Retail experts say it's cheapest to buy in December—and it'll help your health get off to a running start in 2019.
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December is here, and you'll be inundated with fliers and emails from retailers this month promising you the best deals on everything they sell—but the team of retail experts over at Consumer Reports are cutting through all the clutter to find the real deals this holiday season.
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Consumer Reports regularly tracks the advertised prices of all products that pass through their rigorous testing criteria, and every month they release a report on which products are most likely to be on the steepest sale of the year. This month, just in time for the holidays, all sorts of electronics are on sale, including major gadgets like tablets and wireless headphones—but the one item you'll want to snag is a fitness tracker or smartwatch, which is expected to be sold at the lowest prices you'll see all year long.
Fitness trackers can be extremely helpful for those looking for extra reminders to get up and move during the day—even the most basic models monitor your movements in all forms of metrics and seamlessly connect to your computer or smartphone to store data on how much activity you're getting in daily. More advanced models can do more than just track your movement—they can monitor heart rates, sleep time, and could include analytics like GPS location and barometers for those who are exercising more frequently than not.
The team at Consumer Reports tested many different models on the market and compiled a "best of" list—one oftheir best models of 2018 is currently on sale via Amazon. The Garmin Forerunner 35 contains heart rate-monitoring features, step counting and distance tracking, as well as a user interface that is simple to use. It can keep track of calories burned throughout the day, and can track the quality and quantity of sleep throughout the week. An added bonus: you can sync the gadget with most smartphones for call and text push notifications.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.
Smartwatches and most fitness trackers are becoming more alike than ever, but if you're in the market for a smartwatch, Apple's newest Watch is a very popular option. The brand-new gadget can make tracking your health easier than ever, with some life-changing features—like the ability to take an EKG instantaneously, and automatically share the results with your healthcare provider.
Photos courtesy of Apple.
The main difference between smartwatches and fitness trackers is the ability to respond directly to messages and calls as well as social network updates—and Apple's new Watch comes with a few different bells and whistles, like the ability to use Apple Pay at checkout even if you don't have your phone nearby.
Consumer Reports also published a buying guide for smartwatches—but the advanced health features of an Apple Watch, plus the ability to host other health mobile apps on the gadget directly, might make it the best holiday gift to give to a health fiend in training.
Making Health and Nutrition a Priority During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
There is little doubt that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives—from virtual classrooms to telecommuting to early restaurant closing times to outright quarantines. Observing public health measures and reducing exposure to the virus are required to slow the spread of this disease. No one knows how long these virus safety measures will need to stay in place, but it presents a perfect time to protect and improve your health while practicing social distancing. Healthy eating is especially important for keeping your immune system in top condition. Here are some steps you can take to eat healthy in the times of COVID.
*American Society for Nutrition members Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND, Kaitlyn Eck, PhD, RD, and Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD have contributed their advice for staying healthy during this time.
The 27 Coolest New Gadgets of 2020
One decade ago, 4G was the hot new thing, TVs were ugly, and everyone's cell phones slid open. Just imagine what the next ten years will bring. If we really live up to our innovation potential, it'll be a slew of technologies that successfully yank humanity away from the precarious edge it is teetering upon. You know, the one where we're about to plunge into irreversible global disaster, AI super-surveillance, and digital inequality. A dark outcome, to be sure! Let's reign in the doom and gloom for a second though&mdashwe know easier said than done&mdashand focus on the now.
Over the past year, startups and massive corporations alike have kept up the tempo of new releases. Despite the pandemic, there are new gadgets to ooh and ahh and damnnn over, from the outlandish to the high-concept to the downright handy. Here are 27 of the most interesting we've seen and used (with some overlap with Esquire's 2020 Gadget Awards). Best case scenario, they are the kinds of gadgets that will make our lives more efficient, safer, and more entertaining in some neat way or another, and look cool in our homes while doing it. Worst case scenario, reading this article will for a few minutes quell the boredom of being perpetually stuck at home with only your Alexa and an outdated gaming console that is decidedly not a PS5 for company, watching everything outside go from bad to worse.
Cool new technology reminds us that even as 2020 closes out, we humans can't help but invent, grow, and change. It's something bright worth keeping in mind.
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Why it&rsquos good for you: This spicy chili paste or powder is having a moment, and for good reason. Recipes for harissa can differ, but in general they usually contain a mixture of healthy ingredients like chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices. Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is thought to have pain-relief and cancer-protective effects.
How to eat it: It&rsquos super versatile and can be dotted onto fried eggs, mixed into soups or stews, mashed into potatoes&mdashthe list goes on. Here&rsquos one recipe: Whole Roasted Carrots with Black Lentils and Green Harissa
Nutrition per 2 tsp: Calories: 15, Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 36 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 1 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Goat cheese can feel indulgent but it actually has less fat per serving than most other cheeses. It also contains protein, calcium and 3% of your daily dose of iron in just an ounce. (Some research has suggested that compared to cow milk, goat milk increases iron absorption and benefits your bones.) Still not convinced? Don&rsquot forget that eating for pleasure is good for your health as well.
How to eat it: However you like it! This recipe combines other healthy superstar ingredients, too: Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls with Goat Cheese
Nutrition per 1 ounce: Calories: 103, Fat: 8.5 g, Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 118 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.03 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0.03 g, Protein: 6 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Popcorn is a high-fiber food that should top your list of go-to snacks. We&rsquore not talking about movie theater popcorn, of course. Air-popped popcorn without lots of melted butter and salty seasonings is best. One study even suggested popcorn is more satisfying than potato chips possibly due its irregular shape and high volume.
How to eat it: Try making your popcorn on the stove, it&rsquos simple and fast! Instead of butter, sprinkle some parmesan and a little salt.
