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Hayley Gilbert

Healthy Cooking For The year Ahead

Posted by Hayley Gilbert Monday, 20th January 2014

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I don’t know about you, but I start each New Year with a resolution to cook and eat more healthily. It’s the perfect antidote to all those mince pies and family-sized tubs of Quality Street. The key to creating a more healthy diet, and sticking to it, is to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

 

There are so many appliances that can help, from small tabletop gadgets such as blenders, food processors, electric steamers – even electric soup-makers that cook and blend in one – to large appliances such as freestanding range cookers with flexible hob options, steam ovens and modular domino hobs.

 

The great thing about these über-appliances is that not only will they enable you to be really creative with your cooking, but they will also bring a super-stylish look to your kitchen, with a choice of professional stainless steel finishes, sturdy cast iron pan supports, sleek black glass surfaces and colourful enamel designs to complement or contrast with your cabinets.

 Rangemaster range cookers give you the option to customise your cooktop with a choice of griddles (on a selection of models), and different fuel types such as induction or gas hobs to suit your cooking needs. Japanese-style Teppanyaki griddles are single-zone surfaces, which are perfect for fast frying without the need for oil as you cook directly on the non-stick surface, which saves on washing-up too. You can also use the griddle for fresh fish and prime cuts of meat, adding your favourite herbs and spices to enhance the flavour.

 

I also love the multi-ring wok burner on the Rangemaster, as it allows me to quickly cook up a healthy stir-fry on my wok using seafood, thinly sliced mushrooms, peppers and baby corn with a handful of beansprouts for good measure. Use grapeseed oil if you can, as it offers similar health benefits to olive oil but has a more neutral flavour. As there’s little time on a weekday after work, helping the kids with their homework and doing the football run, it’s the ultimate healthy fast food!

 

Steam ovens are also set to take our nation’s kitchens by storm. If you thought they were just used for fish and rice, think again, as the latest steam ovens, combination steam ovens and microwave steam ovens can do all sorts of dishes, from starters and sauces to soups, desserts and even cakes. By steaming food, or using a combination of traditional hot air and steam, you will be preserving the nutrients, vitamins, flavour and texture of your ingredients. It also removes the need for any oils or fat, whilst being quick and energy efficient into the bargain. A combination steam oven is the best all-rounder, as it bakes, roasts, grills, reheats and defrosts. You can even use a combination of functions such as fanned heat and steam for crispy, succulent meat and fish.

 

If you’re lucky enough to have room for an island unit in your kitchen, consider a series of slimline domino hobs, which can be mixed and matched to suit your culinary needs. There’s everything from gas and induction hobs to teppans, steamers and wok burners. It’s certainly food for thought and I for one will definitely be reassessing my kitchen kit this month.

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