There was a time when all you needed to get cooking in the kitchen was a stove, some pots and pans, and a little common sense.
These days, things aren’t quite so simple. With root vegetable spaghetti, cold pressed juice and infused water on our menus, we’ve seen a host of new gadgets creeping into kitchens up and down the country. With so many options to choose from, trying to sort genuinely useful technology from the fads can be time consuming.
Luckily, we’ve looked at some of the most popular kitchen gadgets of the moment to help you decide whether they’re really worth your cash.
Hemsley + Hemsley Spiralizer
With the turn of a handle, a spiralizer can turn a wide range of fruit and vegetables into long spirals almost instantly, making them perfect for creating nutrient packed; gluten-free noodle and pasta dishes.
For this reason, they’ve been adopted by clean eating pioneers like Hemsley + Hemsley, who’ve even brought out their own model. Although priced on the lower end of the spectrum, the Hemsley + Hemsley spiralizer does a perfectly fine job, making ribbons of carrots, courgette, beetroot and more in minutes.
Whilst some spiralizers have the tendency to shift around while in action, the Hemsley+Hemsley model is surprisingly sturdy. If you’re new to veggie ribbons and don’t want to splash out on an expensive gadget, we’d recommend Hemsley + Hemsley’s effort as an accessible intro model, priced at £29.95.
OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler
If you’re not quite sure about investing in a spiralizer, or simply want a gadget that won’t take up too much room in your kitchen, a julienne peeler could be the option for you. Julienne peelers essentially perform the same job as a spiralizer, albeit taking more time and with a little added elbow grease required (we like to view it as a little kitchen workout).
Whilst you’ll struggle to get the uniformity that comes with a spiralizer, the OXO Good Grips puts in a good effort, producing veggie noodles of a satisfying length and shape. The OXO isn’t just a one trick pony either, being able to shred vegetables for salads and zest citrus fruit with ease. If you’re wanting to minimise effort and time, the OXO Julienne Peeler might not be for you, but those looking for a cheaper spiralizer alternative might want to look this way.
Juicing has been a big trend in the past few years, with green veg concoctions shaking off their stale image to be the drink of choice for fashionistas and the health conscious alike.
However, if you’re looking to get the most nutrients out of your juice, you’d do best to avoid pure cold press juicers. Whilst these types of juicers will get you vitamins and minerals, you’ll miss out on the fibre present in the flesh of the fruit.
With this in mind, items like the Nutri-Bullet have sprung up, promising to produce a more nutritionally complete juice. Marketed as an “extractor”, the Nutri-Bullet pulverises whole fruit, vegetables, and nuts into a smooth liquid. At around £100 before you even consider attachments, the Nutri-Bullet is perhaps a little steep for what is essentially a blender. However, the Nutri-Bullet arguably produces smoother results in less time than your average blender or food processer, making it a good option for those looking to get a quick nutrient fix, along with the advantage of being quick and easy to clean.
We all know that keeping hydrated is important for everyday health and wellbeing, with the NHS stating a figure of around 1.6 litres as the goal. However, for much of the population, staying sufficiently hydrated might be difficult. For those who find drinking water a chore, the go to alternatives are sometimes far from ideal; sugary juice, soft drinks, or dehydrating caffeine.
Recently, items like Aqua Zinger have cropped up to help steer us back to good old water. The Aqua Zinger is a large steel bottle connected to an infuser, in which fruit, herbs, or whatever you desire can be placed. The water is slowly infused with the flavour – and supposedly, nutrients – of the fruit, providing a tasty and healthy water.
Whilst a novel idea, at £25 a pop, for many, the Aqua Zinger might be a somewhat expensive water bottle; something even more true when considering that similar results could be achieved by placing fruit or herbs directly into the water to infuse. However, we think the Aqua Zinger would be a good option for parents looking for a way to lure their children away from sugary drinks towards a healthier alternative.
Perhaps due to an overdependence on sell by dates and a purchasing of too much food, the UK is an increasingly wasteful country. On average, UK households produce around 7 million tonnes of food waste a year, with 4.2million tonnes of this being fine to eat.
Not only is this amount of waste bad for the environment, it’s also having an effect on our bank accounts; according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme, the average household could save £700 annually by reducing food waste.
With this in mind, Berry Breeze seems an attractive proposition. A small white battery operated box, Berry Breeze releases activated oxygen. When placed in a fridge, the Berry Breeze releases this oxygen, keeping fruit and veg fresher for around 2 weeks longer than normal, meaning you’ll need to throw less food away. Priced at a reasonable £40, the Berry Breeze is worth a try for those of us who are habitually wasteful.
We hope we managed to cut through the buzz a give you the facts about these popular kitchen appliances. Whether you consider yourself a culinary novice or the next Heston Blumenthal, you should have all the info you need to get spiralizing, juicing, or even just chopping your way to good health.