A smoothie maker or a juicer is a powerful blending machine which can be used to make drinks. In a society where people are continuously trying to eat more healthily, it’s a useful addition to the kitchen if you need a little bit of inspiration about how to get your 5 a day. Fruits and vegetables will blend down into very little, so it’s a good way to get plenty of them into your daily diet.
The fundamental difference between a smoothie maker and a juicer is that a juicer will extract pulp. This is ideal if you want to make thinner juices which are completely smooth. However, do bear in mind that they will need some extra cleaning. A smoothie maker is the most versatile of the two as you can blend basically anything which you want to. The blades are extremely powerful and will be able to blend together most ingredients. It’s ideal for blending more creamy mixtures which contain ingredients like banana or avocado.
Either machine is a highly effective way of improving your diet and lifestyle. Juices and smoothies are ideal at breakfast time as they’re a healthy way to start your day. Smoothies especially can be very filling depending on the ingredients which you use. Most machines will also make the drinks in portable cups so you can take them anywhere with you.
Preparing your ingredients can often take you longer than the cooking process itself – onions in particular are very fiddly to chop. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you to cut onions up finely and evenly:
- Make sure you have the right equipment. You should make sure you use a sharp serrated knife and have a good quality chopping board.
- Start by peeling the onion, slicing off the top and cutting in half down the middle through the root.
- Place the onion with the flat cut side face down on the chopping board. Slice finely lengthways from one edge to the other.
- Slice from the root downwards 4 to 5 times, leaving about 1cm of the onion still attached to the root to keep the pieces in place whilst you’re cutting it.
- Finish off the process by slicing from top to bottom. The onion may feel like it’s starting to fall apart slightly despite having the root in place, so you’ll need to hold it together carefully. Once you get to the end you should just have the root left.
By following these instructions, you’ll be able to slice an onion into equally-sized pieces which will cook evenly. It may take a little while to perfect the method but it will be worthwhile for your cooking.
Sometimes the simplest of dishes can be the hardest to get just right. People are familiar with them and know how they should taste, so if they’re anything but perfect, it shows. Make sure your scrambled eggs never go wrong by following these simple steps:
- Heat a generous amount of butter and a splash of oil over a gentle heat in a non-stick saucepan. Be careful not to heat too high or for too long, or it will burn. Oil is important for heat, butter is important for flavour.
- Whisk the eggs together with a small splash of milk. It won’t matter what kind of milk you use – this is more for texture. The majority of flavour comes from the butter.
- Pour the eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir continuously over a low heat. This part it important – the eggs need to be stirred in order to cook evenly. This process will take about five minutes.
- For deliciously creamy scrambled eggs, add in a touch of cream or crème fraîche just before the eggs are cooked.
- Serve piping hot, and just before the eggs have fully cooked as they’ll continue to set a little once removed from the heat.
It is also possible to cook scrambled eggs in the microwave, but the results tend not to be as good. Cooking on the hob takes little time and effort, and it will ensure that you’re able to cook better food.
Food mixers are a highly useful, versatile tool to have in your kitchen. They’re often used in baking, and as this hobby is growing in popularity, food mixers are becoming more useful than ever. You can buy a number of different products from various retailers and brands, so it’s worth doing some research to make sure that you’re choosing the right product for you.
Mixers come in a range of shapes and sizes, from small hand-held devices to stand mixers big enough for commercial use. The one you choose will very much depend upon what you want to use it for and how much you want to spend – a hand-held mixer will be significantly cheaper than a stand mixer.
Hand-held mixers can be either manual or motorised, and are generally used for more simple tasks. Depending on the settings available, the process may take longer than it would with a stand mixer. However, it will be perfectly adequate for most basic mixing functions, and it will allow you to whip ingredients together which would take an exceptionally long time to do by hand.
Stand mixers are state-of-the art cooking equipment, and can complete a range of functions in your kitchen. They generally have a specific bowl which attaches to them, and have different tools which can be used depending on the purpose. Wire whisks, flat beaters and a dough hook are standard tools which usually come with the mixer, and a variety of additional attachments can be purchased depending on your requirements. These can be anything from dicing kits and food processors to pasta cutters and juicers. With the number of attachments available, mixers can become an integral part of your everyday cooking equipment.
A lot of people feel like they should be eating more vegetables, but often they don’t have many ideas when it comes to doing so. Here are some quick and delicious ways to make vegetable snacks to keep you going throughout the day:
- Kale chips. A quick and easy alternative to potato crisps. Try adding tamari for some extra flavour.
- Hummous. You can make it yourself and add vegetables in, such as peppers, and use it to dip vegetable sticks. Carrot and cucumber are especially good.
- Salsa. You can make it with all kinds of different vegetables, and can eat it with cracker bread as a healthy alternative to tortilla chips.
- Homemade vegetable soup. A small cup will make a satisfying snack.
- Vegetable juice. If you have a juicer, you can juice all kinds of vegetables to find a flavour you like.
- Vegetable dips. There are endless recipes around, and you can eat them with bread sticks, cracker bread or crudités.
- Skewers. Tomatoes and peppers are good candidates for putting onto a skewer, and you can make them more interesting with the addition of something like halloumi or feta cheese.