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When you are driving home from work at night do you get super excited about having to cook dinner? Me neither. I want to get through the process quick and easy without a whole lot of fuss. This is an obstacle when you also want to start to eat healthy because it is more time consuming to eat healthy.

When I started to change my over to a healthy lifestyle time was the biggest factor. I found 5 time saving kitchen gadgets that helped me to overcome the time factor and make the transition a little more like what I considered normal. I also am still not driving home from work looking forward to having to cook dinner, but I know that these 5 kitchen gadgets will save me loads of time and effort.

The Peeler

Yes, the peeler. It seems like a silly thing but having a good peeler will save you oodles of time. It should be sharp and comfortable in your hand.

For years I used a metal peeler that was super cheap and it would rust and make painful indentations in my hands. This is not the way to create a new habit because it will deter you from doing anything that requires peeling. I have a Good Grips peeler (get it on Amazon here) that’s inexpensive and a delight to use. I don’t think twice about having to peel things because it is so fast and easy.

The Apple Slicer/Corer

The mighty corer is a saving grace. I love to eat apples sliced up with peanut butter, with cheddar cheese or in an apple crisp! The problem was, I can’t just eat an apple because one of my front teeth is a crown and I’m not doing that again, plus it is super expensive to have done, so I avoided apples.

Cutting up the apple just seemed like too much work so I didn’t eat them. Once I started to transition to unprocessed food, apples entered my world again. Apples are a great source of fiber and fill you up, not to mention that they are quite tasty. I found a lot of apple recipes and I wanted to try some of them — enter the corer/slicer.

I could not believe how easy this was to use. I could use it at home or stick it right in my lunchbox with a whole apple and slice it at work (I just hate a brown apple). Working with chopped apples just became super easy as well. Buy your own here.

A Sheet Pan

Without a doubt this purchase was the best I have ever made. My sheet pan has saved me so much time and effort it is unbelievable. Sheet pan meals are simple and fast and one of my favorite things to make, especially on a weeknight.

Try this sheet pan recipe: it is one of my favorites. You throw everything on the sheet pan together and about 25 minutes later you have a real food meal that you can be proud of. The reason the sheet pan is so good is that it holds so much stuff! You only have to use and wash one pan and roasted anything taste good, with the right spices.

It is important that you get a sheet pan with low sides and that is pretty heavy duty, because you roast things at high heat. The size of the sheet pan is also important because they can be pretty big. I have two sheet pans, one is full size and one is half sized, and I use them both constantly. Get your own here!

A Knife Set

Nothing is going to make your meal prep harder than dull or cheap knives. The effort it takes to slice and chop real food with cheap knives is not worth it. A sharp knife makes meal prep easier and faster.

The amount of time you spend working with knives when you choose to make real food is worth the cost of a decent set. What is your time and effort worth at the end of the day or during prep on a weekend? If I was going to splurge on a kitchen item that was more of a necessity than a luxury, this would be it.

You don’t need to break the bank but get a good set that comes with a sharpening stone and you will be amazed at the difference. I have a block of knives that I bought years ago with a sharpening stone and they are fine and are still pretty sharp. My set is 15 pieces and it cost me $39.99. Need new knives? Get this set here.

Dough Blender

Some may not see this as a necessity to start your real food kitchen but I definitely do. I did not start out with a KitchenAid Blender or the like and blending dough for breads or for biscuits is a great deal of work.

I found that even though I wanted to try to make some biscuits from scratch I was deterred because the dough would not mix up correctly. If you don’t want to make homemade biscuits or bread that is fine and you don’t need one. I found that at first it was a non- issue, but as I became more adept at the process I wanted to try different things and didn’t necessarily want to invest in a large counter top mixer. If you find that is where you are, this little gadget may help.

Start Simple!

There are a lot of appliances out there that can make the meal prepping task much easier, and I have a lot of them. I just didn’t start out with a lot of them. I started out with the basics and figured out what worked for me.

What items are the most important and most financially feasible items to help me speed up the real food process? That is the question I asked myself, when I was ready and able.

These items will give you the help you need to start making healthy habits a reality. Once you find that real food preparation is second nature, and not as daunting as you may have once thought, it’s time to look at what you may want to add to your kitchen inventory.

Do you have any kitchen favorites that make your evening meal preparation easier?

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