6 Time-Saving Kitchen Tools
Time. There never seems to be enough. Something is always compromised at the end of the day and, as busy parents, we’re lucky if it’s not our sleep! With busy schedules, kid’s activities and everything else in between, cooking a healthy meal for your family can seem nearly impossible. Make time work in your favor with these six time-saving kitchen tools:
Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
This timeless kitchen essential is great for counter top cooking that no busy family should overlook. You can defrost the hearty stew you froze last month or you can prep for your next day’s fare the night before, cooking on low all night to wake up to a nice, hot meal. The slow cooker can be a great time saver! This tool does take some planning, but pays off with free time when you need it the most (meal time!).
This is every home chef’s best friend. Instead of putting things in a blender, the immersion blender is a handheld tool that you can use in other containers like pots and mixing bowls. You can puree soup right in the pot. You can blend ingredients in a large bowl, pull out the blender, put on the lid, and pop it in the fridge. And the clean up? Simple. Run the immersion blender in a cup of soapy water and rinse. Don’t waste time cleaning if you don’t have to! That alone is reason enough to invest this time-saving kitchen tool.
This tool is cousin to the immersion blender and is every home chef’s other best friend. (Yes, you can have two best friends in the kitchen!) The things you can do with a food processor are almost endless. Plus, it’s faster and easier to puree food in a processor than in a blender. You can also slice vegetables and grate cheese – or you can grate vegetables and slice cheese if you prefer! The food processor takes seconds to do what doing by hand would take many minutes. I recommend opting for the larger processor, as the mini-processor might not be large enough to fit the needs of your family.
The pressure cooker is a wonderful tool when you haven’t planned ahead. By cooking under pressure, you decrease cooking times dramatically. Research the time difference pressure cooking offers compared to regular cooking. Once you discover it can cut cooking times in half, you’ll want to add this to your kitchen tool kit! Use the pressure cooker for things that take time to cook, like beans and grains, rather than soft foods like noodles.
Timer Delay & Cook Time on Your Oven
This time-saving kitchen tool is available to most cooks with newer ovens. It’s an oven function that allows you to set a start and end time for cooking. You can prep the food at your convenience, place it in the oven, set the timer and let it do the rest! You can’t leave all recipes in their raw state in the oven for hours of course, but many things you can like breads that rise overnight or plain vegetables that you want roasted later that day. This is also a fail-safe function so you don’t forget to turn the oven off when you’re food is done cooking. Say goodbye to burnt dinners!
Paper Bag Cutting Board
My cutting board often gets left on the side of the sink waiting to be washed because it doesn’t fit in the dishwasher. If this sounds like you, not to worry. You can use a brown paper grocery bag as a cutting board. This saves washing at the end of meal prep and the entire bag can be composted along with the veggies scraps. Win, win! Just wrap the food scraps in the bag and toss it in the compost bin (or trash). Another bonus? Your cutting board will never be left smelling like onions or garlic – and it’s free!
Alegra Loewenstein is L.E.A.N. Certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. As a busy mom of two boys under 5, she understands how important it is to get things done in the kitchen with ease and speed! She also knows how it feels to make a nutritious meal that is met by rapscallion stares… for this she offers a “Free Tip List: 11 Ways to Get Your Picky Kids Eating Healthy” at her website, HealthyFamilyHarmony.com