Celebrate Healthy Eating With Snack Girl’s Favorite Things

November 29, 2012   23 Comments

Ever since Oprah gave away automobiles on her show, I have wanted to do a favorite things list. Go ahead, check under your chair.

Healthy Eating Tools

What did you find? Lint? me, too

I am not Oprah, so I will not be giving away stuff. Also, unlike Oprah, I will not be featuring expensive pajamas in my list of potential gifts. My things are about supporting your family and friends in healthier eating.

Now, these aren’t the sexist gifts, but they might be used a lot more than the perfumed bubble bath. I err on the side of useful when I give a gift - whimsical just isn’t my thing.

Full disclosure: I do make a small percentage on anything you purchase through these links. It isn’t enough to make me promote stuff that I don’t like :)

1. LunchSkins Reusable Snack Bags - These babies are dishwasher safe, BPA free, and are super cute. If you are being healthy, you are packing your lunch and snack. Check out the Lunchskins website for all the cool colors and sizes and give these out to all your eco-groovy friends. You can buy them on Lunchskins or below.

LunchSkins Reusable Sub Bags- 2 Pack-(Navy Blue Bike + Red Mosaic)

LunchSkins Reusable Sub Bags- 2 Pack-(Navy Blue Bike + Red Mosaic)

  currently unavailable Buy on

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2. The Misto - This is a simple kitchen tool that anyone who uses non-stick spray for cooking should have. You put your favorite oil in the bottom, create a vacuum by pumping it, and spray a fine mist. These are “green” because you refill it as opposed to the ones you just toss out.

Makes a great stocking stuffer! “Hmmm, what is that oblong object?” he he!

Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Sprayer, Silver

Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Sprayer, Silver

$15.00   $8.99 Buy on

3. Microplane Grater - Do you know people who buy grated cheese? That is such a rip off! Get one of these babies and you will never buy that stuff again. It is fast to grate cheese because it is sharp, you can put it in the dishwasher, and store it in a drawer. Highly recommended for cheese lovers.

Microplane Professional Series Grater (Coarse)

Microplane Professional Series Grater (Coarse)

  $22.99 Buy on

4. Cuisinart Classic 7-Cup Food Processor - I know this one is pricey, but I have had mine for 12 years and it is still a great kitchen tool. I make pizza dough with it, chop garlic, and make my own bread crumbs. This is a workhorse and it cuts the time on the job from minutes to seconds. Recommended for people who are just getting into cooking and don’t have a clue.

Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor, 600-Watt Motor, White, DLC-10SYP1

Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor, 600-Watt Motor, White, DLC-10SYP1

$129.95   $99.99 Buy on

5. Cuisinart Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press - Do you like sandwiches but get bored by them? Do you have kids that are constantly demanding grilled cheese sandwiches? This thing is one of my favorite Saturday afternoon toys. Skip going out to Quizno’s and buy yourself one of these.

Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press

Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press

  currently unavailable Buy on

6. Nordic Ware Microwaver Popcorn Popper This bowl makes great popcorn in the microwave with nothing added. Popcorn is an incredibly inexpensive whole grain snack, and you just put ¼ cup in the bottom of this bowl, pop for 2 minutes and have perfectly made popcorn without oil. Then you just add salt or whatever you want in the bowl - only one bowl to clean up! I use this all the time.

Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper, 12 Cup, White

Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper, 12 Cup, White

$15.99   $14.99 Buy on

What are your favorite healthy eating gadgets? Please share.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 23 )

My healthy eating gadgets?

My wife and I got the 11-cup Cuisinart food processor from Costco on Black Friday. It was $110 (after instant rebate/discount) and seems to have favorable reviews. (A plus about buying from Costco is their lifetime warranty (excluding technology items, I think), so if this ends up being a dud, back it goes.

We also own a rice cooker (also from Costco - $30!) which makes all sorts of stuff besides (and in addition to) rice. Quinoa, any kinds of beans, etc. And after rinsing (or soaking and draining, if necessary), it's pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it operation until it gives you its "I'm done!" beep. We use it almost every day.

Gosh, I sound like a shill for Costco here... :(

Years ago, we bought a convection toaster oven (also from Costco $60ish?) and almost every day, I line a pan with a sheet of aluminum foil (also from Costco!) and roast broccoli or asparagus or cauliflower florets or butternut squash so we have a decent veggie for lunch. (And most of those vegetables are from Costco, too!)

Of course, the flip side is that Costco sells a lot of food-like products, so I just stay out of those aisles.

