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Holiday gifts and gadgets for the healthy home cook

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By Samantha Cassetty, RD

Scratching your head about what to get your favorite cook? We turned to some of the nation’s top food pros for their favorite gift ideas. Every pick on the list makes healthy cooking fun, fast and full of flavor, so you know each one sends a thoughtful message to friends and family on your holiday gift list. To accompany your gift, consider picking up one of our pros’ cookbooks to provide some ideas to put the new gadget to work.

BETTER editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, BETTER does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Food Processor

Price: $148.56, Amazon


This tool is a must-have in every kitchen! Katie Higgins, the healthy food blogger behind Chocolate Covered Katie, recommends this Cuisinart model. “I use this food processor to dice carrots or zucchini, shred sweet potatoes for hash browns, blend shredded coconut into butter, and to make my favorite Black Bean Brownies. I much prefer a food processor over a blender, because I find it more evenly processes all ingredients thanks to the larger surface area,” she says.

Price: $37.02, Amazon

Health-supportive chef and recipe developer Danielle Krupa recommends a smaller version, Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor. “It makes whipping up healthy items like hummus, fresh salsa, pesto, nut butters, energy bites, homemade baby purées and more a cinch. Plus, it’s affordable, comes in a variety of colors, is easy to clean and takes up very little kitchen space,” she says.

Mandoline Slicer

Price: $29.97, Amazon

For cutting the perfect, evenly sliced veggies like a pro chef, nothing beats a mandolin slicer. “My absolute favorite utensil is a mandolin slicer” says Eden Grinshpan, co-founder and executive chef of DEZ, and host of Top Chef Canada, who recommends the Benriner Mandolin Slicer. “I always have a big salad on my table and it just cuts the veggies so beautifully.” A mandolin slicer makes it so easy to make gorgeous salads, which Grinshpan says encourages her to eat them more. “They’re so inexpensive and a great gift!” she notes.

This versatile tool does more than create the perfect salad veggies. Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Ellie’s Real Good Food on Public Television and two-time James Beard award winning cookbook author, uses hers to create nutritious chips. “My favorite healthy cooking gadget is this mandoline slicer that has various blades and a safety holder to protect your hand when slicing. It’s ideal for turning fruits and vegetables — like potatoes, zucchini, apples and pear — into crisp (healthful) chips in the oven.”

Mini Offset Spatula

Price: $5.36, Amazon

Though luxe gifts may be alluring, chefs prize simple gadgets, too. Chloe Coscarelli, vegan chef and author of “CHLOE FLAVOR”, recommends this mini offset spatula. “This tool is small but mighty, and it’s less than $5.00, which makes it the perfect stocking stuffer!” she says. Coscarelli explains what makes this gift so great: “It allows for perfect wrist action whether you’re spreading avocado on toast or frosting on cupcakes. I’ve even frosted an entire wedding cake with it. Oh, and you can never have too many because they tend to get lost!”

Immersion Blender

Price: $26.99, Amazon

Any home cook will appreciate this multi-tasking tool. “It’s great for pureeing vegetable or lentil soups right in the pot, making homemade sauces, salad dressings, and more,” says Chef Jerran Boyer of Health Nut Chefs, who recommends this Cuisinart hand blender. “It’s one of the best tools a chef or home cook can have in their kitchen!”

Instant Pot

Price: $79.95, Amazon

If the cook on your gift list doesn’t already have this jack-of-all-trades, you’re going to want to grab one of these popular appliances. Among the various models, Dana Angelo White, RD, author of the “Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook” and the “Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook”, suggests the Instant Pot 6-QT Duo Plus 60 or the slightly older and lower-priced Instant Pot 6-Qt Duo 60.

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