Nutrition per 1 cup, air-popped: Calories: 31, Fat: 0.4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0.07 g, Protein: 1 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Coconut is a healthy choice for people with a taste for richness. It has health benefits too. It contains a good helping potassium, which can help curb stroke risk, and some research has also shown that adding a little coconut water to rice and letting it cool makes it less caloric. Coconut water, however, is not a replacement for the real fruit, with some research suggesting the water doesn&rsquot always meet its nutritional claims.
How to eat it: Keep unsweetened shredded coconut in your fridge and sprinkle it on a raw kale or collard green salad. With a tangy vinaigrette on top it&rsquos just delicious, and the small amount of fat it adds makes the salad&rsquos nutrients more bioavailable.
Nutrition per 1 cup, shredded: Calories: 283, Fat: 27 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 16 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Dietary fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 2.7 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat than conventional beef and higher in “good fats” such as omega-3s, monounsaturated fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid. It&rsquos also a great source protein and iron, which is important for growth and development.
How to eat it: Whatever cut you like, prepared as you normally would. We also like this: Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Sautéed Mushrooms
Nutrition per 3 ounces: Calories: 99, Fat: 2.3 g, Cholesterol: 47 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 20 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Ghee is a clarified butter that is made by melting butter and skimming off some of the fat. It can be easier for some people to digest and is a staple of Indian cuisine. It also has a slightly nutty flavor. It&rsquos high in vitamins and can be used as an alternative to cooking oils or butters.
How to eat it: Use ghee as a cooking tool for a new flavor and a commendable nutritional profile.
Nutrition per 1 tsp: Calories: 45, Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 0 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Less expensive than fresh salmon, the canned version is one of the richest food sources of vitamin D which is good for bone health and calcium absorption. Its omega-3 fatty acids are another added bonus.
How to eat it: Canned salmon contains the small salmon bones, and you&rsquoll definitely want to eat them&mdashthey&rsquore a great source of calcium that our bodies can more easily absorb than plant sources of calcium. Frying salmon burgers with bread crumbs, eggs, spices, lemon zest and canned salmon, couldn&rsquot be easier.
Nutrition per 1 can: Calories: 530, Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 226 mg, Sodium: 1656 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 60 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is high in lots of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that protect cells. It&rsquos also a good vegetarian source of protein. It can come in pill, powder or flake form, and it&rsquos worth doing your research for a trusted variety.
How to eat it: Add a teaspoon to your morning smoothie or oatmeal.
Nutrition per 1 tbsp: Calories: 20, Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 73 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.7 g, Dietary fiber: 0.3 g, Sugars: 0.2 g, Protein: 4 g.
Why they’re good for you: This citrus fruit may be too acidic to eat as you would a milder orange, but it&rsquos similarly high in vitamin C, which helps protect cells from damage and is needed by the body to make collagen, which is important for wound healing. Not to mention adding a little lemon zest to any meal adds a flavor kick.
How to eat it: The easiest way to get vitamin C into your diet without taking pills is to drink lemon water. It&rsquos tasty, satisfying and some people swear that if you drink it in the morning, it kickstarts digestion for the day. More evidence is needed, but it can&rsquot hurt&mdashand it tastes great.
Nutrition per 1 fruit: Calories: 17, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 5.4 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 1.5 g, Protein: 0.6 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Tofu is a great plant-based protein source, and it&rsquos high in calcium, protein and iron. Tofu also contains isoflavones, which have benefits related to heart health and a decreased risk of breast and prostate cancer.
How to eat it: Try the soft kind of tofu that has the consistency of jelly. It&rsquos great raw in salads instead of hard-boiled eggs, and you can slice it and dredge in a little egg wash and pan fry for a great appetizer. Top with soy sauce mixed with sesame oil, green onion and black pepper and if you like it spicy, a little sriracha.
Nutrition per 1/2 cup: Calories: 98, Fat: 5.3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 15 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.6 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 11.4 g.
Why they’re good for you: Bitter greens&mdashlike dandelion&mdashare rich in vitamin C as well as B vitamins, calcium, iron and potassium. That&rsquos an ideal mix for healthy bones and muscles.
How to eat it: In salads, stewed in stock or like this: Dandelion-Stuffed Pork Loin
Nutrition per 1 cup, chopped: Calories: 25, Fat: 0.4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 42 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 0.4 g, Protein: 1.5 g.
Why they’re good for you: Like all spud varieties, purple potatoes are rich in potassium&mdashwhich is needed for blood pressure management. What&rsquos special about purple potatoes are their color, which comes from anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that poses numerous health benefits like a lower risk for cardiovascular disease.
How to eat it: However you&rsquod eat a regular potato. Or like this: Chilean Beef and Purple Potato Salad.
Nutrition per medium-sized potato: Calories: 93, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 7 mg, Carbohydrates: 20 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 3 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Come for the crazy good flavor (nutty, savory and somehow cheesy) and stay for the nutritional punch. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids as well as zinc, selenium, B vitamins, protein and fiber. (Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that&rsquos grown in a culture to make a seasoning rich in nutrients.)
How to eat it: Some people call this flaky nutritional powerhouse &ldquovegan parmesan&rdquo but think of it more as a healthy B-vitamin-and-protein-laced umami bomb. It&rsquos incredible on popcorn with a little olive oil and some spices. It&rsquos also great as a thickener in pesto, or in any vegetable puree, including cauliflower, mashed potatoes, or &ldquocreamed&rdquo kale or spinach.
Nutrition per¼ cup: Calories: 60, Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 25 mg, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 8 g.
Why they’re good for you: Oysters are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, and B12. Vitamin B12 is important since it keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells in good health. Sadly, the data on their effectiveness as an aphrodisiac is less robust.
How to eat it: Learning how to shuck oysters makes for a great party trick instead of simply offering guests the usual appetizer plate.
Nutrition per 6 medium: Calories: 43, Fat: 1.4 g, Cholesterol: 34 mg, Sodium: 71 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.3 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0.5 g, Protein: 5 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: This is a very versatile stone fruit, with colors that range from green with a reddish blush to bright yellow. Mangos are also chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vision protective vitamin A: One whole mango provides 45% of your daily value.
