured in ounces or grams? I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what three ounces of potato chips look like. With a digital scale, you can tell exactly how many calories you are consuming when you grab that handful of chips. (HINT: Three ounces of chips is much smaller than you think!)

I try to avoid eating too much pasta, but I love spaghetti and meatballs. Still, I don’t need to eat a big bowl of pasta every week. Instead, I can spiralize zucchini and make zucchini noodles to top with spaghetti sauce and meatballs. It tastes just as good and has fewer calories and almost no carbs.

Store-bought juices are often loaded with sugar and aren’t that much better for you than soda. By making your own juice, you choose what you put in it. You can add a handful of spinach or kale, for example. There’s a wide variety of juicers out there—from relatively inexpensive to top of the line.

Food Steamer
Steaming your food is much healthier than frying it because there is no added oil. You can use a simple bamboo steamer or go more high tech and opt for a multi-level food steamer capable of preparing a 4-course meal for your entire family.

Once you start using these appliances, you’ll find yourself resorting to fast food and takeout much less frequently. Do you have favorite kitchen gadgets that I’ve forgotten?