There are 3 tools I have in my kitchen that I love. They are fun to use and help my family be a bit more healthy.
Okay, this thing is a blender Giant. Soups, ice cream, smoothies, the whole bit. And it also has a “dry” container that grinds wheat or any other kind of grain into flour and even makes peanut butter. With a 2+ horse power motor, if thing had wheels, it could be on the highway. But I’m happy to have it on my kitchen counter. Smoothies are a breeze in the morning, and don’t have those chunks of ice or uncrushed fruit that is common in other blenders. I can make bread dough, from the grinding of the flour to the “pour into the pan” stage all in one blender container. Love it. Expensive, yes, but worth it.
Our favorite Vitamix recipe:
Perhaps I’m biased because of the papaya tree growing in our yard, but this milkshake is not only delicious, but also super good for you. Ironically, I am not a fan of papaya, but this milkshake changes the bitterness of the fruit to a creamy, sweet taste.
Put about 1 cup papaya fruit in blender.
Add 1/4 cup sugar or honey
Pour in 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water.
Add 2 handfuls of ice.
Whip it up and drink it down.
And if the sugar makes you feel guilt with every sip, add some wheat grass.
Having lived in Asia and now in Hawaii, rice is a staple at our home. It is served at almost every dinner, and sometimes lunch and even breakfast. I grew up thinking “Uncle Ben’s” is rice. The truth is, it’s as close to rice as Chef Bouardi is to spaghetti. Bleah. A rice cooker allows you the same convenience as a crock pot: Put the rice and water in, then push the magic “cook” button. It’ll automatically turn off when it’s done so you can serve the rice when you’re ready. The one posted here even has a food steamer on top. How cool is that?
Not into rice? If you are into healthy living or losing weight, rice is a great way to go — especially brown rice. Try substituting it for potatoes and pasta, and I bet you’ll notice a difference in your energy level and wellbeing.
Unlike white rice, brown rice needs rinsing before cooking. Add 1 1/2 cups water to every 1 cup rice. Too healthy? You can add butter and salt, or chicken bullion to the pot before cooking. 2 cups dry rice easily feeds my hungry family of 5.
We also love burritos (and we serve them with, you guessed it — rice). However, the ingredients in tortillas in the store are often full of hydrogenated oils and preservatives, and they just don’t taste good. This machine will make you feel like you’ve crossed the border, and your eating audience might even call you “Senorita”.
Note that this is not just a tortilla press — this will bake your tortillas as well. Following the easy recipe below, you simply roll a bit of dough into a ball, place it in the middle of the hot griddle, press down, count to 10, open it up and enjoy the hot, fresh, stretchy, mouth watering, healthy tortilla. That’s right — 10 seconds per tortilla. Can’t get much quicker than that, can it?
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Whole wheat tortillas are usually dry and too healthy to enjoy. This is my own recipe, having perfected it to reach the maximum stretchiness you expect from a good tortilla, while contributing to the “WE WANT MORE!” factor at the dinner table.
1 2/3 c. wheat flour
1/4 c white flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 pinches cumin
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 TBS vegetable oil or butter
2/3 c milk
Mix dry ingredients really well, then add wet ingredients. Let it sit for 30 minutes…. or if you don’t, it still works.
Leave a comment and let us know what is YOUR favorite kitchen appliance?