In my Small Kitchen Appliances post I discussed the essential 5 small kitchen appliances, and today I want to expand on that topic to include some unique kitchen gadgets. When I say unique in this context, I’ll be discussing appliances that many of us may not have in our kitchens.
As always, I will be discussing kitchen appliances and cookware that add value to your lifestyle vis-a-vis healthy cooking and eating. These gadgets are just the ticket when you need to make anything from healthy snacks, to juicy steaks to decadent sugar-free frozen desserts.
I first learned about the idea of dehydrating food while on my brief stint with the Paleo diet. The paleo diet is predicated on eating in the way of our paleolithic ancestors. It is very strict on what you are permitted to eat and as you can imagine there are many modern and convenient foods that are prohibited. I mean I couldn’t have things like chips or sweets and was expected to consume a lot of meat.
Discovering that I could dehydrate fruits and vegetables to make paleo-friendly, portable snacks was a life-saver. The first thing I made were paleo-friendly salty snacks like zucchini chips and fruit leather. I soon graduated to making savory snacks like grass-fed beef and lamb jerky. My jerky recipe was so popular that I barely had any for myself!
Believe me, adding your own seasonings and flavors to jerky without artificial colors and preservatives is one of the best things you can do for your body and taste buds.
You can use your oven to dehydrate foods but it takes some doing and a lot of hands-on observation. With a kitchen dehydrator you simply set it and forget it and get wonderful dehydrated snacks and meals. If you have space in your kitchen, I recommend you get one.
I’d bet good money that many of you have been thinking about getting a slow cooker but never got around to buying one – am I right? The concept of a slow cooker is wonderful, I mean who wouldn’t love to come home to a nice hot and fresh meal? This is the beauty and promise of the slow cooker, but I think some folks are apprehensive about the idea of leaving on a kitchen appliance to cook unsupervised for hours on end.
Fear not, for the slow cooker has evolved into a well-made kitchen gadget that is a must-have, especially if you have a large family. Modern slow cookers come with a variety of functions and features for cooking all kinds of foods like:
As you can see, there is pretty much nothing a slow cooker cannot make. Do your family and yourself a favor and get one.
A suggestion for use: When you do your grocery shopping for the week, plan your meals by parceling out your proteins, grains, veggies and so on and then decide what dishes you’ll be making. Once this is done, all you’ll need to do is follow the instructions for your recipes and place ingredients in slow cooker.
Slow cookers give you the option for fast or slow cooking, so feel free to go to work and know that when you come home after a long commute that you won’t have to wonder or worry about what to make for dinner because it will be there waiting for you!
Ice Cream Maker
An ice cream maker is not really a necessity for the kitchen, but it’s nice to have one if you have the space. The only reason I have one is that I needed it to make diet-friendly frozen desserts and ice cream during the hot summer months. I like to switch up my dessert choice depending on the season and nothing beats a nice homemade sorbet or ice cream on a sweltering hot day.
An ice cream maker is a great kitchen gadget to have because it allows you to make wholesome frozen desserts. You get to choose whole fresh organic ingredients to include in your ice cream base and the ice cream maker does the hard work of churning fresh delicious ice cream in about fifteen minutes.
Using an ice cream maker is pretty straight forward, you freeze the mixing bowl beforehand, toss in the ice cream, yogurt or sorbet base and churn for fifteen to twenty minutes. Add any mix-ins like chocolate-chips and nuts five minutes before the recipe is complete.
An ice cream makers are not a must-have for your kitchen, rather it’s a novelty item that your family can enjoy anytime they’re craving frozen desserts.
My first indoor grill was the classic clam-shell George Foreman grill. I loved that little grill so much I wore it out in the space of one year. Indoor grills and griddles have come a long way since the George Foreman grill came on the scene, and today they come with many accessories.
Modern indoor grills now come with a smoke extractors and other cool features. You can grill up a nice thick steak without fear of smoke setting off your fire alarm or stinking up your home. These indoor grills also come with glass clovers, removable grill plates for easy cleaning or for changing the surface to a griddle for pancakes or hamburgers.
If you have the space, I definitely recommend getting an indoor grill. You can use an indoor grill anytime of year, it’s a lot more environmentally friendly than traditional grilling and best of all – no dangerous fire or smoke!
Final Word on Unique Kitchen Gadgets
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices in kitchenware available to us today. If you have a small kitchen like me, it becomes even more important to keep the kitchen gadgets to the bare minimum. The best way to do this, is to select cookware that have multiple functions and can prepare several types of meals in one machine.
Only a two of this list of unique kitchen gadgets fit the bill for small kitchens – the slow cooker and the indoor grill. These two gadgets alone can prepare many types of meals and courses with the benefit of quick clean-up. The ice cream maker and dehydrator are more novelty items that are nice to have but not necessary.
Do you have any of these unique kitchen gadgets in your kitchen? Is there one that you wish you had? Let me know in the comments and until next time: Happy Eating!