(BPT) – From spices and oils to gadgets and gizmos, there are always new, trendy items to add to your kitchen. Trying to separate the handy from the hype, however, can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Professional chefs know not everything is worthy of space in their kitchens, but it’s not always easy for home cooks to figure out what they need and what they don’t.
That’s why Devin Alexander, New York Times Bestselling Author and professional chef, gives a peek inside her kitchen. Find out what’s really worth your while as she shares the top items she uses.
Chef Alexander’s top kitchen must-haves include:
#1) Reusable oil sprayer
An oil sprayer allows you to cook with fats in a healthful and efficient way. You can fill the sprayer with your choice of oil — whatever suits your current taste preference and cooking needs.
#2) Kitchen Scale
You don’t have to weigh everything, but a counter top scale is a handy tool that can help you sustain your healthy eating goals. It’s great for measuring portions of lean meats, seafood and cheeses, so you can stay in check while whipping up recipes or prepping snacks.
#3) Truvia Nectar
“My favorite liquid sweetener is blended with stevia leaf extract and honey, and has 50 percent fewer calories than sugar,” says Alexander. “It’s twice as sweet so you only need half as much when you’re adding it to tea or drizzling it on yogurt. I also love to use Truvia Nectar in salad dressings, marinades and cocktails.” Learn more at www.truvia.com/nectar.
Oatmeal isn’t just a morning food, but a healthy way to add texture to recipes. Use it in meatballs and baked goods for a tasty, whole-grain boost.
Cinnamon is an extremely versatile pantry essential. Sprinkle the spice here and there to liven up your favorite beverages and recipes without too many added calories.
#6) Cocoa powder
“I’m a huge chocolate lover! Using 100 percent cocoa powder, which has minimal calories and some fiber to boot, is a great way to get your chocolate fix while staying fit,” Alexander says. “You can add it to oatmeal and sauces, but the possibilities are endless.”
#7) Instant coffee
Did you know instant coffee can be used for more than just your morning jump-start? It’s a quick and easy way to give your protein shakes a java-flavored makeover.
Stocking your home kitchen with these essential items is an important first step toward achieving your healthy eating goals.