As the pandemic continues to affect our everyday lives, you may be getting used to spending more down-time at home. That may also include cooking more meals at home. New tools and gadgets are a great way to bring variety to your cooking routine. Here are a few that we recommend:
Pressure cookers have been all the rage the past few years, and with good reason. A pressure cooker cooks food under high pressure steam, employing water or a water-based cooking liquid. Pressure cookers really shine with soups, stews and chili that normally require time to simmer. What might take hours on a stove is completed within minutes in a pressure cooker. In addition, a pressure cooker can help with baked regular and sweet potatoes in a fraction of the time it would take in an oven.
An air fryer is a convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging food in oil. By circulating hot air around the food, the air fryer cooks the food, while producing a crispy outer layer, at a much faster pace than a standard oven. If you're a fan of roasted veggies, you'll love air-fried vegetables. Plus, air-frying is a great way to prepare your favorite protein.
Missing your favorite grilled foods this winter? An indoor grill can help bring the grilling experience. Newer indoor grills are capable of cooking with less smoke than traditional grills and can provide the taste of your grilled favorites without the mess of charcoal. Plus, grilled protein has less fat without removing the flavor and nutrients of the food you love.
Once known as a "toaster oven", today's countertop ovens can do much more than make toast. Nowadays, most countertop ovens have specific settings that make cooking easy, such as bake, reheat, cookie, pizza, bagel and of course toast. This type of appliance is great for making meals for 1-2 people, will save energy and not heat up the house like a standard oven.
There's nothing better than a morning cup of coffee. New specialty coffee makers give you the ability to make coffee-house quality drinks right in the comfort of your home. If you're a lover of cappuccinos or lattes, look for one with milk frothing capabilities.
If you're running low on countertop space, look for appliances that combines several in one. Nowadays, it's easy to find an appliance that has 3, 4 or even 5 different uses.
Stuck in a recipe rut? Download a free cookbook developed by the HealthPerks program at El Camino Health. The cookbook is filled with delicious and healthy dishes that are sure to be crowd pleasers for the entire family. Happy cooking!
This article first appeared in the March 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.