How to eat it: Eat it whole, in a smoothie or in any of Cooking Light&rsquos 38 best mango recipes.
Nutrition per 1 fruit: Calories: 202, Fat: 1.3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 3 mg, Carbohydrates: 50.3 g, Dietary fiber: 5.4g, Sugars: 46 g, Protein: 2.8 g.
Why they’re good for you: Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and other compounds involved in metabolism and bone health. They&rsquore also high in a subtype of flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are thought to be heart-healthy. A 2013 study of 93,600 women found those who ate more than three or more servings of 1/2 cup of strawberries or blueberries each week had a lower risk for heart attack.
How to eat it: You don&rsquot need our help with this one but here are 20 irresistible strawberry recipes anyway.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 46, Fat: 0.43 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 11 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 8.1 g, Protein: 1 g.
Why they’re good for you: Blackberries in particular are high in fiber, which can increase how full and satisfied you feel after eating, as well as vitamins C, K and manganese. Research has also linked berry consumption to a wealth of benefits for the body and mind, like lower rates of cognitive decline. The compounds that make their colors so vibrant can also lower inflammation and support the immune system.
How to eat it: Bring two cups of steel-cut oats, a pinch of salt, and eight cups of water to a boil. Then turn off the heat, leave it overnight, and top it with blackberries.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 62, Fat: 0.7 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Dietary fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 2 g.
Why they’re good for you: Artichokes have a meaty texture, and the vegetables are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and abundant in antioxidants such as quercetin and anthocyanins. When selecting a fresh artichoke to take home, pick one that&rsquos heavy and firm (weight is less important with baby artichokes, of course).
How to eat it: Roasted artichokes take some preparation&mdashyou have to remove the tough outer leaves, peel the stem, chop off the top and then soak them in lemon water so they don&rsquot brown&mdashbut the task can be meditative and the result is delicious. Serve with a simple dipping sauce of greek yogurt (or mayo, if you want a treat) mixed with garlic and curry.
Nutrition per 1 medium artichoke: Calories: 60, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 120 mg, Carbohydrates: 13.5 g, Dietary fiber: 7 g, Sugars: 1.3 g, Protein: 4.2 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that contains fiber and multiple vitamins that make it a good addition to your dinner plate. Sauerkraut is a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. Not to mention it contributes a moderate amount of protein to your diet. Like other fermented foods, sauerkraut contains probiotics that benefit the gut and digestion.
How to eat it: You can do the fermenting yourself with this recipe for Red Sauerkraut or buy it pre-made and eat it on its own, with eggs, or mixed into salads or slaws.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 27, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 939 mg, Carbohydrates: 6.1 g, Dietary fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 1.3 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Spaghetti squash has one of the highest water contents of all the winter squash. It&rsquos low in calories and can be used to substitute pasta in many recipes. It also yields a good dose of vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C and fiber.
How to eat it: Substitute it for pasta in your favorite dish. It won&rsquot look exactly the same, but you&rsquoll get a delicious vegetable overload. You can also strain them and form them into patties that you bake in the oven.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 42, Fat: 0.4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 28 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 1 g.
Why they’re good for you: There&rsquos a reason &ldquoan apple a day&rdquo is a thing. Apples are rich in a type of fiber that can lower cholesterol levels, making them a heart healthy snack. One study found eating apples led people to eat 15% fewer calories at their next meal. Another perk? They&rsquore helpful for regulating digestion.
How to eat it: Fry up some kale and then saute it with garlic and diced apples.
Nutrition per 1 medium apple: Calories: 95, Fat: 0.3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Dietary fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 19 g, Protein: 0.5 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Wild caught cod is a versatile and sustainable fish that is available throughout the year. Though the fish is lower in fat, a high percentage of its fat comes in the form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to eat it: Mix up a miso-based marinade and roast it in the oven.
Nutrition per 3 ounces: Calories: 71, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 52 mg, Sodium: 114 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Protein: 17.4 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Few leafy foods look as lovely as rhubarb with its deep red stalks and bright green leaves (just remember not to eat the latter, as they&rsquore poisonous). It&rsquos high in vitamins and folate, as well.
How to eat it: Forget jam or pie&mdashtry pickling your rhubarb for a savory kick.
Nutrition per 1 stalk: Calories: 11, Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 2.3 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0.6 g, Protein: 0.5 g.
Why they’re good for you: It&rsquos hard to compete with the deep reds of beets, but don&rsquot toss the greens that sprout from them. The leaves of some beets, like golden and Chioggia varieties (which are striped on the inside!) are especially lush and thick, and can tossed into salads. They&rsquore high in vitamin A and vitamin K, and a cup boasts 44 mg of calcium.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 8, Fat: 0.05 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 86 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.7 g, Dietary fiber: 1.4 g, Sugars: 0.2 g, Protein: 0.8 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Like purple potatoes, the unexpected shade of this cauliflower comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin. Cauliflower is low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, manganese, vitamin K and B6 (which is involved in metabolism and early brain development). Consider steaming or stir-frying cauliflower to keep nutrient levels high.
How to eat it: Steamed or roasted at 400 °F and then pureed. Add a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper, and at the end, toss in any fresh herbs you may have, such as thyme, rosemary or even mint and basil. Consider it a healthier and more elevated mashed potato.
Nutrition per 1 cup, chopped: Calories: 27, Fat: 0.3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 5.3 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 2.1 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Endive is high in inulin and fiber, which can lower LDL cholesterol levels to benefit the heart. Endive is also a great source of vitamin A and beta-carotene as well as B vitamins, iron and potassium. Often used raw in salads or appetizers, cooked endive can taste sweet and nutty.
Nutrition per 1 cup, chopped: Calories: 8, Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 11 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.7 g, Dietary fiber: 1.6 g, Sugars: 0.1 g, Protein: 0.6 g.
