Two Must Have Kitchen Gadgets for under $15

By Lori Meszaros, ASU Nutrition Communication Student


Kitchen gadget essentials can run the gambit. But two I can’t do without following. And, they are essential tools for me because I cook with citrus quite a bit.


  1. The Juice Press

No matter if you need lemon juice for a recipe or lime juice for a cocktail, a juice press is the all-in-one, handy gadget everyone should have in their kitchen drawer. They’re small, easy to use and most importantly, clean-up is a breeze.

The lemon water and juicing fad has come, and for the most part stuck around, but let’s face it, clean up can be tiresome and juicers can be expensive. Sometimes the benefits of juicing don’t outweigh the headache of having to tear the machine apart to clean it.

For under $15, a juice press can take that stress away. Plus, pressing juice has shown to retain more of the vitamins and minerals in the citrus than using a high-speed extractor like the expensive juicers you find in the stores.2

I can’t live without my juice press and it’s easy enough for my kids to use. They love making homemade lemonade and I love that I don’t have to strain the pulp from the juice when they are done! The juice press just presses out the juice, leaving the seeds and pulp behind for an easy clean up.

But don’t be too quick to throw out the citrus peel just yet.


  1. The Citrus Zester

A citrus zester is the next must-have gadget in your kitchen drawer and can be purchased for under $15. After making my fresh citrus margarita, I like to use the peel of the lime to make a zesty almond treat that’s a nice, healthy alternative to the normal chips and salsa.

The skin of citrus contains loads of beneficial vitamins and minerals and adds that extra kick to marinades and desserts. Try adding lime zest to your next marinade, or why not try this tasty almond snack.


Chili Lime Almonds

2 cups whole almonds

zest of 2-3 limes

1 tbsp. chili powder

½ cup brown or coconut sugar

¼ cup maple syrup


Heat oven to 350F.

Mix all ingredients, then roast on a lined cookie sheet for about 8 minutes, or until browned. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and enjoy a healthy, zesty snack.

Citrus, like lemons and limes, are little nutrient dense powerhouses loaded with vitamin C, B-complex, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron that help give your immune system a nice little boost. Adding lemon or lime juice to your daily drink may also help play a role in your health by lowering blood pressure, preserving brainpower, and reducing your risk for certain cancers.1

Lemon water first thing in the morning. Infused water throughout the day. A squeeze of lime in your cocktail at night. Citrus is that flavorful touch we crave to brighten up our drinks. Here are a few recipes to try using the gadget you absolutely must have in your kitchen drawer.


Ginger lemon water

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup hot water

1 tsp honey

2-3 thinly sliced pieces of ginger

1 cinnamon stick


Let lemon, water, honey, ginger, and cinnamon steep for 1-2 minutes, or until cool enough to drink. Ginger Lemon water is great for your throat when you feel you’re coming down with something or need that little pick me up in the afternoon.


Infused water- lemon and cucumber with mint

½ lemon, juiced

2 lemon slices

4-6 slices of cucumber

1 sprig of mint, leaves only


Add all ingredients to a water bottle filled with filtered water to enjoy this refreshing infused drink.


Fresh citrus margarita

1 shot tequila

1 lime, juiced

1 small orange, juiced

1 tsp agave nectar or sweetener of choice

½ cup coconut water


Pour all ingredients over ice, garnish with a lime wedge.


Arizona grows some of the best citrus in the country and you can find an abundance of citrus at your local farmer’s market from December to April. Here are just a few of the recipes from Fill Your Plate you can use your new juice press on.


Armenian Cucumber – Tomato Salad

Apple Pear Salad

Baby Kay’s Shrimp Remoulade

Catherine’s Stuffed Nasturtium Leaves

Chicken Picatta

Chicken W/ Shallot Cream Sauce

Citrus Marinated Grilled Turkey

Fresh Lemonade

Grandma Nell Hickman’s Christmas Pie

Hickman’s Jalepeno Bacon & Egg Bake

Lemon Rosemary Lamb Chops

Lemon Spinach

Melon-Cucumber Salad

Rosemary Lemonade

Rosemary-Sage Steak

Shrimp Ceviche

Tri-Colored Penne w/ Cherry Tomatoes & Cheese


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  1. Lorente, J. et al. Chemical guide parameters for Spanish lemon (Citru limon (L.) Burm.) juices. Food Chem, 2014;162:186-191.


  1. Uckoo, R.M., Jayaprakasha, G.K., & Patil, B.S. Phytochemical analysis of organic and conventionally cultivated Meyer lemons (Citrus meyeri Tan.) during refrigerated storage. J Food Compost Anal. 2015;42:63-70.





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