Summer is the time to enjoy lots of fresh produce and herbs straight from the garden or farm market. Here are a few unique kitchen gadgets — tools that are inexpensive, compact, and will help ensure that you use up and enjoy your market finds to the fullest!
6 Cool Kitchen Gadgets
Midsummer brings a bounty of cherries, and while the best way to enjoy them is just as they are (and discretely spit out the pits!), what if you want to make a fresh cherry pie or cobbler or throw a bunch in your smoothie? Truly, pitting cherries is a pain and is hard to do cleanly. Myliffri Cherry Pitter (shown at top) does 6 at a time, preserving the cherry and the juice.
Sure, you can always reach for a bag of frozen corn, but when fresh corn is so excellent and sweet in season, it’s a shame not to use it — on the cob and off. Stripping corn kernels off the cob with a knife isn’t exactly a tough task but it does make a bit of a mess and does’t do the job thoroughly. This clever Chef’n Cob Corn Stripper is just what’s needed to get the job done neatly and in seconds. Fresh corn salads, salsas, side dishes, and more are almost literally at your fingertips.
Fresh herbs add so much flavor to summer far, but separating the leaves from the stems feels tedious. If you’re like most of us, you’ve had more than one batch of fresh herbs go bad due to laziness. Chef’n Zipstrip Herb Stripper makes the process stemming herbs easier, plus, the container that catches the leaves doubles as a measuring cup.
If you love infused olive oil but not the price tag, you’ll be excited to learn how easy it is to make your own. Artland Press oil infuser lets you easily infuse olive oil with rosemary, basil, thyme, and other aromatic herbs, and garlic, too. Pour straight from this bottle, and once it’s used up, it’s easy to clean.
Making vegetable “noodles” is all the rage, and while we still also love our World Cuisine Spiral Slicer, the Original Zoodle Slicer is more compact, making it a great choice for kitchens without a lot of cabinet or counter space. Have fun turning zucchini, beets, carrots, sweet potoes, and other vegetables into fun noodle shapes, and watch even the picky eaters line up.
Finally, the Smith and Oliver Multifunction Peeler is such an incredibly useful tool for under 10 dollars — it not only makes peeling a breeze, it also shaves, zests, and juliennes.
Enjoy these unique kitchen gadgets all summer long, but don’t put them away once the season ends — so many of them are useful all year round.
- Get more useful tips from VegKitchen’s Product Guide.
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Have you always wanted to try pickling, but intimidated by the process? Here’s a visual guide on how to pickle vegetables. Pickling allows you to give your favorite summer produce a whole new flavor. Experiment with some of these tips and make your own pickling recipes. more→
Tackling food waste starts in your kitchen! Up to 40 percent of the food purchased in the U.S. is wasted. It’s easy to blame supermarkets and restaurants that toss out mass quantities of spoiled, imperfect, or uneaten food, but even small amounts of food waste coming from home kitchens have a big impact. Here are some simple tips for preventing food waste.
The average person throws out more than 20 pounds of food per month. The forgotten leftovers in the refrigerator and over-ripe bananas on the kitchen counter contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in the landfill – not to mention the amount of land, water, and other resources it took to produce that food in the first place. To highlight what a huge global problem this is, see more about the issue in Wasted Yet Wanted. more→
Trying to use less energy when you cook is an admirable goal. Energy efficient cooking reduces emissions and it can help save money in the household budget. California’s Consumer Energy Center estimates that cooking casserole costs $0.03 in the microwave, versus an electric oven at $0.16. Rather than trying to cook everything in the microwave (good luck frying anything), there are also plenty of other ways to save energy while you cook. more→
One of the biggest advantages of eating vegan meals is being able to reduce your carbon emissions to help the environment. By now, eating less or no meat to reduce our carbon footprint is pretty cemented in the green living lexicon. The vegan carbon footprint is far smaller than other diets.
The Guardian even estimates that giving up beef can lower your carbon footprint more than using a car. Red meat uses 28 times more land and 11 times more water than pork or chicken. Red meat also produces five times more climate change emissions. Taken a step further, red meat requires 160 times more land and produces eleven times more greenhouse gasses than vegan staples like potatoes, wheat and rice. more→
[Contributed by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen™] Whenever I mention that I teach pressure cooking and that I have a bunch of great pressure cooker recipes, people respond by telling me their memories about their mother’s or grandmother’s pressure cooker. Most have a horror story to tell. more→
Shopping at farm markets gives you access to the best of local, seasonal produce and is just plain fun. That’s the story in a nutshell! If you want dig deeper into why getting your produce at these kinds of local marketplaces is a great idea, read on. And for some great how-to’s, see Make the Most of Produce Shopping at Farm Markets. more→
There are few things quite as rewarding as biting into a vegetable you grew yourself or sprinkling newly picked parsley into your hummus. Gardening continues to be one of America’s favorite pastimes, even ranking as the #1 most popular, according to the National Gardening Survey. For city-dwellers, though, gardening can seem unrealistic. The pastures, neat rows, and white picket fences we associate with growing food are hard to come by in urban areas. more→
While the salads and raw dishes are common in a vegan diet, it is almost impossible to avoid cooking grease altogether. From leftover frying oil to coconut oil, we don’t always think twice before rinsing our pots and pains over the drain. It’s a common habit for us to rinse our pans, and along with them, rinse the cooking grease straight into the drain, but is this really that bad? While we may have never asked ourselves this question, rinsing cooking grease in your sink, whether it’s from frying, sautéing or roasting vegetables, is in fact a problem with terrible and expensive consequences.
In the same way fat and cholesterol block our veins and arteries, fat in drains leads to blocked pipes, sewer blockages in municipal lines, and costly sewage backups in your home and the environment. Rinsing cooking grease with hot water doesn’t help either. Cooking grease will quickly cool and congeal in the pipes. So, what is a healthy, vegan cook do? more→
Thanks to Top Cookware Online for this infographic.
How to grow fruit all year round by team at Happy to Survive.