Why they’re good for you: Small veggies are ideal snacks on the go since they&rsquore high in nutrients and fiber&mdashand they taste great raw. A good snap pea should look moist&mdashwhen they are dry they taste more starchy. They&rsquore also high in vitamins A, K, and C.
How to eat it: Snap peas are delicious plain or dipped into hummus, but if you want to mix it up a bit, drizzle some red wine vinegar or rice vinegar on top of them, mixed with a little oil, and serve.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 31, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 3.3 g, Protein: 2 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: There may be no other vegetable more evocative of summer than corn, though there are certainly reasons to eat it year-round. One ear of corn has approximately the same calories as an apple, with equally high nutrient levels, too. Non-genetically modified corn is also loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision.
Nutrition per 1 medium ear: Calories: 99, Fat: 1.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 4 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Pumpkin is not just for carving. Its seeds are high in potassium and magnesium, and pumpkin flesh is rich in beta carotene, which is good for the immune system. One cup of canned pumpkin contains 7g fiber and 3 grams of protein, which is helpful for regular digestion. Pumpkin also contains 50% of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clotting.
How to eat it: Make a toasted pumpkin seed pesto. Throw them in a food processor with basil, olive oil, parmesan, garlic and lemon juice. Or roast, puree and eat it as a side dish or mixed in with potatoes.
Nutrition per 1 cup mashed: Calories: 49, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 1.8 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Kimchi is the Korean version of fermented cabbage, and is loaded with vitamin A, B vitamins and vitamin C. Similar to sauerkraut, it contains healthy probiotics that regulate digestion. It adds a kick of flavor to almost any recipe.
How to eat it: You can buy it or make it yourself. It tastes great by the spoonful, or you can try it in a recipe like Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi-Pork Soup).
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 22, Fat: 0.8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 747 mg, Carbohydrates: 4 g, Dietary fiber: 2.4 g, Sugars: 1.6 g, Protein: 1.7 g.
Why they’re good for you: We know olive oil is a common ingredient in a healthy diet, but don&rsquot forget about its source. Olives are high in healthy fat that can benefit your heart and brain and keep weight in check. Research has also suggested that olives are a good source of antioxidants that prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol in artery walls. They&rsquore also a fermented food, and therefore are good sources of gut-friendly bacteria.
How to eat it: Pour them into a dish and serve, or slice them up and add them to any pasta recipe.
Nutrition per 1 large olive: Calories: 5, Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 32 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.3 g, Dietary fiber: 0.1 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 0 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Asparagus is a good source of folate, which is essential for a wide variety of body functions, as well as vitamins A, C and K. When purchasing asparagus, avoid spears with smashed tips, which will spoil more easily.
How to eat it: Use a peeler to cut asparagus into little ribbons to mix into salads. Also try them oven roasted whole at 375 °F for 12 minutes and then served with sunny side up eggs for breakfast. There&rsquos something really fun about poking egg yolks with an asparagus spear.
Nutrition per 1 spear: Calories: 3, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.6 g, Dietary fiber: 0.3 g, Sugars: 0.3 g, Protein: 0.4 g.
Why they’re good for you: This fruit is high in both vitamins A and C, and have a unique taste that allows flexibility for both sweet and savory dishes. Avoid figs with bruises, but they should be a bit soft when you&rsquore choosing which ones to bring home.
How to eat it: Pair them with healthy appetizers like almonds and cheese for your guests, or get cooking with these 20 Fantastic Fig Recipes.
Nutrition per 1 fig: Calories: 37, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 9.6 g, Dietary fiber: 1.4 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein: 0.4 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: This peculiar-looking root vegetable has a pale green or purple bulb which sprout multiple stalks with dark leaves&ndashand you can eat all its parts. Kohlrabi is a cousin to broccoli and cauliflower and is high in fiber and potassium.
How to eat it: They taste great roasted in olive oil or nestled under a roast chicken as it cooks. You can also try Honey-Glazed Kohlrabi with Onions and Herbs.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 36, Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 27 mg, Carbohydrates: 8.4 g, Dietary fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 2 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Pork tenderloin is now certified with the American Heart Association “heart check” mark, indicating it qualifies as an extra-lean and heart healthy meat. Additionally, it is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins and zinc.
Nutrition per 3 ounces: Calories: 159, Fat: 5.4 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 55 mg, Carbohydrates: 0 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Protein: 26 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: There&rsquos been back and forth on how much is too much when it comes to the morning cup-o-joe. But one study of 130,000 adults found no evidence that coffee increases the risk for health problems like heart disease or cancer, even among people who drank 48-ounces a day. The fact is, coffee is a complex drink containing hundreds of different compounds. Some of those include antioxidants that have been linked to a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer&rsquos and liver cancer, Romano says. Keep in mind, that&rsquos without added sugar and cream.
How to eat it: Brew yourself a cup in the morning and drink it as plain as possible&mdashthe health benefits come from the coffee, not the cream and sugar you add to it.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 5, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.6 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 0.7 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: This fermented drink is rich in probiotics, which benefit the healthy bacteria in your gut, aid in digestion, and increase the absorption of nutrients in food.
How to eat it: Kombucha is increasingly becoming an easy-to-find beverage at the grocery.
Nutrition per bottle: Calories: 33, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 0 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: This whole grain, which is also gluten-free, is rich in fiber and is a complete protein. (Fun fact: it&rsquos what&rsquos used to make soba noodles.)
How to eat it: It can be used as the base for a dish instead of rice, in soups or in tasty baked goods like Buckwheat Belgian Waffles.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 583, Fat: 5.8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 2 mg, Carbohydrates: 121.6 g, Dietary fiber: 17 g, Protein: 23 g.
