Aren’t modern times great? In many facets of life, technological innovations and electrical appliances get the job done while you’re taking a nap or just plain busy. The kitchen is no different – there is a wide range of convenient appliances and modern technology that take the monotony and guesswork out of preparing and creating a meal. From finding recipes and buying kitchen gear to ordering takeout and uploading photos of your food, technology has had a profound effect on the way you prepare, cook, and eat your meals.
The true gift of technology in the kitchen lies in the various helpful cooking appliances you can find these days. Simplicity is the key – if you live a straightforward life, you prefer to use an appliance that is also straightforward. There are many options from which to choose, so here are two that will help you spend less time in the kitchen and make your life easier.
Not that long ago, food processors were the domain of professional chefs and the restaurant industry. Once the design was simplified and world-renowned chefs such as Julia Child and James Beard gave it their seal of approval, the food processor caught on with amateur cooks and became an instant hit in homes across North America. Whether you’re shredding, chopping, or pureeing, a food processor cuts your food preparation time in half, making it essential for your kitchen. Among other uses, you can whip up a pie crust, create homemade dips and sauces, or produce your own unique nut butters with this handy gadget. The food processor is also fantastic if you are partial to gluten-free and grain-free baked goods. As noted by MRS foodprep, you can eat healthier and happier with a food processor at your disposal.
In fact, making a gluten-free pie crust using a food processor is easy as pie and only requires four ingredients. For anyone following a gluten-free diet, almond flour is an ideal alternative to recreate your favorite baked goods because it is free of gluten and grains and higher in healthy fats and protein. Just be sure you’re using blanched almond flour and not almond meal for best results. To make this grain-free, gluten-free pie crust, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg
- Put almond flour and sea salt in food processor; pulse briefly
- Add coconut oil and egg; pulse until ball is formed
- Press dough into 9-inch glass pie dish
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 minutes
Omit the final step if your pie needs to be baked. Simply load the filling of your choice into the crust before baking according to your recipe. Once your pie is baked, sit back, enjoy, and be glad you invested in a food processor.
Also known as a crockpot, the slow cooker is a perfect complement to the food processor because you can toss in all of those healthy foods you’ve just sliced, chopped, or pureed and cook them up without slaving over a hot stove. Pot roasts, stews, and soups are the specialties of the slow cooker, which gained popularity in the 1970s among working mothers who could start preparing dinner in the morning and leave it cooking unattended all day. There are many advantages to using a slow cooker, including easier cleanup and low cooking temperatures that render it nearly impossible to burn, even if the crockpot is left on for too long. If you like eating comfort food but you don’t like spending an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, the slow cooker might be your new best friend.
Not only can a slow cooker serve up a chili, stew, or roast for lunch or dinner, it is equally adept at creating a warm, tasty meal for breakfast. Imagine preparing a new breakfast before you go to bed and waking up to the mouth-watering scent of something like this delicious Creamy Banana French Toast. If you’re interested, here’s what you’ll need:
- One (1) 10-inch stale French baguette, a day or two old, cut into 1-inch slices
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 to 4 bananas, sliced into rounds
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/3 cup honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices
- Use cooking spray to lightly grease 6.5-quart slow cooker
- Spread cream cheese on all sides of bread slices
- Arrange slices in single layer on bottom of slow cooker
- Layer banana slices over bread slices
- Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts
- Arrange butter slices on top and set slow cooker aside
- Using whisk or egg beaters, lightly beat eggs in mixing bowl
- After adding milk, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract, whisk mixture until fully combined
- Pour mixture into slow cooker until mixture is about three-quarters up without covering bread slices – add more liquid as needed
- Cook on high setting for 2 to 2.5 hours or on low setting for 3 to 4 hours
- If you’re not eating it right away, remove lid and switch to warm setting
- Place on plates, drizzle with honey or syrup, and enjoy!
Technology in the Kitchen
It’s not just how you eat or what you eat – everything about the way you prepare and eat meals has changed thanks to modern technology. Preparing and eating food is one of the most basic, essential activities of humanity, but technology has opened a vast new world of cooking to anyone and everyone. No longer do you need to pore through cookbooks or enroll in an expensive and time-consuming cooking class to impress your family and friends with a fancy new dish. Using a smartphone or tablet, you can quickly and easily discover new recipes and even step-by-step video tutorials that can walk you through the entire process from start to finish. With the advent of social media, you can snap a picture once you’ve declared it a success and share your new creation with those who couldn’t make it to dinner.