Technically this post is not about vegan food, and therefore not following VeganMoFo guidelines. However I propose that you need to PREPARE all of that food somehow and so here are my top five favorite kitchen appliances for making awesome vegan food.
Vitamix. Hands down this is the best investment we’ve ever made in a small kitchen appliance. The Vitamix is a commercial-grade blender that will pulverize the heck out of anything you put in it, including whole carrots, half an apple, big globs of peanut butter, full ice cubes, etc. The Vitamix motor heats up the food as it blends. So to make soup you can just fill the Vitamix with hot water and your veggies, blend for about 5 minutes, and voila – piping hot soup. At about $400-500 the Vitamix is NOT cheap, but it will last forever. We used to go through blenders like crazy trying to support our smoothie habit – about 2 a year! We’ve had our Vitamix for about five years now and it never lets us down. (TIP: For a good deal, look for a refurbished Vitamix.)
Food Processor. Some things just don’t belong in a blender and that’s when I use my food processor to chop, shred, puree, and sift. Yes, SIFT! This is a baking trick from Alton Brown: Pulse your dry ingredients in the food processor 4-5 times. The dry ingredients get combined much better than I could do with a spoon, and the aeration you create helps the dry ingredients absorb the wet ingredients better. No more messy and clunky sifters! I have a Cuisinart but I’ve heard the KitchenAids are better.
Rice cooker. I love my Panasonic rice cooker! When I used to prepare rice on the stove it usually turned out a disaster. Rice cooked on the stove needs to be constantly watched to make sure it doesn’t boil over or stop boiling, and even then it doesn’t always turn out well. My rice cooker churns out perfect rice every time thanks to it’s “fuzzy logic” that enables it to make adjustments as it cooks so that the rice turns out just right. A rice cooker can be used to cook other foods as well – entire meals in fact, according to this New York Times article.
Immersion Blender. My simple KitchenAid immersion blender has helped me to enjoy making soups! Many recipes ask you to pour the hot soup into a blender, blend the soup, and then return the hot ingredients back into the pot. There are many opportunites to burn yourself and make a mess when you use this method! The immersion blender lets you do the blending right in the pot – it’s faster, less messy, and less dangerous .
Ice Cream Maker. I LOVE ice cream and homemade ice cream is amazing! So while my Cuisinart ice cream maker is not particularly practical or versatile, I wouldn’t be able to make ice cream without it. Which could be a good thing…or not…
What’s your favorite small kitchen appliance?
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