Why it’s good for you: This twisted root is a natural remedy for nausea and motion sickness and has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Not only does it pack a zingy flavor, it also contains compounds like beta-carotene and capsaicin, which provide all sorts of healing and immune supportive wonders to the body.
How to eat it: If you&rsquore worried about having to buy a whole root and only using a little bit, wrap it and store in the freezer. Take it out and microplane it onto fish, chicken, salad dressings, or anywhere you need a little zing.
Nutrition per 5 small slices: Calories: 9, Fat: 0.1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Dietary fiber: 0.2 g, Sugars: 0.2 g, Protein: 0.2 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, is a good way get in some calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin E. Just one tablespoon has 110 mg of phosphorus, too, which is critical for the formation of bones and teeth. It also works with B vitamins to help with nerve signaling, normal heartbeat, and muscle contractions.
How to eat it: Tahini is a great base for salad dressings and marinades for fish. It&rsquos also a key ingredient in hummus.
Nutrition per 1 tbsp: Calories: 89, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 17 mg, Carbohydrates: 3.2 g, Dietary fiber: 1.4 g, Sugars: 0.1 g, Protein: 3 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Basil, which is actually a member of the mint family, is the star ingredient in pesto. The oil extracts from basil leaves contain antioxidant compounds that combat inflammation. Also high in vitamins, it&rsquos a simple way to add a touch of nutrition to many recipes, and it pairs well with hearty vegetables.
How to eat it: You can&rsquot go wrong tossing it into Asian stir fries, onto pasta or pizza, and shredding it into salad. Tear or cut just before serving, and check out Cooking Light&rsquos Guide to Basil.
Nutrition per 5 leaves: Calories: 1, Fat: 0.02 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.07 g, Dietary fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 0.08 g.
Why they’re good for you: In addition to their heart-healthy fats, pistachios are rich in antioxidants, including lutein, beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol. They are also high in vitamin A, which is important for vision and proper organ function. They&rsquore delicious and surprisingly light for a nut: 50 kernels are only around 160 calories.
How to eat it: Keep pistachios in the fridge so you can regularly chop them up and toss them into salads, on top of roasted broccoli, and even into soups.
Nutrition per 1 ounce serving: Calories: 159, Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 2.2 g, Protein: 6 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Spelt is becoming an increasingly popular grain due to its nutritional profile. Spelt includes complex carbohydrates, and is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin B2, niacin, manganese, thiamin, copper and magnesium. It even has fatty and amino acids, which are important for body function.
Nutrition per serving: (one cup,cooked) Calories: 246, Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 51.3 g, Dietary fiber: 8 g, Protein: 11 g.
Why they’re good for you: Seeds, like sunflower seeds for example, are high in vitamin E which has antioxidant activity that&rsquos good for immune function. One ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds contains 7.4 mg of vitamin E, which is 37% of your daily value.
How to eat them: Toss them on top of salads, in oatmeal, or pour a handful into a baggie and eat them as a snack.
Nutrition per 1 ounce: Calories: 165, Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Dietary fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 5.5 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Parsley is rich in many essential vitamins that play a role in bone, nervous system and immune health. This herb also contains flavonoids including apigenin, chrysoeriol, and luteolin&mdashwhich is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. Consider making parsley a kitchen staple if you haven&rsquot already.
How to eat it: Buy a bunch on the weekend and use it on everything all week&mdashit perks up pretty much any dish. Slice it super-thin and use it on top of pasta, mixed into salads, on top of a roast chicken breast, into a pesto puree or onto quinoa- or couscous-based salad.
Nutrition per 10 sprigs: Calories: 4, Fat: 0.08 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 6 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.6 g, Dietary fiber: 0.3 g, Sugars: 0.08 g, Protein: 0.3 g.
Why they’re good for you: If chili paste is a little too hot for your liking, try adding just a touch of chili flakes to a dish&mdashit works for pretty much anything savory&mdashfor something a little more subtle, but still palate-changing. Not to mention some research has shown spicy food can increase satiety and calorie burn.
How to eat it: Sprinkle onto eggs, pizza, avocado toast, or into a salad dressing of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and parmesan.
Nutrition per 1 tsp: Calories: 8, Fat: 0.4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 77 mg, Carbohydrates: 1.3 g, Dietary fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0.2 g, Protein: 0.4 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: The aromatic herb has compounds in its leaves that have been used for centuries to treat digestive issues. Mint is also thought to have antimicrobial effects and antiviral effects, and is a soothing herb with unique flavor for cooking and for drinks. There are many different kinds, from spearmint to apple mint.
How to eat it: Add some mint to a bowl of berries, or into a grain-based dish for a new flavor.
Nutrition per 5 leaves of mint: Calories: 0, Fat: 0.01 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 0.06 g, Dietary fiber: 0.1 g, Protein: 0.02 g.
Why they’re good for you: Carrots have long been a go-to veggie, but did you know that they come in many different colors like reds, purples and yellow? Standard orange carrots contain vitamin A, which is essential for healthy sight. Colorful carrots also contain other healthy antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene pigment. Lycopene is the same pigment that gives tomatoes their bright red, and it&rsquos linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.
How to Eat it: The simplest way to eat a carrot is to give it a wash and a good chomp.
Nutrition per carrot: Calories: 25, Fat: 0.2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 42 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 0.6 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Peanut butter is your friend, and you shouldn&rsquot opt for a low-fat version. It&rsquos high in filling fiber and protein, so just a little can go a long way when it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth.
How to eat it: Peanut butter is pretty self explanatory, but here are some techniques to try: Spread a tablespoon onto an apple or a large whole grain cracker and then dot it with sriracha hot sauce put one to two tablespoons into an all-vegetable smoothie for added richness and fat or swirl a small spoonful into your greek yogurt. (Why no one has invented peanut butter yogurt yet is beyond us.)
Nutrition per 2 tbsp: Calories: 191, Fat: 16 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 5 mg, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Dietary fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3.4 g, Protein: 7 g.
