Two handfuls of low carb tools for zoodling, blending, souping and roasting in the kitchen
I don’t know about you folks, but fun in the kitchen has been taken to a new extreme since I started doing keto / low carb. I can’t say I ever cooked that many veggies before, mostly we just ate out, but now I’m swimming in zoodlers and immersion blenders and it’s glorious.
If you’re starting low carb, here’s a handy little list of all the tools I use pretty much every day or at least once a week, and how I tend to use them. And yep, they’re all affiliate links to Amazon cause that’s how I pay for this site, yo! 🙂
If you have other products you can’t live without, let me and the low carb community know in the comments!
The Ninja Professional Blender system, but more specifically, its single serve blending attachments, are completely awesome. I use it for making popsicles and homemade whipped cream several times a week. Whatever berries I don’t eat during the week get blended with some herbs and put into Zipcicles for the summer.
There are lots of easy, slow cooker recipes that are keto friendly. Pot roast and pulled pork, for example. If you don’t have one already, I really like the Set ‘n Forget Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach because it has a probe attached to check the internal temperature of whatever’s cooking, while it’s cooking.
I’ve gone through a lot of really expensive thermometers over the past several years, and so far, my Polder Safe-Serve Instant Read Kitchen Thermometer has lasted the longest (two years so far). I’d also recommend one that you can put in the oven, but I haven’t found one at any price point where the probes last longer than a summer (and replacement probes are $20!) Leave a comment below if you have one you swear by!
I don’t know if all immersion blenders work the same, but I love my SmartStick by Cuisinart and I got it because it had the highest reviews on Amazon. I can’t say I use this every day, but I do end up using it about once a week to make bomb mashed cauliflower that really tastes like mashed potatoes, or sometimes for different soups like this pumpkin curry soup.
Save yourself a heck of a lot of time and get yourself a simple veggie chopping device. I use one of these almost daily for onions, garlic and pepper. The Chef ‘n Veggie Chop (pictured left) gets really high ratings, so I’ve been tempted to buy one, but what I use is the Zyliss Handheld Food Chopper (like a Slap Chop) and I love it.
I have two of these 3-in-one berry boxes and I love them. A few years ago I realized if I washed my berries before putting them in the refrigerator, they would last about two weeks instead of, say, three to five days. I think it’s because the added moisture keeps them plump (this especially applies to blueberries). So when I found these little boxes I had to get them, and they work great. There’s a removable strainer, so I can just dump my box of berries in, rinse them and put them in the box. I keep the strainer in there even when in the fridge so that the berries aren’t sitting in any extra moisure, I think that helps with mold too.
The Art and Cook herb keeper is another godsend because fresh herbs last a month or longer (usually I replace them before I even need to). Again, the small amount of water in the bottom has been keeping my rosemary, sage and thyme good to go every meal and I just love it. Plus, it’s made of glass and looks great in the refrigerator, if you’re wondering.
I use my Foodsaver often. If you buy your meat in bulk, at a butcher or even at the grocery store in family-size packages, this is useful for separating meat into portions you intend to cook with so they can go in the freezer. It’s also great for marinating foods, or saving leftovers for the freezer in a way that won’t give them freezer burn. I use the sealer on my Zipcicles to basically cut it in half the tall way, so that my pops are thinner (and less carby).
I make zucchini noodles at least once a week. They’re fantastic as the “noodles” in a chicken parmesan dish, or by themselves in a lemon butter mixture. I would say this Zoodle Maker is more of a must-have on the list, if you used to enjoy pasta and think you’ll miss it! There are other ones, but this is what I own and I admit it takes some elbow grease, but the zoodles come out great. If you want to make zoodles in mass, check out my recent zoodle maker review.
You’re either a weigher or you’re not, but especially in the early stages of Keto, you might be weighing a few things when whatever you’re eating only lists portion sizes in grams. My husband uses the scale every day, but I only use it on occasion. I prefer a scale with a bowl, just cause. In terms of human scales, I like the FitBit Aria because it connects wirelessly to MyFitnessPal and, well, FitBit, if I ever decide to wear one.
Keto is all about that cheese, so get yourself a cheese grater. Sure, you can get pre-grated cheese at the store, but you can’t zest a lemon without one! And they’re pretty cheap. Here’s the one I have and I love because it collects the cheese and/or lemon zest in a container, and you can pop a top on it to save for later when you’re done.
I cook everything on unbleached parchment paper. Nothing sticks to it, and it can go into the oven until about 400 degrees without burning.
An oven-safe roasting/cooling rack is what you’ll want to cook chicken on so that it’s cooked on all sides and crispy, rather than soft and soggy, sitting in its own juices. Ew! Seriously, this thing will up your chicken game tremendously!
Teflon sucks, and ceramic makes a great non-stick pan for eggs and fried pizza. Use your other pans for everything else, but if you need something to not stick, use ceramic (and try not to heat over medium). I love this Green Earth frying pan, and it gets great reviews on Amazon too.
Cast iron makes the best steaks, so we have quite a few of them. But don’t forget to read up on cast iron care and get yourself a silicone handle if it doesn’t come with one, plus some cast iron conditioner.
Yep, you’re going to be cutting like crazy from now on, so might as well get a good knife and a bunch of cutting boards. I like this index chopping board set.
Nice to Have Low Carb Tools
All of the above items are ones you should have in your kitchen when you start low carb, or at least if you’re going the real food route of low carb. Here are a few other items I have and use often:
I like to make my own herb mixes and pesto, so I use a mortar and pestle at least once a month.
We go through a lot of salad in our house, and this baby keeps our lettuce clean (and not wet!)
Although I rely on my chopper (above) most of the time, I use these sharp little knives for everything else. I swear I own about ten of them and go through them more than any other utensil in the house.
Before I had a Zoodler, I had a julienne peeler, which will cut your zucchini and summer squash into fine ribbons too, although I found myself often needing to pull apart the strips myself. It’s great for veggie salads though because of the thin strips!
Again, if you’re making veggie salads or pickles, this makes cutting them really thin, really easy. Just get some mandolin gloves too, because these things are dangerous.
I love pickles, so I buy them and make them. You can literally make pickles in just a few hours with the Vacu Vin Instant Pickler. It draws all the flavors into the cucumber so that they’re ready to be eaten fast, and you can store them for a week or two to munch on afterward.
Although I admit that a meat grinder is more work than it’s worth, I’ve definitely made my own burger mixes before. I will typically blend beef, pork and lamb together, but lately I’ve been asking my butcher to grind it for me. If you prefer to do it yourself, this is on the list.
If you want to load your burgers with cheese or veggies, this little burger press helps you do that. I’ve only used mine a few times, but the burgers came out great.
I like the YumBox for adults, which is leak-free and is basically everything you need in a work lunchbox, including a spot for salad dressing.
Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: I'm not a nutritionist or a medical professional. The recipes and articles on this blog should not replace the advice of your doctor. Also, I only recommend products that I have used and love, but in these cases I may use Amazon.com affiliate links, which means I get paid a small commission if you buy the product. A girl's gotta pay for all these ingredients you know! :)