Final exams are hard, but eating healthfully while away at college shouldn’t be. Investing in a few kitchen basics will allow you to easily prepare nutritious snacks and meals, says Jason Stanley, co-author of The Healthy College Cookbook. You just have to get crafty, since many colleges ban electronic cooking tools. These 10 appliances and gadgets are dorm room–approved!
1. Mini refrigerator
The space may be pint-sized, but you can still pack in plenty of healthy snacks. Keep easy bites on hand, such as baby carrots and hummus or low-fat string cheese, so that you have something nutritious to munch on during late-night study sessions. One to try: Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, $249.99, target.com.
It’s not just for popcorn. A microwave will get you surprisingly far when it comes to cooking up healthy meals in your dorm. Try this: Defrost and season frozen veggies, then toss with microwavable brown rice and beans for a complete meal. One to try: Daewoo Ida Microwave, $87.99, amazon.com.
A good-for-you smoothie breakfast is only a whir away. Choose a product with a blending jar that doubles as travel cup so you can tote your smoothie to class. One to try: Black+Decker PowerCrush Digital Personal Quiet Blender, $29.99, walmart.com.
4. Cutting board
Your desk is a germ hot spot, so a clean cutting board is a must-have for chopping up produce or prepping sandwiches. Bonus: A pretty cutting board can also be used as décor. One to try: Hello Sayang for Deny Cactus Madness Cutting Board, $35, urbanoutfitters.com.
5. Knife set
Plastic knives just won’t cut it. A good set of knives makes slicing and dicing easier—just be sure to check with your school that you’re allowed to keep knives in your room. One to try: Stainless Steel Floral Kitchen Knife Set, $17.99, jane.com.
6. Can opener
Yes—canned foods can be healthy! Tinned beans, tuna, and veggie-packed soups are smart staples to keep on hand for easy lunches and dinners, but you’ll need a trusty can opener in order to enjoy them. One to try: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener , $21.99, oxo.com.
7. Microwave egg cooker
This gadget allows you to make scrambled or sunny-side up eggs in the microwave for a high-protein breakfast or snack that takes less than a minute to cook. One to try: Casabella MicroEgg, $9.99, casabella.com.
8. Microwave pasta cooker
True story: You can cook pasta in the microwave, too. Choose whole-wheat noodles, which are packed with filling fiber. One to try: Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker, $14.99, amazon.com.
9. Sparkling water machine
Dehydration can mask itself as hunger, so keeping your water levels topped up could help kill those faux cravings. If plain H2O doesn’t do it for you, a sparkling water machine may get you excited to sip. One to try: SodaStream Fizzi, $79.99, sodastreamusa.com.
10. Coffee maker
Fancy drinks from coffee shops can be high in sugar and calories. Save money—and SmartPoints—by brewing your own java. If your school doesn’t allow electric coffee pots in dorms, choose a cold brew version, which steeps in the refrigerator instead. One to try: Sur La Table Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $30, surlatable.com.