Favorite Kitchen Essentials

Ignore the big 80s power suit….how about a salt and pepper grinder!

 

Welcome to the 20s my fellow foodies. As we enter the new decade, I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come in the kitchen in the past 30 years. Bridal showers have cetainly changed and so have the gifts! Who else remembers dressing up on a Saturday afternoon and opening beautifully wrapped gifts with elaborate ribbons? A lot more than my big 80s hair and power suits have changed. Amazingly, though, I still have a few of those handy items and I’ve certainly added my share of new and improved gadgets along the way. Here’s a few of what I think are must-haves in the kitchen.

I don’t think I have this EXACT pizza stone, but I do still have A pizza stone

The immersion blender. I use this handy tool at least once a week. It can puree a soup right in the pot so there’s no need to use a blender. Definitely a must have for my kitchen.

The Air Fryer. I have the Gourmia air fryer. It’s my second air fryer. I probably use this 4 times a week (maybe more). Air fryers have become so popular these days. They are a must have when you want to cook without oil and still get that crispy “fried” food. It’s a healthy way to enjoy so many foods.

My high speed mini blender, aka, The Nutri Ninja is probably my most used gadget in my kitchen. It’s small profile means it takes up little space and it is just as powerful as a blender. I use it to make dressings, like my peanut sauce. It’s also great at grinding up whole oats to make oat flour for baking. I can easily grind up nuts and nutritional yeast to make my own dairy free parmesan. I could go on, but I think you get it!

The Cuisinart Food Processor is another fantastic appliance for your kitchen. I have the 11- cup model, which is just the right size for me. I can’t say that I use it everyday, but my guess is that it’s used at least twice a week in my kitchen. My go-to recipes of Basil Pesto and No-Tuna Salad are made in no time with my handy Cuisinart.

Yep…I’ve still got that immersion blender circa 1990!

If you’ve got limited space and maybe you just want to start gradually, I recommend a waffle iron. I never had one until about a year ago, and I thought, “what took me so long?” The Cuisinart waffle iron that I have is not expensive, so you’re not making a huge investment. I use mine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just take a look at my post for potato waffles or this one for falafel waffles. A few weeks ago, I experimented with a sweet potato/yukon gold mashup waffle. Stay tuned for that recipe soon!

Waffles aren’t just for breakfast!
You can’t go wrong with any of these on your shelf

I can’t finish this post without adding my favorite cookbooks. The Engine 2 Diet Cookbook is still at the top of my list. If you’ve already got that one, then I suggest adding the following: Oh She Glows, The Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook and The Prevent and Heart Disease Cookbook. I know that last one doesn’t sound very sexy, but it is full of east to follow and very delicious recipes.

Thanks for taking some time today to read about a few more of my favorite things. Maybe you can add to your collection or leave me a comment and tell me what you think I should add to my kitchen. I’d love to hear from you!

See you in the kitchen soon,

Heidi

 

Hmmmm, I wonder what’s inside this beautiful gift???

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I scream, you scream,

we all scream for “NICE CREAM”! I am back in the kitchen today with, yet again, another banana recipe. This time, I am featuring the frozen bananas that keep accumulating in my freezer. I keep a supply ready to make smoothies, but I haven’t been making them very often. In trying to clean out my freezer a little, I discovered a great frozen dessert option involving said frozen bananas.If you are trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss, this is a great way to enjoy a frozen dessert and have it truly be a guilt free treat.

A few weeks ago, I watched one of my favorite You tube videos featuring Ann and Jane Esselstyn. They did a segment on the Yonana machine and demonstrated how easy it was to make “nice cream” with frozen bananas and other frozen fruits. It looked fabulous and I quickly went to the Yonanas website to look at the machine. It’s BIG! And I don’t know about you, but I absolutely have no room whatsoever for another kitchen gadget. Especially one that has pretty much only one function. In the past, I have watched other  videos showing nice cream recipes. Most of those involved using a standard food processor. I  did try using my food processor, but I was never really happy with the results. So, I tested out a few batches with my Nutri Ninja. My Nutri Ninja is really the workhorse of my kitchen. I use mine almost daily for blending dressing and sauces and now it is my go-to for making delicious, creamy, amazing nice cream.

Nice cream

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients:

  • One banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1/3 C. unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 T. fresh ground peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 t. vanilla, almond or mint extract

Here’s how I made this decadent looking banana, chocolate and peanut butter nice cream. I placed one frozen banana in the ninja cup. (Make sure you slice the bananas before you freeze them). Next, I added 1/3 cup of unsweetened plain almond milk, 1 tablespoon each of unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup and fresh ground peanut butter. (I may have snuck in an extra tablespoon of peanut butter).  A personal note about peanut butter. I honestly feel that the fresh ground peanut butter you can get at the grocery store tastes the best. It is the only kind I buy now. Set the ninja up and hit start and you will have a creamy, rich, chocolatey dessert in about a minute. If you don’t want to enjoy your dessert right away, you can place the nice cream in a container in the freezer and have it anytime.

IMG_0144
Creamy, chocolatey deliciousness

You can use other fruits along with the banana to make other flavors. Try adding some frozen strawberries for a more fruity treat or mango for a tropical dessert. You can find a lot of recipes for nice cream on Pinerest or other recipe sites. You’re only limited by your imagination (and frozen fruit supply!)

Leave me a comment and let me know how your nice cream turned out. See you in the kitchen again soon,

Heidi