By: Gina Carlson of Modernize.com
I am thrilled to share this guest post by our friends at Modernize.com. As a chef, there are go-to tools I use almost every day that make my life easier in the kitchen—one of which is my Vitamix blender. Gina shares her four favorite gadgets that have saved her time and made eating healthier easy. We hope you find inspiration and kitchen ideas in these modern gadgets that can bring more fun, flavor, and zing to your weeknight meals. – Chef Hollie
There are plenty of gadgets that will do amazing things in the kitchen – avocado pitters, strawberry stem hullers, even banana slicers. While each of these gizmos were created to make cooking easier, many are what chef and TV personality Alton Brown calls a “unitasker” – something that will only complete one task in the kitchen and sits in storage when not in use. While these tools are fun, they aren’t the best use of your efforts, or your space. So I reviewed four kitchen gadgets that not only multi-task but make eating healthy food easier for your family.
A mandoline might take up some space, but the uses for it are endless! Ours was a wedding gift, and one of the tools we dig out frequently for slicing and dicing. Find a mandoline that fits your style – the simple ones are just a sharp blade to slice straight across; the advanced versions like mine will do everything from slicing thin or thick, julienne, and waffle cut. We use it for creating fries and hash browns, to uniformly cut slices of tomatoes, and even make favorites like cucumber salad. It is a perfect tool to cut down on your chopping time, and makes getting in an extra serving or creating a side dish that much easier.
I know you’re thinking, “Another grater?” Yes! It may just be a grater, but it will make you seem like a culinary professional, even if you’ve barely mastered mac and cheese. We use our microplane frequently for a variety of small tasks – grating hard cheeses, nuts, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, and even ginger. This handy little tool is also great for sneaking small amounts of veggie into larger dishes – like cauliflower into mashed potatoes. If you’re going for gourmet, you can also zest things like cinnamon onto your favorite hot drink, or add the zest from a lemon into a cool summer drink. The microplane will give you very fine flakes or a grated texture to the food – so it’s easy to give any dish added flavor.
Unbelievable as it sounds, my house no longer has a blender. We purchased an emulsifier after breaking our fourth blender, and realizing we could use it in a multitude of ways with much better results! A Cuisinart hand blender like ours came with a mini food processor, a whisk attachment, and the blender attachment. The blender portion gets the most use, and it creates everything from smoothies to sauces. It easily blends down diced fruits and veggies (fresh or frozen) to be added to soups, create salad dressings, mix up smoothies, and puree nearly anything! It’s a great tool to have on hand, especially if you have kids or reluctant eaters.
This is one of those kitchen gadgets we’re excited about, but haven’t purchased quite yet. While useful, it’s not quite the multitasker in the kitchen that we need. However, the practical application that it completes is so helpful – especially if you’re trying to eat healthier – that even the space it uses may be worth the real estate. The spiralizer creates spaghetti-like noodles from any of your favorite veggies. Popular choices include squash, zucchini, and carrots. The only downside to this little machine is that your foods need to be pre-cut down to fit into the compartment – which is additional prep time. But even with the prep time, it’s a great way to use fresh veggies and eat fewer carbs!
No matter what kinds of gadgets you have in your kitchen, I have found that these four are the most useful to reduce your cooking and prep time, while adding healthy alternatives into your diet. Bon appétit!
For more home ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.
About the Author:
Gina Carlson lives in Minnesota with her husband and four crazy pets, and is a DIY home improvement addict.
Spiralizer screenshot via getfitwithleyla