Six kitchen appliances that make healthy eating easyFeature of the week
There are so many kitchen appliances on the market today that it can be difficult to know which ones you really need. Here are six appliances that make prep easy, and help you eat healthier.
Is there a better blender? Probably not. While many people do like the Blentec, Vitamix has an amazing ability to pulverise just about anything. So, if you’re a smoothie lover, this is the appliance for you. Most blenders cannot get that creamy-smooth texture. This blender can. It’s like having a commercial smoothie booth right in your kitchen.
A food dehydrator
A food dehydrator is one of the best appliances any kitchen could have. Why? Because dehydrated fruits and meat are a great snack. They’re nutritious, you can take them literally everywhere, and they’re simple to make.
Most dehydrators have a temperature setting, but they’re not always super-accurate. Of course, that usually doesn’t matter if you just keep it on the lowest setting. The biggest mistake most people make is that they try to “cook” whatever they’re dehydrating. This is especially problematic with beef, which needs to be dried, not cooked.
Cooking will change the flavour, and not in a good way – especially since you’re simultaneously drying it out. Don’t worry too much about bacteria as they’ll be dehydrated (and die) during the process.
Get the best dehydrator you can afford. The top shelf ones tend to have better and more accurate temperature controls, and they also have pre-sets so you don’t have to fiddle with a dial or other temperature settings.
A smart oven can replace a traditional convection oven in your house for most cooking and reheating tasks. These ovens are countertop units that use a standard plug and don’t take up a lot of space. But, the temperature settings and controls mimic a full-size oven.
So, you could literally cook a full-sized turkey in most of these things as well as heat up leftovers. Their major benefit is that they don’t use a lot of electricity, so you will almost always see a dramatic reduction in your energy bill if you start using them on a regular basis
A griddle is something a lot of people have forgotten about. If you bought a George Foreman grill back in the day, you might still have it somewhere in the closet collecting dust. You can certainly dust it off and use it, but the newer griddles on the market are a little more sophisticated, have better temperature controls and let you manage the fat drainage a little better.
Some, like the Cuisinart, are multifunctional. It includes a standard contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and a half-griddle/half grill.
Coffee and espresso maker
Most people can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. If you’re one of those people, you need a coffee maker and espresso machine. But, most coffee makers out there rarely make good coffee. For proper extraction of the grind, you need to have a water system that first creates a plum in the grounds.
Then, water should be spread evenly all over the grounds until it foams up. Most coffee makers don’t do this. They just shoot a hard stream right through the middle of the grounds, which saturates them, but doesn’t really do the best job of extracting.
And, since the water temperature isn’t very well controlled, you end up with burnt and bitter coffee. High-quality coffee makers and espresso machines will not burn your coffee (providing temperature ranges of between 195 and 200) and will evenly distribute the water through the grounds.
Coffee can be part of a healthy diet, with its high antioxidant content. So, if you’re going to drink, drink the best.
There’s are tasks a regular blender can’t do. For those jobs, you need an immersion blender. Immersion blenders, as the name suggests, are immersed into the food and do the mixing while you hold on to a handle and control the device.
These are sometimes referred to as “stick blenders”. It’s a great way to do ad hoc blending and one of the most versatile appliances you can own.
The editorial unit
Photo: Arek Olek