I Have Too Many Kitchen Toys. Why I Need Them ALL
I have FIVE different kinds of blenders, and a juicer. I have a tofu press, a slow cooker, and a rice cooker. I love all my kitchen toys, and they all do different things. Here, allow me to introduce you to some of them:
The Vitamix. Oh, heavenly Vitamix, the holy grail of kitchen toys. Mine is actually a loaner from my mom, who couldn't cart it to Hawaii with her, but does want it back one day. But when it goes, I will gladly get another.
As someone who blew through dozens of cheap blenders in college, I know a good thing when I use it. I use this for all my smoothies, but also for things like nut milk, salad dressings, purees, and I even did hummus in here once. Oh, also great for my almond crust I use to make the most delicious tofu ever.
Food processor. I use this to fuel my banana ice cream addiction, and it doubles as my favorite hummus maker. Also, I make this amazing cashew ricotta cheese in there. Can't live without my food processor. DON'T ASK ME TO.
Bullet blender. My room mate actually works for Cuisinart, and so while I had a ton of toys before she moved in, my collection expanded as she started bringing home trial products. The bullet blender was one of them. It has those attachments that lets me make a smoothie in a container that doubles as a blander and a cup, so I don't have to do any clean up before rushing off to work. This makes it a great thing to have.
Immersion blender. This hand held blender gets me through those frigid Connecticut winters, when I am pureeing up a new soup every other day. You just cook all of the ingredients in a pot, and then once it has cooled a bit, you stick the immersion blender in there and BAM you have a pureed soup.
This also works with mashed potatoes. I bought this blender for my boyfriend's mom after I watched her make a mess of the Thanksgiving mashers using an old school hand mixer. You can see me cradling it in red, my favorite color, but it actually comes in a bunch of shades.
Powerblend blender. This was one of the first “nice” blenders I ever bought myself after college graduation. I demoted it once I got my claws into that Vitamix, but I still use it, and when I need to travel with my blender, I bring this one. What! Sometimes I need to travel with my blender!
Juicer. I have an old school Juiceman juicer I bought unused at a yard sale for 15 bucks. It works great, despite being a bit clunky, and the cleanup is annoying.
I have yet to find a juicer where the cleanup is a breeze.
Juicing tip: Before you start, stick a plastic grocery bag in the pulp collector so you can just yank it out when you're done without having to wash yet another component.
Champion juicer. This glorious piece of equipment is also on loan from my mother. It weighs like 40 pounds, is hard to put together, and hard to clean, but makes the most amazing juice. I only use it when I have a lot of time on my hands, because it's a pain in the ass. However, it does well with greens, which many juicers struggle with, AND it makes soft-serve style banana ice cream. Way better than my OTHER banana ice cream creator...
Yonana machine. This machine is meant to create soft-serve style ice cream out of any of your favorite frozen fruits, but is pretty much a glorified juicer. It does well with the (frozen) bananas, but it creates an ice cream that is much denser than my food processor (great for hard scoop style) and my Champion (perfect for soft serving).
Basically you could stick 4 frozen bananas in there and come out with one tiny half cup of ice cream. That is a ton of nanas (and sugar and calories) for something marketed as healthy, so important to keep in mind.
Citrus juicer. For when I want to make some OJ but don't want to go through the entire juicing process.
Spirulizer. For making amazing raw spaghetti out of zucchini, and for spirulizing things. Anything that needs spirulizing! I love that word.
Rice cooker. I always burn my rice. Always. Every time. Great for any grains, this bad boy cooks up quinoa or brown rice while allowing my mind to drift to more important things.
Slow cooker. This allows me to do beans, stews and soups during the day while I am at work, or overnight. Easy peasy!
Tofu press. I know this is ridiculous, but bear with me. I was very skeptical about this Tofu Xpress press when I first heard of its existence. Pressing tofu makes the texture much more palatable –- chewy and dense instead of spongy. Pressing tofu is key!
But I didn't think I needed ANOTHER toy to do it. I was perfectly happy pressing my tofu with a stack of Harry Potter books. But when the company offered to send one my way, I wasn't going to turn it down. And then...I fell in love.
The press pressed my tofu without squashing it out of its square shape. You see, my HP books often smash my tofu so that after pressing it's very ugly and deformed–sort of like how in the beginning of the HP film series Voldemort is only mildly unappetizing but at the end he somehow lost a nose. But the tofu press keeps it neat, and also doubles as a marinating dish.
French press. My room mate has a Keurig, but I don't touch that. I'm a French press kind of girl, and I have an adorable little single size one.
My boyfriend and I are moving in together in June, and in a moment of disgusting sweetness he told me that our first home purchase absolutely MUST be a French press “for two.” I cried. But for real, don't you try and speak to me before I have had my coffee. Just don't do it. I will detach my jaw like a snake and swallow you whole.
OK, what kitchen toys can't you live without? Tell me! Do you like snakes? Would you care to follow me on Twitter? How about Instagram? Let's be friends.