5 Reasons I got a Slow Cooker and you should too

slow-cooker

Well if you’re looking for equipment worthy of its hype and price then the slow cooker might just check all the boxes. If your one who loves to cook on a budget then a slow cooker is a simply a must have.

Apart from that you’ll also be eating healthy since it requires least oil and almost 0 effort but you need to learn to use it right and efficiently. So here’s how to use a slow cooker effectively.

Easily Affordable

The first thing that caught my eye when buying a cooker was its low cost. It’s one of the biggest reasons these cookers have become so popular and are still high in demand. From lean meat such as chicken or fish to even your veggies, these cookers can cook them all.

Prices can range from a mere $40 to about $500 but trust me every penny you’ll need to put in is absolutely worth it.

Its healthy cooking

Worried about all the oil you’ve needed to cook the meat and veggies? Well guess what, you’ll need none of it with these cookers. To further take the health quotient up a notch you can even chop off all the fat sticking on the meat to keep your stews and curries oil free as these cookers do not come with a drip tray and not chopping it off can result in fat pools.

Effortless and time saving 

Has cooking pork, chicken etc. become a tedious task? Does it seem to be too time consuming? Well then this is exactly the cooking utensil your kitchen’s missing. Unlike its name this cooker saves you plenty of time and like I said above requires hardly any effort.

Soups, stews etc. are cooked best in these cookers. Apart from that if you’re looking to grill stuff it’s always a better idea to slow cook it first.

Slow and steady wins the race

The setting that I recommend all my readers when cooking in these cookers is to keep it on low. Trust me even its low setting is way faster than your regular pressure cookers. This is especially useful when cooking curries and stews as it enhances the flavors.

With these cookers there’s no constant need for a check. Avoid removing the lid as it tends to leave out some steam leading to longer cooking times.

Keep the liquids low

Firstly your meat and your veggies won’t need too much of water to cook in any case but yes your stews and soup will need it but again avoid over pouring it as the tightly closed lid does not allow evaporation which then leads to leakage or uncooked foods. If you’re not sure I would recommend you fill not more than half the cooker or at the most two thirds of it.

Are waffles the food your diet needs?

waffles

Whether you’re a fan of sweets or not it’s hard not to love chocolate or maple syrup dripping waffles. The original Belgian waffles are served with syrup, some berries and a scoop of whipped cream sounds quite yummy doesn’t it? But what if you’re on a diet? Is it healthy enough to fit into your diet? Here’s what you need to know about it.

Facts you need to know

The general belief when it comes to waffles is that they aren’t the best diet foods but believe it or not when prepared right their nutritional value is as good as any. American Dietetic Association states that a good diet consists of whole grains, healthy fruits, chicken, fish, some veggies and dairy.

Such a diet contains all the vital nutrients such as carbs, proteins etc. the body needs for a healthy lifestyle. No you don’t have to miss out on the weekend burgers and pizzas but a low consumption is what I would advise.

How to make it healthy

First and foremost thing you need to do is avoid using regular flour. The low amount of fiber leads to difficulty in digestion which in turn can lead to health issues if consumed on a regular basis this is why I recommend you use whole grain foods as much as possible.

These foods are loaded with fiber and thus are digested by the body real quick. So next time you’re in the mood for some waffles switch to whole grain products.This turns this unhealthy food into a rich fiber and protein source perfect to kick start a hectic day.

Ingredients used

Other ingredients needed that make waffles protein packed are eggs and milk. Apart from that salt and oil are also required. Switch to olive or canola oil for a further health boost. These oils contain low amounts of saturated fats and are also a rich source of omega 3 acids awesome for the heart. Keep salt as low as possible. Refer to recipe to know the right amount.

Waffles as your daily breakfast

I am sure you won’t be in the mood for waffles daily but if done right they can be your staple breakfast food. Waffles when prepared this way will provide you the perfect blend of carbs, proteins and fiber needed to stay energized throughout the day especially if you plan to hit the gym or go on an early morning run.

Waffles prepared at restaurants etc. with syrup tend to be unhealthy and should be eaten moderately with your proteins, carb and fiber coming from other sources during lunch, dinner etc. In case you’re not sure how to go about making Belgian waffles here’s a recipe I learnt it from.

 

Baking tools that are a must in every bakers kitchen

Baking has been my first love for many years now. Whether it’s cakes, muffins or waffles nothing keeps me out of the kitchen and in all these years I have been baking I learnt one thing that if you want to be quick and good at it you need plenty of good tools.

Buying stuff randomly won’t make the cut. So here’s a list of all the things that are a must and worth the investment.

Ingredient weighing scale

A common habit of every good baker is to measure each and every ingredient being put into the batter. Measuring ingredients is an important part of baking and helps reduces errors and the simplest way to do so is using a food scale.

They are sleek and will fit anywhere into the kitchen and are very accurate. Leaving to it chance can give you bizarre results such as burnt or flat cakes etc.

weighing-scale

Hand Beater

An indispensable piece of equipment for every baker is a hand beater but only if your production scale is small. These are usually cheap and easy to store when not in use but for those working on a large scale I would recommend a stand mixer.

The best thing you can do is get both but only if affordable. In case you’ve just started out and are looking to gain experience and develop your skills opt only for a medium range hand mixer.

hand-mixer

Oven Thermometer

One of the most underrated tools is an oven thermometer but trust me it will come in more handy than you’d first expect. Until and unless you have digital oven you can never really be sure of the oven’s temperature.

Whether it is only a 5-10 degree difference it can lead to wastage of tons of hours and money in a matter of minutes. Thermometers are affordable and can be stored simply inside the oven.

oven-thermometer

Cooling racks

Like baking the batter at the right temperature is important equally important is cooling it down to the right temperature too. This makes it easier to cream it later on as it tends to hold on better. This is where a cooling rack comes in handy.

Unlike on a counter or the tray itself, on a cooling rack the food cools down evenly. I have about 10-15 of them but to start off 2-3 should be enough.

cooling-rack

Mixing Bowls and a bunch of spoons

Until and unless you’ve decided to go with a stand mixer you’ll need to buy a set of different sized mixing bowls. These bowls reduce splatter thus save cleaning as well as mixing time and provide you with an even and well mixed batter.Glass bowls tend to be the best as compared to stainless steel ones but need more care.

Along with these bowls and next most important tools are measuring spoons. Accuracy is a key principle of baking which makes these spoons a must.

measuring-spoons