Cooking Healthy Food Is Easy with These Tools

Prepare delicious, healthy meals with a selection of tools that multi-task easily.


ant to cook healthier food? Our new publication, The Complete Diabetes Cookbook, is a game changer. Using innovative techniques and strategies, our test cooks engineered more than 400 healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor or creativity. And this week we’ve gathered the equipment you'll need to prepare them or any other healthy recipe. Our favorite inexpensive blender makes silky smoothies on par with those produced by more-expensive models. With our longtime favorite salad spinner, you can clean greens and herbs with ease. And our top-rated air fryer produces crispy fries and decadent-tasting chicken Parmesan faster than an oven—and with less oil. With this cookbook in hand and our favorite tools in your kitchen, you can eat well without compromising on the foods you love.

The Healthy Way to Eat the Foods You Love

The Complete Diabetes Cookbook

$26.99 $32.99

Testers loved this machine, which had a slimmer, compact footprint and shorter stature and thus took up less room on our counters. Its cooking basket was roomy enough for 1 pound of food and had a completely nonstick coating. We also liked that the bottom of the basket could be removed for even deeper cleaning, if needed. Its digital controls and dial-operated menu made setting the time and temperature easy and intuitive. It stopped cooking as soon as the set time was up, and its drawer-like design allowed us to remove food without exposing our hands to the heating element.  More on this test

Our top-rated inexpensive blender made impressively silky smoothies, frozen margaritas, mayonnaise, and pureed soups that were on par with those produced by blenders costing five times as much. It was notably quiet and didn’t stain or trap odors. It failed and overheated during the almond butter test but recovered afterward thanks to its overheat protection system. Its tall, narrow jar was light and easy to attach, detach, and pour from. It was somewhat hard to tell when its lid was securely attached, so we had to fiddle with it more than we’d like, and its hollow handle sometimes trapped water while in the dishwasher, but we cleared it fairly easily.   More on this test

Thanks to its U-shaped pitchers and sharp, six-pronged blades that angle both up and down, this pricey model was among the quickest and most effective at every blending task—which compensated for the fact that users must continuously hold down the pitcher to engage the motor. Its travel lid was well designed, with a comfortable drinking spout and a hinged arm that seals tight with an audible snap. One defect: It’s as noisy as it is powerful.  More on this test

This mini slow cooker’s trio of temperature settings allowed us to select the perfect temperature whether we were keeping dip warm or cooking a soup scaled for two. Its gentle warm setting meant we could keep queso dip molten and melty for several hours without it getting hot enough to break or scorch. A plus: its bright indicator light, which let us know when it was too hot to touch.  More on this test

Tasters praised the quality of foods dried in this large sliding-tray machine, noting that they retained fresh flavor while also achieving the dry, pliable-to-crisp qualities we were after. Although it’s bulky (the size of a large microwave) and the most expensive machine in our lineup, it also held the most food and completed each task quickly. The spacious square trays fit long slices of beef jerky and round apple slices and slide easily into the unit. The lid lifts off to make it easy to check the progress of drying foods, and the timer allows for truly hands-off, walk-away dehydrating.  More on this test

The newly updated model of our former favorite now has a much-improved brake and a rounder bowl shape. It worked easily—with just one hand—and was the most effective of our lineup at removing water from a variety of greens, with good clearance under the basket to collect runoff. Its lid is simple to pull apart (and click back together) for easy cleaning and drying, and it's dishwasher-safe.   More on this test

Our old favorite fits a good amount of food, and we love its new telescoping handle: When the handle is extended to the full 4 inches, it's easy to grip to move the steamer in and out of the pot. The handle can also collapse to 2.5 inches when the steamer is in the pot or for compact storage. Our only quibbles? The metal leaves are a bit finicky to clean and bent a little during testing, though the unit remained perfectly functional throughout.  More on this test

Distinct from citrus presses that use small holes, this model features a star-like arrangement of large draining slots, which direct the juice in a steady stream with no splattering or overflowing. Its large, rounded handles were easy to squeeze for testers of all sizes, which helped this press quickly extract far more juice than any other model. Its roomy bowl could also accommodate up to medium-size oranges (but not large ones).   More on this test

This knife was “superadept”; its sharp, flexible blade nimbly hugged curves, so we could surgically remove peels or cores without plunging too deeply. It was the lightest knife we tested, with a slim handle that a few testers found insubstantial but most praised for its ability to disappear in your palm and become an extension of your hand: “There’s no disconnect between my brain and the blade.”  More on this test