Once Fall arrives, it means the kids are back in school and daily routines are back in full swing. Today, I’m talking about kitchen appliances both big and small and how you can get the most use out of them this fall. Using your kitchen appliances to their full potential can help take some stress out of daily routines and make meal times a breeze.
Pressure and slow cookers
Pressure cookers and Instant Pots are the perfect small appliance for quick and easy meals. On the days I forget to meal plan, I throw in a protein, seasoning and a cup of water or sauce and pressure cook for 30 minutes. Steam some veggies and cook some pasta or rice and your meal is done. I love that you can use the sauce from the pressure cooker to add to your pasta or rice for a flavourful meal.
Instant Pots are great for any meal, even dessert. They’re perfect for family sized portions of breakfast oatmeal and I can tell you they make the best rice pudding. Instant pots have a variety of functions such as pressure cook, slow cook, rice, steam, saute, soup, meat and yogurt. There’s also some great online forums and communities for Instant Pot lovers where you can find and share your favourite recipes and any Instant Pot tips and tricks to get the most out of your small appliance. Instant Pots have taken off and become many families go to appliance for quick, easy and healthy meals.
Many pressure cookers have a slow cooker option, or you can buy just a slow cooker or crockpot on its own. Slow cookers are for the days when you’re more organized and have the time to throw in a meal like a chilli or roast before you head out for the day. They make amazing soups and stews and one-pot meals and you can easily make a big batch meal and freeze it for a later date. Like so many appliances, there are also models with Wi-Fi so you can connect and adjust your cooking time, temperature, switch it to warm or turn it off using your smart device.
I love that with an Instant Pot, a pressure cooker, or a crockpot, you can make a large enough meal to have leftovers for a warm lunch for yourself or your family the next day.
Blenders for soups and smoothies
Blenders don’t take up much counter space and are perfect for to-go morning smoothies. I love the idea of pre-making and freezing individual smoothie packs so it’s as simple as emptying one into your blender with a liquid of your choice and you’re done. There are a variety of blenders available that come with blending cups which means you can make your smoothie right in a travel cup with no extra clean up. With smoothies you can hide greens, chia and flax seeds or hemp hearts which is my sneaky move to get some extra nutrients into my kids.
Vitamix and Blendtec are two brands that have a heat function to make hearty and delicious soups perfect for fall weather. They can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer or simply whip up a batch from leftover cooked veggies for a filling lunch to send to school with your kids or for yourself at work. They are available with different size containers, in a variety of watts and functions like chop, dice, blend, and puree.
Refrigerators and deep freezers
Refrigerators are essential and smart refrigerators are becoming increasingly popular with models like the Samsung Family Hub. There’s plenty of space for food storage and amazing features like a CoolSelect pantry drawer, humidity controlled crispers and an auto pull out freezer drawer. I love that it’s made of anti-fingerprint stainless steel which means less time cleaning. By far the best feature is the Wi-Fi enabled touchscreen. You can look up recipes, shop for your groceries online, stream music for entertaining and keep your family organized with a calendar. Simply send updates, notes, and photos from your smartphone directly to your fridge to stay on track with routines and schedules. The most innovative feature of the Family Hub is the three built-in cameras that allow you to view the contents of your fridge remotely using your smartphone so if you’re out shopping and wonder if you’re low on milk you can easily check from wherever you are.
I’m not sure why the fall weather makes me feel like cooking and storing food. Deep freezers are a must have to store prepped meals, leftovers and smoothie packs for quick and easy meals. They’re available in multiple sizes which means you can find the perfect size for your needs and family and you can choose between the upright or chest style as well. This helps reduce wastage so you don’t buy something you don’t need and ensures you’re always fully stocked with all the ingredients needed to complete a homemade meal.
Espresso machines for fall lattes
An espresso machine is something I have yet to treat myself to, but I’m thinking this fall may be the time to invest. I love a good latte and cappuccino and I love that I can save a few dollars and not rush through a drive-thru by making my own at home. Fall is the best time for an espresso machine if you love a flavoured latte and when you make them at home, it’s more budget friendly. You can also control the level of sweetness if you’re adding your favourite syrup.
Espresso machines are available for a variety of budgets and personal preferences. You can buy a basic espresso machine that simply brews espresso or choose one with a variety of features and options. Some features to think about are a coffee grinder, milk frother, mug warmer, touchscreen, customizable drink options, and a milk carafe that you can store back in the fridge with any unused milk for your next hot drink.
Now that the weather on the west coast where I live is already turning from summer to fall, I have been using my pressure cooker and coffee maker a lot more often. I love that my home appliances, both big and small, can help me save money by making coffees at home and meals that can stretch into leftovers over several days, including for school/work lunches. Think about checking out some online communities or using popular apps for new recipes and tips on getting the most out of your small appliances this fall.
You can find innovative appliances both big and small at Bestbuy.ca.