In the first post about helpful kitchen utensils, we examined a few items to help simplify your healthy kitchen. Although I am making suggestions about new items, I promise the intent is not to pile more stuff in your home. This post is meant to add to the first and provide additional items to consider in order to streamline and healthify your kitchen. If you get things you can and will use, you may be more open to getting rid of what you don't use.
ORANGE PEELING TOOL
However silly this plastic toy-looking tool may appear at first, it makes up for its looks quickly upon use. This, like most gadgets I have, was a gift, but it is a wonderful and helpful tool. I use it for preparing oranges while juicing. For as much as you may not want kitchen utensils taking up space with only one specific purpose, this one is worth the 2"x1"x1" in the drawer. I haven't tried similar orange peeling tools, but I can say that it helps me actually take the time to peel the oranges, which I would otherwise skip. (In general, I don't like feeling of peeling back the orange skin with my fingers... kind of weird, I know.) If you like citrus, you should consider this orange peeler. And, like the herb scissors from the previous post, if you don't want one for yourself, it would make a good gift.
MISTO OIL SPRAYER
I can't say enough great things about the Misto (!). It is a reusable and pumpable oil sprayer, meant to replace those scary PAM-type cooking sprays used to bake, sautee, and even prepare the Crock-Pot. It uses a pumping action to provide power behind the spray, so it eliminates the use of aerosol. Also, according to an article called "What is Nonstick Cooking Spray?," conventional cooking spray also contains "lecithin, which is an emulsifier, dimethyl silicone, which is an anti-foaming agent, and a propellant such as butane or propane." YUCK! If you need any further evidence that these things are bad news, check out "Five Reasons NOT to Use Commercial Cooking Sprays." You might be disgusted, but it might change your mind. The Misto would be ideal for the oil required in a few of the vegetable and side recipes I've shared, like Oven-Roasted Red Cabbage, Pan-Roasted Chickpeas, or Mallorcian Sea Salt & Maple Syrup Carrots.
CROCK-POT or SLOW COOKER
If you've ever come home from a busy day wishing someone else would have just cooked a hot meal for you, it sounds like you need a Crock-Pot. Instead of relying on someone else to provide you home-cooked deliciousness, you can prepare it ahead of time for yourself and/or your family.
Crock-Pot is one specific name brand of a slow cooker. Many of you already have a slow cooker, but if you don't yet, you should consider getting one. If you have one, you should break it out; you aren't limited to just making soups and it doesn't have to just be for winter. Slow cookers can produce delicious full meals, baked potatoes, chicken and vegetable stock, and even desserts! In them, you can bring hot dips to parties or cook dry beans (saving money!). I have one wonderful cousin who even makes her special holiday mac and cheese in the slow cooker.
There are a few different features and sizes. In terms of heat levels, most have a knob to indicate temperature. Low and High are on all of them, but some feature other heat settings. One older model I have has five heat levels. (PS: They last a long time, so dust off any old one you've got and give it a try first. I found one at a yard sale years ago that I still love and use!) Size also plays a role in your decision. Depending on the size of your family and the intended use, you may want to consider the following sizes: a 2.5 quart sized slow cooker for a smaller operation or a 6 quart slow cooker for large batches. The first image featured below is of a regular sized 2.5 quart Crock-Pot. The bottom photo is a 6 quart "Cook 'N Carry" slow cooker with a clickable travel top.
If you like chicken, you'll love my easy and delicious (Gluten-free) Slow Cooker Greek Chicken and Pasta. I have served this a number of times for dinner guests and they always rave. And if you want to get double duty out of the meal and the slow cooker, you can use the bones to make easy, inexpensive, and you-know-exactly-what's-in-it chicken stock directly after.
2.5 quart Crock-Pot
Image Source: lbcommuter.com
6 quart "Cook 'N Carry" Crock-Pot
As I just got married last year, and it is now almost "wedding season," I thought I should also mention that if you're getting married soon or know someone who is, these are all excellent wedding gift options. For the rest of us, contemplate what you realistically need, what will realistically fit in your kitchen/ home, and what you will realistically use. We want to make like easier, not more complicated!
If you like this or any post and you'd like to get daily updates, please "like" the Facebook page (Making Mindfulness), follow on Twitter @MakeMindfulness, or sign up to follow via email on the right side of the screen.
Labels: Go Ahead--Try It!, Mindful Eating