Let’s Talk Kitchen Appliances

I’m going to get to the homemade yogurt post–I promise I am.  I just don’t want anyone to be disappointed when I say that, if you are serious about making your own yogurt, I think you should invest in either a yogurt maker or a high end dehydrator.

Now everybody calm down.  I can hear the panic already.  I can’t afford that!  I don’t have room for any more kitchen appliances!

I know this is all very daunting.  Starting a new eating plan.  Trying to figure out all of these new, more expensive ingredients.  It’s a LOT to take in.  I promise I know.  But as you will see, once you begin to change the way you eat…….there’s a good chance you’re going to need to change out/add to your kitchen appliance repertoire.  Since beginning our diet plan, we have added many kitchen appliances including:

a juicer

a yogurt maker

a Ninja food processor/blender

a waffle maker

2 different dehydrators

a large capacity food processor

a Kitchenaid mixer

the ice cream attachment for the kitchenaid

It’s hard to believe I have room to store all of these appliances, but think about all of the things we got RID of when we started this plan.  The shelf in our pantry that held all of our granola bars, chips, crackers, cookies, and cereals now holds the juicer and the waffle maker.  The part of my counter that once had pretty canisters lined up now holds the dehydrator (what do I need canisters labeled “flour” and “sugar” for now anyway?).  So before you stress too much about space, remember that if you are serious about a new eating plan, there is a good chance that there are some things in your kitchen that you will be saying good-bye to– forever.

Now about the money–I know.  My advice is to decide which appliance you’re going to get the most use out of, and begin saving for it.  Go through your kitchen and see what you DON’T need anymore.  Why not have a yard sale and take that money and put it toward your new kitchen appliances?  Ask around–you’d be surprised what your friends and family might have sitting around that they never use.  I have an aunt in Massachusetts who had a yogurt maker in a box that she had never used!  She mailed it to me.  A friend from water aerobics had the Ninja blender and food processor in an unopened box and she sold it to me for very little.  Put it out there on Facebook what you are looking for, search around on Craig’s List–you never know!

Now clearly, we did not buy everything at once.  And obviously, all of these are NOT necessities.  You have to think about your family’s eating habits and what might be most important to you.  For us (even though we had never made homemade waffles before in our lives), a waffle maker was key.  Our kids were addicted to frozen waffles for breakfast, and I was addicted to the ease of tossing a waffle in the toaster for them.  So now I make huge batches of homemade waffles with almond flour and freeze them.  They still get their waffles every morning and I still get to toss something in the toaster.  Other than the waffle maker, I would say the dehydrator is a MUST for us.

In my opinion, the dehydrator is the appliance that separates the “have tos” from the “want tos”.  For instance, if you are just interested in eating paleo 90% of the time, it means you don’t necessarily have to.  You’re doing it because you want to, and that’s great!  You are still going to see a benefit.  But if you really get a hankering for a cracker, you’re probably going to just head out to a grocery store and buy some crackers.  Then there are the “have tos”–the people with celiac, severe food intolerances, or damaged guts.  The people who, if they want crackers, are gonna have to make them.  There is also a special group of people out there who really enjoy being in the kitchen and who really take pride in their homemade goods–let’s call them the “like tos”.  I was a “have to” who has transformed into a “like to”.

So for all you “have tos” and “like tos”:  y’all need a food dehydrator.  A good one.  You can do so much with it!

First of all, if you’re really into making your own yogurt, you can do that with a good food dehydrator!  Which means you don’t need to worry about a yogurt maker.  Other things you can make in a food dehydrator are fruit roll ups, beef jerky, crackers (!!), this awesome sourdough bread, dried fruit, kale chips, granola, and breakfast cereal.  I use my food dehydrator about 3 times a week.

The first time around, I bought a fairly inexpensive one that still worked pretty well.  There were 2 settings:  on and off.  If you went somewhere, it was going to be on until you got home.  The food was dehydrating kind of unevenly.  But it worked!  I couldn’t use it to make yogurt for two reasons–1) it had no temperature settings and 2) because it was a model that looked like this:

dehydrator

photo credit

You can only put flat things in these kinds of dehydrators.  So the second time around, I bought a mac-daddy dehydrator that had a timer and temperature settings.  And when you take all of the trays out, you can fill it up with jars of milk just itching to become yogurt!!

excalibur

photo credit

Now for everyone else–those of you who are simply interested in making yogurt, but aren’t ready to take the dive into the realm of making your own raisins and crackers, a yogurt maker would be ideal.  This is the yogurt maker I had to begin with.  It worked great, but I hated all those little cups.  It made for a lot of dishes to wash, and I had to use a bottle brush to get them all clean.  And my kids are in kindergarten–I don’t need no stinking bottle brush, know what I’m sayin?  If I was going to buy a yogurt maker now, I would probably get one like this that makes the yogurt in a large container.

So if you haven’t guessed it by now, my dehydrator is definitely one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  As far any other things I am wanting, my next big purchase will probably be a kitchen island, and that may be awhile.  With all of these appliances, my counters are pretty crowded, so prep space is at a premium.

How about you?  What kitchen appliance can’t you live without?  And don’t say your coffee maker–that’s a given!  And what is the next big purchase you’d like to make for your kitchen?

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2 responses

  1. My kitchen aid mixer, air popper for pop corn and food processor get used the most. We have a waffle maker, too, that we use often but I tend to make pancakes more than waffles. I got a Yonanas machine for Christmas that I haven’t used yet. I’ve been looking for cart at Winn Dixie with almost too far gone bananas just for that purpose but haven’t had any luck. Our bananas never get to that stage around here because they get eaten. I would love a dehydrator and a grain mill! Oh and the ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid. We have a large ice cream maker that we use for parties but I’d like something smaller.

  2. I use my slow cooker (which is also a rice cooker) the most. I love my Kitchen Aid mixer too…but don’t use it nearly enough…but am hoping to change that slowly here.

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