Back to school season is here, which means it’s time to tighten up the household schedule again. Practices, games, tutoring and meetings can really make life hectic. That’s why it’s so important to have tools that can simplify preparing healthy meals for the family and yourself.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite kitchen essentials for making back to school meal times easier.
The Smart Oven Pro
Image Source: Breville
Make it easy for the kids to prepare their own after school snacks, from an entire pizza, to nuggets and more. The Smart Oven is a countertop oven that it provides full-size functionality in a small package that’s so powerful it could easily displace a full-size oven in many households. It toasts, bakes broils, and reheats without the soggy disappointment that comes from microwaving.
The Smart Oven comes with a few baking pans, and is large enough to accommodate a muffin pan. So you can try out that “family-friendly” recipe for meatloaf muffins that you found on Pinterest the other day.
Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender
Image Source: Amazon
A lot of people love the idea of having a smoothie for breakfast. Kids and adults alike find them quick, delicious and filling, especially when trying to head out to school and work in a hurry. However, what people don’t like is the noise, particularly when the members of your household are on different schedules. If mom has to be out of the house by 7am for a lengthy commute and dad doesn’t have to get the kids up and ready till 7:30am, the last thing anyone wants is to be awakened by the sound of kale being pulverized into a liquid.
Enter the quiet blender. These are powerful, professional grade blenders that can make quick work of even the most stubborn ingredients, but do so quickly and quietly.
You’ll find that there are several different brands of this style of blender on the market. Some brands are quieter than others, while others are more powerful. Some will cost more than $1,000, while others can be found for around $200. So, there really is something for everyone.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Image Source: Best Buy
Pressure cookers have been enjoying a mainstream renaissance lately. Some of that is thanks to the Instant Pot. When the Instant Pot hit the marketplace a few years ago it introduced the convenience of pressure cooking to a new generation.
The Instant Pot offers 7 cooking options, allowing you to use it as a time-saving pressure cooker, for sautéing and browning, as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and even a yogurt maker. This means that your famous braised short ribs can become a weekday meal and not just a Sunday supper.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers
Image Source: Bed Bath and Beyond
If you use freezer cooker or Once a Month cooking methods to feed your family during the busy school year, a great way to keep your prepared meals fresh and to maintain the space in your freezer is with vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealing can also speed up the time it takes to marinate meats, allowing you to prepare more flavourful weekday meals without hours of marinating.
The leisurely days of summer may be behind us now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to enjoy a more relaxed daily life at any time of year. Incorporate kitchen technology like slow cookers, pressure cookers and other gadgets to simplify cooking and meal prep time without compromizing on healthful eating and flavour.