Always like seeing what Lisa and others view as handy for healthy eating, so can't wait to see more ideas...

I received the Cuisinart Griddler last year for Christmas. I love it so much it lives on my counter. We make panini's, but this opens up flat and you can flip the plates over to get a flat griddle. From pancakes to burgers this thing is awesome and the metal plates pop out and can go right into the dishwasher.

Andy Thanks for the great gadget uses ideas. Didn't think of using my rice cooker that way. And, hey, I think you might want to take another look at some of Costco's foods. We love the frozen wild salmon, the mahi burgers, the goat cheese, and lately he artisan lettuces for my green smoothies. I checks ingredients and find Costco's pretty good. Their selection of organically isn't skimpy. I just avoid the processed foods.

I love my Bullet that can be used for many more things then smoothies. Also my Cuisinart hand held blender for blending soups right on the stove.

Thanks for the kind words and your tips, Marjorie.

I coincidentally spotted the six-to-a-bag romaine hearts last time I was there and they're now destined for purchase and green-smoothie-making next week!

I don't disagree that Costco's *food* (e.g., produce) is pretty decent; I was referring to the food-like products* that have a shelf-life measured in months or years, not days or weeks. :)

* Michael Pollan tipped me off to this distinction in…

Love the olive oil mister! I will have to get one of those for my mom.

I bought the Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer at Ross for 7.99. I've also seen it at TJ MAXX. Ditto what you said about the microplaner grater for grating fresh ginger or nutmeg and zests from fruit - which makes food tastes fresh. The Cuisinart food processor is a lifessver during the holidays or when I am doing a lot of entertaining.

Guess I need to add the popcorn popper to my list. :)

I have to get that popcorn maker. Everytime I unplug my electric one it sparkers. My first one did that too, different brand. Never had a problem with anything else with the socket, so I know it's the maker.

I, too, love my food processor. I don't know how I ever lived without it!

I also love my rice cooker (you can make quinoa in there too!), and a good quality sharp knife.

I love the idea od the popcorn maker! Totaly cool! The Panini maker is one of my favorite things!! Great items you chose!

I keep forgetting to mention this each time I see Lisa mention the microwave popcorn maker -- my wife and I have thick, glass (oven-safe, maybe?) bowls that we got from Ikea and I put 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels into a bowl, set an oven-safe plate on top, and microwave the arrangement on high for a few minutes.

Yummy popcorn with no worries about the mutagenic chemical du jour dripping into our popcorn.

I've only recently begun sprinkling a little sea salt on it after cooking, but you could add whatever suits your fancy. (Years ago, I used to dig Mrs. Dash...)

(I used to use a paper sack and a few Tbsp of kernels, but sometimes you need a big bowl of popcorn, not a measly handful or two!)

Andy, just wondering: any oil in that popcorn bowl?

@Jaye- nope, no oil, just popcorn kernels and microwave radiation. (Ugh, it sounds pretty ugly when I write it out!)

I imagine one could spritz a little oil to get Mrs. Dash, salt, whatever to stick to it when tossing, but we follow a no-added-oil, vegan diet, so oil-free tastes good to me.

I tried using that popcorn popper without much success (i.e., I kept burning the popcorn). I found it easier to just use a pot on the stove with some coconut oil.

What a great group and discussion, sorry for my typos and bad proofing ala autocorrects. Andy, will check out NYT story. Never buy those long shelfs from any store except or disaster planning. Hey would love to have you follow You might enjoy: "Really?" about Cobb salad pizza, and March 09 Food about our hotel life and food dilemmas. Thanks ahead of time.

The oil mister is a great gadget; getting (back) into the crock pot; love, love the immersion blender for soups; my salton kitchen scale is a must; extra sets of measuring cups and spoons; counter-top lidded bin for vege scraps; and could not live without my coffee maker!

I like the popcorn maker idea. Does anyone have popcorn brands to recommend? I like big white fluffy popcorn.

Vit-A-Mix!!! Does everything! Can be pricey but sometimes featured at Costco! Treat yourselves - you won't regret it.

I've had one of those popcorn makers for years. Fantastic! No burning problems if you don't overload it and you stay nearby and listen. When popping slows or stops, turn off the microwave.

HI Lisa, wanted to add the greatest salad spinner to your mix, since we actually look forward to using the spinner, hence....more leafy green veggie eating! It's the Turbo Fan Salad Spinner - Dryer at It's a thoughtful gift from the heart!

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