Cooking healthy nutritious meals from scratch

Let tech take you from packet opener to master chef

31 Mar 2020

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Cooking healthy meals from basic ingredients can be incredibly satisfying and lets you get creative after a busy day. But if you don’t know a peeler from pilau, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. The good news is that it’s actually a lot of fun. Plus, it’s satisfying to know that you’re eating right.

But while a good set of knives, chopping boards and pans are essential to the home cook, they can seem a bit uninspiring if you don’t know where to start. That’s where helpful home tech comes in. We’ll take you through some of our favourite devices and gadgets to get you fired up in the kitchen.

 

Slow cookers for sensational stews

You can’t beat a bit of stew. Filled with meat, vegetables, pulses and mushrooms – it’s the definition of a balanced meal. But there’s no need to spend all day slaving over a hot stove when a slow cooker will do the job for you.

All you’ll need to do is chop up your veg and meat, if you’re using it. Add it all to the slow cooker along with stock, tomatoes and your choice of herbs. Then pop it on a low setting. It’s safe to leave on all day and means you have a delicious slow cooked stew to enjoy at the end of the day.

Most slow cookers will be non-stick, meaning that your stew won’t burn and it’s easy to wash up – with many pots being dishwasher safe. So, you get all the taste of a home cooked meal with less of the mess.

Why not try…

Beef goulash is a rich, warming classic. Non-meat eaters won’t be able to resist a spicy slow cooked veg curry.

 

Air fryers for healthier chips

Anyone who’s not used to making chips at home might feel a bit put off by the idea. And for good reason. Deep frying uses gallons of oil, isn’t particularly healthy and can be a bit of a hazard when hot. That’s where air fryers come in.

With little or no oil, air fryers will give you crunchy chips, goujons and even a few surprises – cupcakes anyone? Most air fryers come with loads of functions and, as they are preset, you don’t have to worry about timings. Just touch a button and off it goes.

Why not try…

Home made dried fruit and veg crisps. Just slice up anything (from a parsnip to a banana) and your air fryer will turn it into a healthy snack.

 

Blenders for belting soups and smoothies

Another easy way to get all your vitamins and minerals in a single hit is with a blender. Roughly chop up your ingredients and let stainless steel blades take care of the rest. It’s also surprising what can be made with a quick whizz. We’re talking fruit-packed smoothies for the gym, a quick sauce for steak or even a healthy midweek soup.

A lot of top blenders have pre-programmed settings, so anyone can use them. Plus, they’re easy to take apart and put in the dishwasher when you’re finished.

Why not try…

Your very own hot sauce. Blend it up in the touch of a button and keep it in the fridge to give a much-needed instant pep. You might want to wear gloves when handling the chillies!

 

Multi-cookers for… everything

The idea of putting together a large meal (like a Sunday roast) fills many of us with dread. It’s not just the thought of juggling half a dozen boiling pots. It’s also the idea of all that washing up! If that’s you, it’s time you were introduced to multi-cookers.

Imagine a slow cooker, steamer, griller, air fryer and pressure cooker all in one. That’s what a multi-cooker can do. Because of their racks, can cook different things at the same time – so you can boil potatoes while you steam veg. Pop in a whole chicken and the multi-cooker will roast it to perfection.

As you’d expect, there’s a button for almost everything - from roast beef to cupcakes. And they’re especially designed to be easy to clean.

Why not try…

Steak, chips and asparagus. And yes, it’ll do it all at once.

 

10 things any kitchen will need

Before you dive into some of the brilliant time-saving tech for the kitchen, it’s always good to get some kitchen essentials together.

Knives

You can’t beat a block of sharp kitchen knives. Just be careful!

Chopping boards

Another essential. We’d recommend one for meat and one for veg.

Mixing bowls

Super handy for baking. Glass is good for going in the dishwasher.

Measuring cups

Start any recipe, and you’ll find that lots call for “cups.” Take the guesswork out of it and get yourself a set.

Colander

If you’re trying to drain the water out of pasta with a pan lid, it’s time you got a colander in your life. Great for rinsing off veg too.

Sieves

If you’re using flour, you’ll want a sieve. Essential for sauces and baking.

Grater

Whether it’s cheese, carrots or nutmeg, a good grater shouldn’t be overlooked.

Pots and pans

Even if you’re fully gadgeted up, sometimes it’s hard to beat a good reliable pan.

Peelers

Any healthy diet includes plenty of veg, so make sure you’ve got yourself a reliable peeler to hand.

Towels/ oven gloves

Always important to have around when things get too hot to handle.

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