Must-Have Tools for a Healthy Kitchen

Eating healthy starts not only with smart food swaps, but a kitchen stocked with the right tools. Don't know where to begin? Clean out your cabinets and upgrade your kitchen with these slimming essentials.

Eating healthy starts not only with smart food swaps, but also a kitchen stocked with the right tools. Don't know where to begin? Clean out your cabinets and upgrade your cooking space with these slimming essentials.

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Blender

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A blender is the best and easiest way to whip up the smoothies, and you don't need a fancy one to get most kitchen jobs done. Blenders are also great for creating homemade salad dressing or pureeing soups.

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Cast-iron skillet

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Low-maintenance, hard-working, and super-affordable, every cook needs a cast-iron skillet for searing, roasting, even baking (nothing is better for making real cornbread in the oven!). Bonus: These pans provide traces of iron, a nutrient many women don't get enough of.

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Dutch oven

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These large, heavy-bottomed pots belong in every kitchen. They go from stovetop to oven and last forever. Use them for everything from batch-cooking beans and oatmeal to searing meats and making roasts, casseroles, stews, and soups.

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Food processor

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Such a time-saver when you don't feel like chopping. If you don't want to get a large 16- to 20-cup processor, a mini 4-cup version will handle most CarbLovers recipes.

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Food-storage containers

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The ultimate time- and money-saver! A good selection will keep your leftovers or batch-cooked foods fresh, and allow you to carry CarbLovers meals to work or wherever you are headed. Be sure to choose containers that are BPA-free and have secure lids.

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Knives

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Like most home cooks, CarbLovers cooks will do just fine with these three: a large chef's knife for slicing meat, fish, and vegetables; a paring knife for peeling and mincing smaller vegetables like garlic; and a serrated knife for slicing bread and pizza.

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Muffin tin

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Having at least one regular 12-cup tin is a must for baking up several weeks' worth of your favorite CarbLovers muffins.

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Herb Chopper

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Dried herbs are handy, but fresh will rock your world! These mini hand choppers make quick work of parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs that add calorie- and sodium-free flavor to dishes.

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Immersion Blender

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So much power for so little money! These handy wands, which often cost under $30, can puree an entire batch of soup or marinara sauce—right in the pot! If you use them to whip up smoothies, make sure to put the ingredients in an oversize glass or plastic container to avoid splashes.

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Slow cooker

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There's a reason more than 80 percent of American households have one! Slow cookers are great for soups, stews, even casseroles. Just turn on in the morning, set on "low" or "high," and dinner is done when you get home from work. Try serving dinner straight from your cooker, family style!

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Pizza stone

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Great for giving all your pizzas a crisp and chewy crust.

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