We spoke last week about how maintaining a healthy diet is largely dependent on what foods you keep in your home. I like to think of it as simplifying. I want eating clean foods to be brainless - as simple as possible. I don't want to stress over it or have it be more time consuming than it needs to be. Certainly, I am not alone in this way of thinking! Just as keeping real food in your home helps to keep you healthier, having the right equipment on hand is also beneficial.
Personally, I am not a gadget person. I know a few kitchen gadget women, who shall remain nameless, but I am not one of them. I'm a little more - practical. I also live in an older 1200 square foot home, built circa 1960, in which my kitchen is one of the smallest spaces. After a few creative tweaks, it works for us. However, I make sure to choose my kitchen gadgets wisely. And, I do a lot of cooking! Here are my Top 3 Kitchen Appliances that have saved me time and work when cooking healthy foods.
1. Food Processor
My number one time saver is the food processor. Whether you use it to chop vegetables or make a sauce, it's versatile and fast! It also makes cooking cool stuff like Cauliflower Pizza Dough, which is delicious, a breeze. There are different style processors on the market. Go for a basic processor if you don't see yourself shredding veggies or making dough. If you think you might want to experiment and make some new things I would suggest getting a processor that comes with the additional attachments. I use mine regularly and like the flexibility to be able to try my hand at most any recipe I come across.
2. Pressure Cooker
For those who don't know, I live in a two culture home. Jose is first-generation Colombian-American and grew up eating traditional Colombian foods. We eat our fair share of beans - a staple in the Colombian diet. When I say Jose grew up on beans, I mean he grew up on real beans. Soaked overnight, and cooked stove top, homemade beans. My parents were Military Brats; they grew up on canned foods. Therefore I grew up on canned foods. You can imagine the disappointment when newly in love I went to make Jose one of his favorite meals and popped open a can.
I spent the first few years of our relationship attempting to make beans. Sigh.
I made them stove top. I made them in the crockpot. I soaked them. I didn't soak them. And no matter what I could not master the decent pot of beans. Finally the pressure cooker. I can't give all the credit to the equipment. I had been perfecting my bean making for years at that point, but I never looked back. First off, it's fast! Very, super, fast. We probably wouldn't eat beans except on the weekends if I didn't have the pressure cooker. Secondly, it's versatile. You can cook meat, think roasts, which it tenderizes. As well as grains.
The most important thing to consider when shopping for a pressure cooker is the material. I suggest a stainless steel over an aluminum cooker. Stainless steel will distribute the heat more evenly, resulting in more even cooking. Most importantly it's safer to cook in stainless steel, as the aluminum leeches into the food and get's into our bodies.
3. Water Filter
Do you know how much waste you can prevent by going plastic water bottle free?! A Lot! Install a water filter in your kitchen that allows you to use tap water. As a bonus, all the water you cook with or make coffee with will taste better and be clean. You will notice the difference. Plus, you'll save money in the long run. If you were to check the back of most water bottles, you might find many of them filtered their water using Reverse Osmosis. Did you know you can go to Home Depot, or even Costco and pick on of these bad boys up? They can be a little pricey, though.
Anther option is a filtration system like the Kube. While they don't filter everything (mainly fluoride) out like a Reverse Osmosis filter, it does still a great product. Aside from food tasting better you'll be more likely to put your water into a glass rather than drink it from the bottle. I am a huge advocate for limiting foods and drinks to exposure from plastics, and having a water filter makes it that much easier.
All you have to do is walk by a Bed, Bath, & Beyond or William-Sonoma to get sucked into the land of novelty kitchenware. There is a gadget for everything. Some are more worth it than other's, and some can help you get healthier by creating convenience in your life. I'd love to chat about your lifestyle and see if there might be some other gadgets out there for to help make your kitchen convenient and healthy.
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