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The Kitchen Gadget I Can’t Live Without

December 3rd, 2009 No Comments

The Kitchen Gadget I Can’t Live Without

—By Nutritionista

Ms. Jessica asks:

I read a lot of health and nutrition blogs and it seems like everyone has a food processor and a spiralizer and a Vit-a-mix and a juicer and…I know you know what I mean.  Not only am I on a budget, but I don’t have the space for a lot of stuff that could clutter up my counter tops!  What appliances do you use on a weekly (if not daily) basis when eating healthy?  Is there one thing you can’t live without?

I love this question! I’m in total agreement. It seems like every food blogger has a top-of-the-line blender, food processor, juicer, etc. I’m with Jessica in that I don’t have the money or space for all those items. If you can only afford to purchase one, here’s the one thing I can’t live without (and the only real appliance I own):

A BLENDER!

No, seriously! A good blender can do a lot of things. Spend some time looking for a good, affordable blender. I did my research and ended up buying an Oster 16-Speed Blender. I got it on sale at Target for $29.99 (I think it’s originally $39.99). It blends ice pretty well, which is how you know it’s decent.

Really, a blender can be used as a small food processor. I’ve used mine to make banana soft serve, crust for pumpkin tartlets, and of course, green monsters.

Here’s the thing: Which kitchen appliances you invest in really depends on what kinds of stuff you like to cook/eat. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m more a Rachael Ray than an Anthony Bourdain (but ugh! How she grates!), so I don’t do a lot of complicated stuff. I don’t do a lot of baking and tend to avoid recipes that call for food processing.

Here’s a quick rundown of type of foodie with corresponding must-have appliance:

  • Raw foodist: Spiralizer or mandolin, for making those veggies into pasta-like substances!
  • Comfort food craver: Slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it.
  • Baker extraordinaire: Stand mixer, because baking is a lot less fun without one.
  • Juice obsessed: Juicer, obviously.
  • Green monster maven: Blender, but make sure it’s of decent quality.
  • Soup lover: Immersion blender, though I hate pureed soups, so this doesn’t apply to me (even though I loooove soup!).

But again, I really think most people can get by on a blender (or maybe food processor) alone. My sister, who recently moved in with me, brought a slow cooker over, and we haven’t used it once. I’d like to get a spiralizer at some point, because they’re cheap, but I probably wouldn’t use it often anyway.

I forget who it was, but I was reading an interview with a chef who was posed this very same question. What’s the one kitchen item he couldn’t live without? His answer was a grater. He said everything else can pretty much be done with a good knife.

What’s the one kitchen appliance you couldn’t live without?