Why it&rsquos good for you: Though it&rsquos often referred to as a grain, amaranth is actually a seed that is rich in fiber and naturally gluten free, making it appropriate for people with celiac disease. In addition, it&rsquos a complete protein and contains cholesterol lowering fiber.
How to eat it: It can be turned into a morning porridge, popped like popcorn and used in sweet treats, too, like this Vanilla Amaranth with Peach Compote.
Nutrition per 1 cup: Calories: 251, Fat: 4 g, Sodium: 15 mg, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Dietary fiber: 5 g, Protein: 9.4 g.
What's Your Heart Rate Threshold?
A healthy adult, in general, should not see their resting heart rate dip below 60 bpm. However, this is a grey area, as the real concern comes from a heart rate dipping below 50 bpm. There are exceptions, of course Athletes are known to have low resting heart rates, sometimes in the 40s, and a sub-60 bpm measurement while sleeping is quite normal. For the average adult, though, heart rates dipping below 50 can be a health concern.
As previously stated, your Apple Watch sets your low heart rate threshold at 40 bpm. If it dips below this number in a 10-minute resting period, you receive an alert. However, you can change this threshold if it is too low for you (e.g., if you're not a professional athlete). Open the Watch app, tap "Heart," select "Low Heart Rate," then choose either 45 bpm or 50 bpm.
Types of Oats Your Baby Can Eat
There are several types of oats that are safe for babies to consume. Here are some of them:
- Baby oatmeal cereal is easily available in powdered form. You only need to mix it with breast milk or water and feed your little one.
- If you cannot find baby oatmeal cereal, you can feed your baby normal oatmeal Just cook it properly and puree it to form a smooth paste.
- Instant pre-cut oatmeal is another option you could use. Although it is not recommended as pre-cut oatmeal is the most processed form of oatmeal, it can be used only where there is no other option.
- Then, there are the rolled oats which also need to be cooked in boiling water for at least five to six minutes. Ensure you mash the cooked oats before and only then feed your baby.
- Steel-cut oats can also be fed to babies. Although these aren&rsquot easy to find, they are known to be quite delectable.
So, now you know which oats to feed your little one, let&rsquos take a look at how to select them and how to store them.
7 Things to Consider Before You Buy:
1) Does this item have a purpose?
How often do you buy something because it&rsquos a good deal and you might use it later?
Just because you might use something later doesn&rsquot mean you should buy it. Instead, challenge yourself to make sure everything you buy has a specific purpose.
I can&rsquot tell you how many times I&rsquove bought &ldquojust a few more&rdquo organizing bins at Target because I *might* want them later. While I often did use the bins later, I also spent quite a lot of money that wasn&rsquot in our budget, creating more stress and hassle for my whole family. The simple truth is that it wasn&rsquot worth it for a pretty container.
The same goes for mid-year toy clearance deals. It won&rsquot do you any good if you stock up on presents your kids don&rsquot really want, even if it was a steal of a deal.
Unless you have a specific purpose for an item, don&rsquot buy it.
2) How long will this item last?
Have you ever thought about those little toys and do-dads from the Target dollar bins or the dollar store? Often times, those items are so cheap, they break the very next day. Even if something was just a dollar, it&rsquos still a dollar less you now have. While that might not seem like much, it does add up over time if it&rsquos something you regularly do.
That&rsquos not to say that you should never buy cheap toys. Sometimes a $1 package of water balloons can provide hours of fun on a hot summer day. While the balloons will be popped and (hopefully) thrown away by the next day, that might truly be money well spent.
Really think about the long-term use of something before you buy it.
3) How much will we really use this?
This question is true for many items we buy, but toys and clothes are the top things I think about with this question.
I don&rsquot buy fancy dresses or suits for Easter or special occasions for my family. Our church is casual anyways, so my kids would literally only wear the fancy clothes for one day. And even if I found a good deal at a thrift store, I would still have to find something for all four of my kids and that adds up quickly.
I also ask this for anything I buy myself. I love scarves, but I rarely wear them &ndash probably because I&rsquom always afraid I&rsquoll get them dirty between my kids and animals. Since I have 5 or 6 pretty scarves already, I don&rsquot need any more.
The same goes for toys. Does my daughter really need one more stuffed toy? Does Luke need one more toy car? If it&rsquos something they&rsquoll truly cherish and play with often, it may be worth it, but again this is another important question to consider.
4) Will this cause clutter and chaos later?
Whether your home is perfectly organized or completely chaotic and driving you nuts, you will want to consider how buying whatever you&rsquore considering will fit into your home.
Will it truly be used or will it soon become just another toy for you to trip over or knick knack collecting dust?
Last summer, I organized and decluttered our whole house, thanks to following the Marie Kondo &ldquotidying&rdquo method. It was a huge project, but well worth it to get sanity back into our home. And because I worked so hard and got rid of so much stuff, I&rsquove been mindful ever since about what I bring into the house.
I love little stuffed toys and knick knacks and have always purchased them from various places we&rsquove visited, etc., but I realized last year that I don&rsquot love them sitting around my house.
With that in mind, I was able to say &ldquono&rdquo to buying an adorable 6&Prime stuffed Chewbacca from Kohl&rsquos. This little &ldquoChewy&rdquo would roar when you pressed his tummy and it was adorable. Even my husband asked if I wanted this as a Christmas present, but I told him &ldquono&rdquo because I knew it would end up as a dust collector on my desk.
A stuffed Chewy might not be your temptation, but consider what does trip you up when you&rsquore shopping. Is it craft supplies? Books or educational toys for your kids? Maybe it&rsquos kitchen gadgets or DVDs.
This is one of my favorite questions for curbing spending!
5) Do I want this because a friend has it or is telling me to buy it?
We&rsquove all been faced with a little friendly peer pressure from friends to buy something. It doesn&rsquot have to be &ldquokeeping up with the Jones.&rdquo Often times, it might just be your best friend recommending a new workout DVD or a friend asking you to host a jewelry party.
