These useful fruit prep tools will make your life so much easier.
As Health’s food editor, I get pitched a lot of products. Usually I’m skeptical of specialty gadgets that only do one or two things in the kitchen. But when talk of some of these items came up in a meeting recently, I got schooled. Turns out many of our staffers swear by their faves. The lesson for me: Don’t scoff unless you’ve sliced, pitted or peeled with them all. Healthy eating includes taking the stress out of food prep; so read on for some cool tools to improve your enjoyment of all kinds of delicious, good-for-you fruit.
Oxo Stainless Steel Ratcheting Pineapple Slice
Perfect pineapple rings are just seconds away thanks to this handy tool. Gather the kids to watch (it's really cool) as you cut off the top, twist this guy into the pineapple and then—ta da!—lift out beautiful rings. There are markings on the side to help you figure out where the bottom is, so you get all of that refreshing, tangy fruit, and you’re left with a perfectly hollowed pineapple (hello, tropical drink!).
Chef’n StemGem Strawberry Huller
Here’s a tool that our executive editor, Lisa Lombardi, swears by. Pull the stem off and that little fuzzy cone out of berries quickly and easily with a push-button mechanism. An advantage to using this, instead of a paring knife: Kids can do it. Plus, its cute design is irresistible. This would make a great hostess gift with a basket of fresh farmers-market berries.
Joie Simply Slice Strawberry Slicer
Of course, once you’ve hulled those berries, you may want to slice them. Make those slices even on the double with the seven stainless-steel blades on this gadget.
Oxo Cherry & Olive Pitter
Cherries are such a short-lived summer treat; they’re in season and wildly abundant, and then just like that, they’re gone. Enjoy as many as you can with this tool. Place a cherry inside, press down and pop! Out comes the stone. A splashguard makes the task a whole lot neater, too. (Also works well for olives any time of year.)
Norpro 5135 Double Melon Baller
Melon just tastes better when it’s shaped into cute little balls, doesn’t it? This basic tool has two sizes, so you can mix it up.
Spiralizer Cast Steel Apple Peeler
It seems like a lot of tool for a small job, but if you end up peeling and slicing a lot of apples at once (for sauce, for example), it’s worth it. This counter-top peeler will save your hand and wrist, plus it does the whole job (peeling, coring and slicing) in one shot. Bonus: It works on potatoes, too.
Calphalon Easy Grip Apple Slicer
For snacking, you want to leave those apple peels on (fiber!), so make quick work of coring and dividing with this classic gadget. Easy-grip handles make it more comfortable and prevent slipping.
The Pomegranate Deseeder Seed Removal Tool
Those sweet-tart little seeds inside a pomegranate sure pack a health punch: they’re protective against cancer and heart disease and boost brain power. The problem? Getting those suckers out of the fruit can be messy, and that stuff stains. Enter this gadget, which gets you all the good stuff with no mess. Halve the pom, lay half on the grid, cover it and tap with a large spoon. Voila!
Hutzler Banana Slicer
OK, so arguably slicing bananas is a task that doesn’t necessarily require a tool. But hey, if you find wielding a butter knife over a cereal bowl to be an unpleasant experience, it’s worth a try, especially at this price. It also could be a really fun thing for kids. (Incidentally, a large group of Internet tricksters wrote phony reviews of this product on Amazon, and they are hilarious.)
Kitchen Maestro Collection Mango Slicer
Mangoes: They're sweet, juicy, exotic, and loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, plus fiber. But navigating around its large, oddly shaped pit is a challenge. This tool takes the guesswork away and eliminates waste with stainless steel blades that strip all the flesh off the pit. We love that the comfortable, rubberized handle is mango-colored as well.
Oxo 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer
Yep, avocado is a fruit. And these days, this green wonder, with 20 essential nutrients and lots of healthy fat, is the darling of the wellness world, showing up on toast, in sauces, even in desserts. Use this little marvel of a tool to halve, pit, scoop out/slice the flesh, and you’ll be guac-ing it up in no time.
Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer
Add fresh lemon or lime juice to recipes the easy way. The advantage to a tool, instead of simply squeezing by hand: You get more juice, and you don’t have to fish out the pits. Plus, it’s easier than hand squeezing. Stainless steel and durable nylon hold up to the acidic fruits.
Microplane Classic Zester/Grater
Once a woodworking tool, this gadget is now an absolute essential for the home cook. Use it to remove and shred citrus zest like a pro in seconds for sauces, dressings, baked goods and more. (It’s also handy for grating hard cheese and chocolate, too.)
Fox Run Brands Orange Peeler
Love to eat oranges for snacks, but hate messing up your nails? Here’s a little gadget to make the process easier. Plus, you get a set of two, so you can even toss one in your purse for on-the-go citrus snacking.
Farberware Food Huggers
Put away the plastic wrap: These amazing little reusable tools can help you keep halves fresh, so you don’t waste that tomato or lemon, or vegetables like cucumbers or onions. These BPA-free silicone pieces come in a set of four with graduating sizes, so they work on just about anything, and when you’re done, just toss them in the dishwasher for next time.