Do you know what a portion of protein looks like? How about a portion of vegetables? No? Me neither. I know that the things we need to eat the most of are starches, fruits and vegetables and the things we need to eat the least are fats and sugars – but I can’t off the top of my head tell you how many servings of each we’re meant to have, or more importantly what a serving looks like.
Which is why these nifty Prep & Portion utensils from Waitrose caught my eye. They’re not new – the range was launched in January 2013 – which should give you an idea of how often I visit the kitchenware section.
There are eight utensils in the range: a pasta basket; a slotted spoon for vegetables; a spatula for meat and fish; a solid spoon for potatoes, rice and pasta; a ladle for soup, sauce and gravy; a little container for nuts; a cheese grater/container; and a cereal scoop.
I put these to the test as soon as I got home. The first surprise was how small one serving of protein is, and conversely how large a serving of veg is. Four to five Prep & Portion spoons of fruit or veg makes for a lot. Lessons clearly need to be learned in my household. The pasta basket is very handy and at this rate will have paid for itself in two or three meals’ time: I always cook too much pasta and end up throwing a lot of it away – but not before I’ve stored it in the fridge for a couple of days in the vague hope that I’ll reheat it (never happens).
On the subject of the price tag: prices range from £4.50 for the cheese grater, to £15.00 for a veg, pasta and meat set. The aforementioned pasta basket is £12.00.
You could, of course, save yourself some money and experiment with your own spoons and ladles, carefully measuring out servings according to nutrition guidelines. But if you’re time-strapped and want something to do the job for you, these are perfect.