Food is medicine. Healthy eating. Eat right! An apple a day. There are oodles of saying, slogans and articles about how important diet is to a healthy life. Even I can’t get away from it – I think food is the most frequent topic I’ve blogged about here. That said, eating healthy is much easier when cooking is easier. Let’s face it – if you’re already tired from work and your spoons are limited, what is going to be the more appealing choice: another half hour or 45 minutes spent chopping and cooking, or a phone call to your favorite take-out place?
There are many appliances and accessories that can help make the usual tasks around the kitchen easier to manage when dealing with sore joints, limited time and fatigue. Below I’m going to list a few that you might find helpful:
If joint pain, swelling or tenderness is a problem, an electric can-opener can be a huge help when it comes to cooking. Find a model that works for you – the one I have uses a simple magnet to hold the can in place while the blade does its work.
Same idea as the can-opener – having one can save you time and stress. If you don’t have the space or don’t care to invest the cash, then stock up on rubber jar grippers. Another tip I use for stubborn jars – hold the jar upside in the sink and slide a butter knife into the lid until the air-tight seal pops. Then the jar should open much more easily.
One of the ultimate convenience cooking tools, slow cookers have been making a recent comeback among the time-pressed and there are plenty of online communities happy to share their tips and recipes. My slow cooker is something of a war horse – from it’s early days in college when I used it to reheat leftovers to using it for soups, stews and even rice and beans. Buy a model with a built-in timer – it will automatically stop cooking and keep the food warm for you in case of any delays getting home.
If you’re like me, then your oven probably doubles as storage for pots, pans and other tools. While it’s a smart idea for space-strapped apartment dwellers, it adds extra time and work when you want to cook – and if you’re already tired, do you really want to take everything out of the oven just to reheat or cook something, only to put everything back after you’ve cleaned up? I love my toaster oven – it’s small, quick to clean, heats and bakes as well as a regular oven. Obviously, if you’re cooking for a large group, then a toaster oven might not suit your needs, but if you’re only cooking for yourself, it can be a real headache-saver.
On the same note, a microwave can handle more than just reheating leftovers. You can use it flash-steam veggies (many companies now package frozen veggies specifically so you can throw them in the microwave and be done with them). There are even whole recipes that can be done only using the microwave (ravioli casserole anyone?). And while there is some controversy about how healthy microwaving your food can be, if straight-forward ease and practicality is what you need, the try taking a new look at your microwave.