Making a home-cooked meal with fresh, whole ingredients takes time.

These five gadgets are your friends when it comes to whipping out a masterpiece.

From portion control to making cooking faster and easier, these top the list for holiday purchases, according to Appetite for Health.

Vitamix Blender - These blenders are high-class appliances; the Cadillac in the kitchen. What can't you do with one of these? A Vitamix blender is a pricey addition to the cabinet but people that have one swear by them. From soup to ice cream, this pulverizes, mixes, blends, chops and more.

Sodastream - This gadget is popular in my house and is also a wonderful way to wean away from diet soda. If you are looking to decrease your sugar load, simply fizz your water and squeeze a lemon or lime wedge for flavor. Added plus: the CO2 cartridge is recyclable in stores and there are no cans or bottles to recycle.

George Foreman Evolve Grill - This grill promotes health by letting fat and oils drain away from your foods. It's a 'fast and healthy' addition to your current appliances. I also love panini makers.

Measure Up Bowls - These bowls are on to something. Kids and adults with diabetes get tired of measuring their foods all of the time. This company has subtle measurement markings inside of the bowls, which also means fewer dishes to wash!

Crock-Pots - These are the old standbys in the kitchen. Mine is used at least once a week. Tear your mind away from chicken covered by a can of Campbell's soup; slow cookers can go gourmet. For example, simply cooking healthy bean recipes weekly from scratch makes this purchase a smart one.

To learn more about this topic:
5 Easy, Low-Carb Substitutions for Your Favorite Foods
Healthy Diabetic Eating Tip from a CDE