Those &ldquodirect sales&rdquo companies are some of the biggest culprits here and the companies know it too how do you think they get so big?! Sure some of the products might truly be great, but how many sales are made because people feel guilty and want to please a friend who is starting a business?
I allowed myself to be guilted into a Facebook party one time and ended up purchasing $25 worth of jewelry. I certainly didn&rsquot need it and when I received it, 3 of the 5 pieces looked nothing like the picture and I hated them. I only wear one set of earrings from that party, meaning I wasted a solid $20 just to please a friend.
There are better ways to be a friend.
6) Do I HAVE to buy this today?
This is another valuable age-old question to ask before you buy. Instead of buying something today, go home and think about it. If you still really want it tomorrow or next week, then it might be something to consider fitting into your budget or saving for.
This is something I always tell my kids, who often want to buy something &ldquonow&rdquo and it&rsquos important to model this for them.
Usually when you wait to buy something, one of three things will happen:
1) You&rsquoll forget about it, meaning it wasn&rsquot that important to begin with.
2) You&rsquoll find a better deal elsewhere
or 3) You&rsquoll miss out on a deal.
Guess what? In all the times I&rsquove waited to buy something, I&rsquove only regretted it a few times. On the other hand, I can&rsquot even tell you how many times I&rsquove regretted overspending because I bought something now.
7) Is there a better option than buying this?
Does your child really need another game even if it is a great price?
Do you really need yet one more blu-ray for your family movie collection?
I purchased an online movie at one point and while it was a decent price, we never watched it. Last week, I discovered our library offers this movie for FREE as a week-long rental.
Often times, there&rsquos great alternatives to buying something. You could borrow a game from a friend, go to the library, even download a free book from Kindle.
By asking yourself these 7 simple questions before you buy something, you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress. Think about it the next time you want to buy something impulsively. Is it really worth it?
(Mine is Amazon Lighting Deals and Kohls&rsquo with their 30% off coupons!)
When and How to Introduce Pasta to Infants?
Pasta is best introduced during the solid food period, that is after the initial introduction of purees after your baby turns 7 months old. Pasta, which is usually eaten al-dente is NOT how it is introduced to the babies. When cooking pasta for babies, remember that it should be fully cooked and preferably in a sauce so that it can be mashed if required.
You can get creative by choosing different kinds of pasta such as stars, bows, or elbow-shaped, and make mealtime fun for the baby.
So, what is it that your baby gains by eating pasta? Read below to know the nutritional value of pasta.
Best Overall: Hello Fresh
HelloFresh is America's most popular meal kit, and we have several guesses as to why that is. The company not only sends along easy-to-follow, well-designed recipe cards for each meal, but HelloFresh is committed to providing high-quality ingredients (sourced straight from the farm!) for each meal you receive. For about $60 per week, you can choose two or three recipes each week from the veggie, classic, or family plans.
Best for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Sun Basket
If you've committed to a certain healthy-eating lifestyle, or if you're vegetarian or pescatarian, Sun Basket can help. The company is not only committed to sending the cleanest ingredients in each meal kit, but it offers 10 different plans so that you can find one that fits your lifestyle. It even offers microwave- and oven-ready meals that are ready in minutes. Start by selecting your meal plan, and each week you'll choose two, three, or four meals for either two or four people.
Best for Quick Meals: Blue Apron
Each week, choose two to four recipes from Blue Apron's selection of easy, 20-minute meals from three different types of plans: Signature, Vegetarian, or Signature for 4. Your weekly box will include recipe instructions and the exact amount of pre-portioned ingredients you'll need for each meal. Plus, plenty of meals are Weight Watchers-approved if you're looking for healthy options.
Most Customizable: Home Chef
Before ordering, be sure to set up your Home Chef taste profile so you can easily be matched with recommended 30-minute meals, including steak, chicken, pork, fish, and vegetarian recipes each week. Choose from two, four, or six serving options and with your first order, you'll receive a handy binder to keep all your recipes in one place.
Best for Small Bites: Daily Harvest
Get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables with a weekly selection of chia parfaits, overnight oats, soups, smoothies, lattes, or grain harvest bowls from Daily Harvest. Each pre-portioned cup or bowl is packed with the best organic ingredients, requires barely any preparation, and can be stored in your freezer until you're ready to eat.
Best for Easy Meals: Martha & Marley Spoon
For your Martha & Marley Spoon meal kits, select one of 22 available plans from five categories every week. You'll be making high-quality recipes in half the time thanks to the plan's pre-portioned ingredients and cooking tips from Martha.
Best for Healthy Meal Plans: Green Chef
Choose the Green Chef meal plan of your dreams-including keto, paleo, plant-powered, or balanced living options-then start enjoying how easy it is to cook with organic ingredients. You can pick from the two-person plan or family plan to receive three dinners or two dinners each week, respectively.
Best Value: EveryPlate
Whether you're making dinner for two or dinner for four, EveryPlate has meal plans for any size household at a price anyone can get behind. With 13 recipes to choose from each week, you'll always have amazingly healthy meal ingredients in your fridge to whip up for an easy dinner.
Best Organic Plant-Based: Veestro
There's no reason you have to sacrifice taste for nutrition, and Veestro makes that easier than ever for your daily meals. First choose from three plant-based meal plans, which include A La Carte, Chef's Choice, and Weight Loss. Each frozen meal is made with organic plant-based ingredients and portioned so it's ready to heat and eat, cutting down on meal prep time. You can also choose the number of meals you receive each week: 10, 20, or 30.
Best for Snacks: SnackNation
SnackNation will come in handy for all those in-between meal times when you get the munchies. It delivers a monthly box full of snacks from brands like Bare, Kind, and Sun-Maid to your workplace or home. You can order one month of snacks at a time or subscribe to three-, six-, or 12-month plans. For every box delivered, SnackNation will donate meals to families in need through Feeding America.
