Department stores and online shops are full of gadgets and appliances for your kitchen. Some are everyday items we take for granted, some are fantastic new or recent inventions and some are, well, not the most useful items. They were all designed to have some sort of purpose though.
How useful a kitchen gadget is will depend partly on you. Perhaps you really do want those rubber cup things that go on the end of cut vegetables and will use them all the time but for others they are a gimmick and a waste of money.
You will almost certainly already have a cooker or at least a microwave, a kettle, maybe a toaster and a fridge in your home or student quarters.
Is there anything else you could add that would help with your diet, lifestyle and health in general or are they all just fads? Below are some of the more useful and perhaps less useful kitchen gadgets.
A blender can be either inexpensive or cost a considerable amount of money depending on the brand name and the features and attachments. They can help you to prepare healthy soups, smoothies and shakes from healthy fresh fruit or vegetables.
Because you are making the food or drink yourself you have complete control of the ingredients. No need to worry if there is any hidden sugar or nasties added. If space and budget is an issue then you can consider a hand blender for making soups.
There are different types of steamers, some come with other appliances and some are separate. If you have a hob and want to steam on that then you could consider a silicone steamer that fits on top of your saucepan. Steaming retains more vitamins and minerals than boiling so has some health benefits.
Alternatively you could use the steaming attachment that comes with most rice cookers when making rice or buy a microwave steamer. There are also electric wok style cookers with a steamer section that fits on top. You can steam fish, meat and vegetables and lower your fat intake this way.
A very simple gadget and perhaps one you don’t really need but if you find yourself buying pre packed salad bags a lot then perhaps a small investment in one of these will encourage you to buy your vegetables separately and make your own salads. This will save you some money over time and there is some talk that bagged salads may not be healthy for you.
Instant Pots and pressure cookers
The Instant Pot is a modern version of the old pressure cooker and has become quite popular over the last three years or so. It is a bigger investment than a salad spinner but has an array of features that could improve the quality of your lifestyle and perhaps health.
Instant Pots reduce the cooking time quite drastically by up to 70% and leave you with more free time to exercise, socialise or just relax on the sofa after a hard day’s work.
Because they cook with trapped steam and pressure they retain more nutrients than steamed food and can make a range of healthy meals. They can also help to break down hard to digest proteins. Instead of standing over a hot stove making food you can leave a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to do its own thing while you do yours.
Again this is a cooker that you can set and leave alone although unlike an Instant Pot you cannot set the start time in advance. The main health benefit of this type of cooker is that it doesn’t use any oil or fat. In fact you are actively discouraged from adding any. The cooker is fitted with a fan in the lid and a heating element.
The fan blows the hot air around the oven and cooks the food evenly. It suits some foods more than others and some practice may be needed to ensure your food doesn’t come out dry but it can be used for all manner of meals. It can cook chicken, vegetables and even pizza.
While pizza might not be the healthiest option you are of course in control of the toppings and quantities unlike buying a frozen or takeout pizza.
Griddlers and kitchen top grills
You have probably heard of a certain famous grill endorsed by an ex-boxer. On the market now are a variety of similar grills and griddles. While eating a lot of meat is not healthy these can at least reduce the amount of fat you take in.
If you were on a low carb but high protein diet then you might want to consider one of these so you can eat meat with less fat.
These cookers are similar to convection ovens in that they both employ fans to move and circulate hot air around the inside of the cooker. However the air fryer circulates the air much faster. The cooking time is therefore quicker and the design helps circulate the hot air more evenly than a convection oven.
It is rare to use oil in the fryer in the same way that it is discouraged in a convection oven however many people say that the food still looks and tastes fried. This is good for anyone that wants to feel they are having naughty meal but still wants to be eating healthy food.
No, not an actual takeaway that probably wouldn’t be healthy. The main thing to takeaway from here is that before you consider any purchase you must ask yourself if it will actually benefit you in the way you want.
Will it help your lifestyle by freeing up time? Will it encourage to make healthy Instant Pot recipes or will it just sit in the corner taking up space?
Set your goals, consider the options on the market (and these are only a few) and set yourself a budget. This will help you decide what will improve things for you on a daily basis.