An army marches on its stomach. Now you can too!
We all know that eating well is an essential component of being healthy, losing weight and staying slim or, at the very least, being a bit porky and yet fit at the same time. Getting more nutrition out of food can help you live longer, feel better and look better, and that's not just hippy bollocks for practioners of 'hot yoga' - we can all benefit.
Thanks to tech, getting the most out of our diets needn't mean long hours processing vegetables into something appetising.
Here, we've got the pick of 2016's gizmos for the kitchen (and beyond), to ensure maximum "well-being" and minimum "about-messing". Get stuck in.
Sage Boss To Go • £120
Plucked from the strange mind of celebrity ginger four-eyes slaphead Heston Blumenthal, this blender has been designed to make your smoothies more smooth. A fine ambition for such a thing.
This is done with the aid of a 1,000W motor and high-velocity ProKinetix blade – whatever the hell that might be – resulting in what Sage claims is 42% finer juices than 'other blenders'. Handily, the tumbler you stick your unsmoothied ingredients in, is the glass you drink from, so just upend it, unscrew and down the hatch your fruit/greenery/seeds etc goes.
Yes, essentially, it's a Nutribullet rival, so possibly the standout difference is that the thread that the lid screws on to is positioned away from your tender lips, for a smoother drinking experience.
Magimix 11581 Multifunction Steamer • £150
Steaming rather than charring your food locks in more flavours, nutrients and vitamins, and the more steamed nosh you can manage, the more thankful your heart, and indeed colon, will be.
This handsome double decker will happily steam anything you bung into its two, 5.5-litre steaming baskets. There's also one 11-litre monster for steaming, erm, turkeys?
An idiot-proof base gives you a choice of four simple cooking positions: 100°C for meat and vegetables, 80°C for fish, 60°C for keep warm/reheat and 40°C for yogurt, with a digital display showing cooking time left. A 60-minute timer turns the thing off if you’ve fallen asleep in front of Nigella's latest guide to making 'the perfect toast', or whatever.
Breville VDF120 Halo Low Fat Fryer • £105
Delivering a guilt free chip has been turned into an art by Breville, with this space-age device that can turn out a kilogram of perfect fries using just half a spoon of oil.
A non-stick rotating bowl keeps your chips, potato wedges or roast veg continuously turning throughout the process, ensuring consistent browning and it’ll even turn out cakes with a cheeky wink in the level position. Grill only will turn out bacon, chicken fillets and steaks a treat and it’s all dishwasher safe, to boot. It probably helps old ladies across the road and gives to charity via direct debit, too!
NutriBullet Dessert Bullet • £50
A fruit and dessert specialist from the popular blending chaps. This makes frozen desserts from fresh fruit, but includes the seeds, stems and skin and blends in ten seconds or less, in coarse, medium, fine and extra fine consistency settings.
As a result, you get something that helps your immune system, aids fitness regimes and actually tastes pleasant too. Yum!
Tribest Slowstar Vertical Juicer and Mincer • £400
Slow and steady is the way forward when juicing – this reduces oxidation, leaving more of those lovely nutrients and enzymes in your goo at the end, alongside less pesky foam. It also means less noise, and no risk of ejecting beetroot onto the ceiling at high velocity, as once happened to us with a rotary juicer. The Slowstar, at a veritably sloth-like 47rpm delivers simply superior juice.
Speeding up the process slightly, but not too much, is a double-edged auger (the corkscrew inside that does all the mashing), while the addition of a mincing attachment makes this a versatile soul, as happy curling out sorbets and sauces as it is torturing oranges and carrots.
Hotpoint TB 060C AX0 UK Steam Blender • £180
This is a Jack of two trades, and both result in virtuous health bonuses. It's primarily a blender to prepare smoothies, soups, milkshakes, crush ice and all that. A pulse function aids blending in bursts, for a smoother outcome.
However, it's also as a steamer to steam what you’ve just blitzed – not the ice, presumably – for as long as the timer on that simple-to-use LCD display allows. All clad in stainless steel, like a mother, it’ll chi-chi up your kitchen a treat.
Tefal Cuisine Companion • £700
Tefal's impossibly complex food processor should make healthy eating a simple as pushing a button. A lazy person's dream device, you just chuck some veg and that into its 2.5 litre bowl, select one of the six automatic functions from the touchpad display on the front and then leave it to do everything.
Tefal reckons this thing can replace ten kitchen appliances by chopping, whipping, mixing, kneading, cooking, steaming, blending, stirring, emulsifying, whisking, searing, crushing, milling and precise heating. Please, be our guest, sir.
Good Grips avocado slicer • £8.50
Control this superfood with an iron fist, and this handy, if overly specific, tool.
The plastic blade makes short work of the skin, while remaining safe to touch; the pitting tool swipes the nut in seconds; the fan blade slices it into handy pieces for ease of scoffing.
Sage by Heston Blumenthal Tea Maker • £200
Yes, we love Sage stuff, basically. We're suckers for gunmetal, is all.
Now, tea almost literally poops out antioxidants, so make the most of your virtuous beverage with this specialised maker, courtesy of our favourite cueball chef again. Different teas need to be steeped at different temperatures for different durations, see, so this has 15 pre-programmed settings which lower a motorised basket into the precise temperature water, then hoiking them out at the optimum time.
Add a programmable start feature and you can awake to the perfect lapsang souchong as an unconventional alarm.
SITU scales • £96
Food weighing scales which link to an iPad or iPhone and will weigh whatever foodstuff you stick on it in conventional weight, but also in calories and nutrients. So you can see the calories, sugar, salt, protein, vitamins and minerals of the food you place on it, zapped to your iThing.
It’s customisable, so you can add your own foods and save individual recipes, then see the nutritional content just by slopping a serving of spag bol straight on.
MyFitnessPal • Free app
If you’re going to eat healthily and maybe shed the odd pound or two, a calorie-counting app is your new BFF, and the biggest and best is still MyFitnessPal. There’s a reason for this; in fact, over two million ones: that’s the database of foods and restaurant meals in its brain, for you to use to track your calorie intake, minute by minute.
That, and a recipe calculator which figures out the exact calorie total you’re about to throw down your gullet, plus a really pretty wonderful community, means this really is as far as you need look, calorie-counting-wise.
Withings Smart Body Analyser • £130
Smart scales which not only deliver high accuracy weight and body fat measurements, but also body mass index based on inputting your body type. It also plays nice with the Health Mate app: choose a weight loss goal and it’ll give you a daily calorie budget that automatically adjusts to your activity level.
It also takes your pulse every time you step onto it, alongside air quality via temperature and carbon dioxide measuring. Oh, and it gives you a weather report, because why the hell not?
Every weigh-in appears in the app (or MyFitnessPal, if you prefer) automatically, for a-whooping and a-hollering, or holding oneself and gently sobbing.