Best for Groceries: Hungryroot
Hungryroot isn't technically a meal kit. Instead, it offers personalized grocery deliveries with simple recipes for meals like grain bowls and hearty salads. You can choose from a fresh selection of healthy food every week to restock your pantry. All of the items are free of artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives.
Best Vegan: Purple Carrot
If you're looking to step up your vegan cooking game, Purple Carrot is for you. The plant-based meal subscription service delivers everything you need to prepare delicious meals like kimchi tofu stew and beet burgers right to your door. You can order breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks from the service.
Best for Lifestyle: Sakara
With Sakara's meal subscription service, you'll get recurring deliveries each week with the option to skip a week or cancel your program at any time. You'll save 15 percent on your program for subscribing (instead of making one-time purchases), and you can choose from four programs that each come with clean, organic meals that are ready to eat-no cooking necessary. Bonus: You'll also get occasional treats with your meals.
Best Pre-Cooked: Freshly
Each Freshly meal is perfectly sized for one person and ready to eat in just three minutes (yes, really). The food is cooked by chefs and delivered while it's still fresh all you have to do is heat it up in the microwave and you'll have meals like cauliflower-shell bolognese, homestyle chicken with macaroni and cheese, and Mexican-style shredded beef ready at the press of a button. You can choose from four, six, ten, or 12 meals a week, and it's easy to change up how many you need depending on your schedule.
Most Affordable: Dinnerly
One of the most budget-friendly meal subscription box options, Dinnerly offers simple meal kits that start at the low price of just $4.69 per adult-sized serving. It uses the same quality ingredients as other brands, but is able to keep costs low by using digital recipe cards instead of printing instructions on paper and featuring meals that call for fewer ingredients-think one-pot tomato ravioli with pesto sauce and Thai coconut beef curry with rice. You can even filter your meal choices through categories like whether or not it's kid-friendly, low-calorie, vegetarian, or gluten-free.
Best Time-Sensitive: Gobble
Ideal for those with busy schedules, Gobble differentiates itself from other services by providing fully prepped meal kits. That's right, when your box of food arrives, all of the ingredients are already chopped and measured to perfection, cutting down on your time spent in the kitchen as well as how many dishes you'll need to use. In fact, most meals should be ready to eat in just 15 minutes.
Best for Specific Health Goals: Snap Kitchen
Created by chefs, dietitians, and foodies, Snap Kitchen offers gluten-free, low-carb, high-protein, paleo, vegetarian, and keto-friendly meal plans. Each week, you can set a specific health goal, like increasing your energy or decreasing inflammation. Then, you can choose your dishes each week-including breakfast, lunch, and dinner-and pick exactly how many meals you want.
Best for Kids: Yumble
Yumble was made for parents with picky eaters. With meals like cheesy fusilli pasta with broccoli and chicken nuggets with vegetables and rice designed just for kids, Yumble takes the guesswork out of deciding what to serve your little ones for dinner. Each balanced meal is nutritionist-approved and ready to serve as is or heat up in two minutes or less. Plus, the boxes come with fun activities for your kids that make eating even more fun.
Best Healthy Snacks: Naturebox
Stock your pantry with healthy snacks free of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and MSG by subscribing to Naturebox. You can build your own custom box by filtering snack options by categories, like vegan, keto-friendly, and low fat, or choose from one of the pre-packed boxes. Delivery is free on all U.S. orders over $25, and when you subscribe to regularly scheduled shipments, you'll save five percent on each snack.
Best for Meat Eaters: Omaha Steaks
If you love a hearty, meat-filled dish, Omaha Steaks' meals are for you. Choose from options like chicken pot pie, Asian-style beef and broccoli, and Italian chicken piccata. Meals are broken up by categories, from one-step meals to slow cooker dishes to meal kits. Or you can opt to build your own meal featuring Omaha Steaks, beef, pork, or chicken.
Best for Traditional Meals: Williams Sonoma
Along with kitchen appliances and gadgets, Williams Sonoma offers a variety of meals you can order for delivery designed to feed as many as eight people. Think vegetable tamales with salsa, mini pizzas, barbeque beef brisket, and more traditional entrées. They're a great way to feed a crowd or plan easy dinners for the family.
What to consider when buying an air fryer
Think of your individual requirements before investing. You may want to think about the following:
Manual or digital
The simplest air fryers come with manual knobs that you twist to set the time and temperature. You may prefer a digital version, where you press buttons to set this, and can see the remaining time digitally displayed.
Choice of pre-set programmes
Do you like to choose your own temperature and how long to cook things for, or would you prefer to leave all that to the machine? Some of our fryers had up to nine pre-set programmes for popular foods like chips and, bizarrely, shrimps.
It took between 17 and 30 minutes to cook chips in our samples, so this might be a factor. Some models need preheating, but only for a few minutes (much less than an oven).
Always check the size as the capacity varies enormously – important if you’re feeding the masses or just want dinner for one. But bigger isn’t always better. Some take up more space on the kitchen surface and if you’re going to keep it in a cupboard, check the dimensions, some are sizeable beasts.
Some models have a see-through lid so you can glance in and check your chips are browning well. With others, you have to open the basket to check, stopping the machine. The transparent ones tend to be a feature on more expensive machines, so you need to decide how important this is to you.
With most air fryers, you need to shake your chips halfway through cooking (or more often if you want to see how they are getting on). Some fryers have clever devices built in to turn the food for you. Again, these tend to be the more expensive models, but this could a factor to consider if you want to go off and leave your dinner to cook itself.
You’ll need to wash the basket and pan after use. Some need to be hand-washed, while others are dishwasher-proof. (The main parts of the machine should just be wiped with a cloth.)
Air fryers vary hugely in price – our tested models varied from £39.99 to £300.