Young At Heart Posts

If you have been looking for new ways to get your grandkids to eat better, get out of their rooms, or you just want to spend more time with them then getting them interested in cooking is a great way to achieve this. What we learn as kids is how we carry on as adults and a true love for food can start very young. The time you spend with your children teaching them about the different aspects of food can have a tremendous impact on them as they get older.

But how do you grab their interest? There are several small appliances that can help you get them excited about helping you make various dishes, desserts, and even drinks. It should go without saying, but you should always make sure they are supervised, especially when working with things that can cut or burn them. Teach them about safety first, and the rest should be easy.

Small Kitchen Appliances That Kids Love

Children are often fascinated by new machines, especially in the kitchen. This is perhaps why an Easy-Bake Oven is so popular. Kids love to be creative and making food is a good way to channel their creativity. Here are some ideas of how to capture their imagination.

Ice Cream Machines

This one is pretty simple to understand. Kids love ice cream. They also love to make it as well. There is perhaps no better way to bring everyone together than with the sweet taste of a frozen dessert. Getting a home ice cream machine is a super way to put a smile on everyone’s face. They are cheap, easy to use, and the rewards are high. While there are some expensive high-end options out there, some of the top frozen dessert machines are quite affordable and they make all sorts of great desserts. You might be surprised how easy it is to get your children away from their phones when ice cream is involved. All you need are some simple ingredients and a little time. This is one appliance we feel every home should have.

Toaster Ovens

Some of today’s best toaster ovens can do just about everything you need when it comes to cooking food. If you have a small child that loves their Easy-Bake oven, then getting a small toaster oven can bring the same amount of interest. Since they are convenient to use, have a window to see what’s inside, and you can make everything from cookies to roasted chicken, toaster ovens are a fantastic way to bring your kids into the kitchen. These do tend to get hot on the sides and the top, so you will need to keep an eye on your little ones to avoid them touching it while in use. Watching their face as you take out something that you made together can be a priceless experience.

Juicers

If you want to teach kids the importance of getting their fruits and vegetables, a juicer can make a lot of sense. Children tend to love juice and their is nothing better than when it is fresh. Their are also tons of recipes out there so that they will never get bored. It is also a nice way to get them off of soda. Juicers do have a potential for harm, so this is another appliance where strict supervision is advised. For their health and the quality of their diet, introducing them to the power of fresh juice and have a great influence on them. Portion control is also important as children can often get an upset stomach if they consume too much. Start small and go from there.

Spread The Love Of The Kitchen

These are just a few ideas of ways in which you can get bring your family together and let the kitchen be a gathering place. Teaching kids to eat healthy can take all forms and shapes and a little creativity can go a long way. Cooking with the kids is something that will benefit everyone and are experiences that you will tend to remember forever.

Health & Nutrition

While juicing is a terrific way to supplement your diet and get the natural vitamins that your body needs, it can also be quite expensive. Not only to you have the cost of buying a juicer machine, but you also have to be fresh fruits and vegetables. Over time this can really add up. You might be surprised just how much produce you have to run through a juicer to get a full glass. Your grocery bill is going to rise dramatically. This is why it is so important to get a machine that is going to squeeze every last ounce of juice from whatever you drop into it. Having something that is efficient will help you keep that grocery tab in check and let you enjoy the benefits of juicing without breaking the bank. For this, we always recommend masticating juice extractors.

As we get older it is more important than ever to get the proper vitamins and minerals from our diet. Improved nutrition can go a long way to make you feel better as well as helping you get around a little more easily. Juicing is an excellent option for anyone who needs a healthy pick me up. It is also a fantastic way to get more fruits and vegetables back into your diet.

Why Get A Masticating Juicer?

Centrifugal and masticating juicing machines are vastly different when it comes to how they separate juice from the pulp. While centrifugal units are extremely fast, they are not that efficient when it comes to juicing certain foods, especially leafy vegetables. Masticating juicers do a great job of breaking down food and applying immense pressure to squeeze out juice. This is really useful when it comes to vegetables like spinach, watercress, and kale. You will get more juice from leafy greens and the extruded pulp with be significantly dryer when compared to centrifugal juicers.

They have the added advantage of being much quieter machines to operate. Lower noise output makes them much more pleasant to use every day and if you enjoy using your juicer you are more inclined to use it routinely. Healthy habits are usually a lot of work at first, having the right equipment can make it less of a hassle. Having a better quality juice is also another advantage that will help you see immediate benefits.

Which Models Should I Consider?

Luckily, there are are number of high quality masticating juicers that are worth buying. Omega is perhaps the best known brand when it comes to this type of appliance. Omega juicer reviews and ratings are often rather glowing for their overall performance and their warranties are unmatched. If you are going to put down a fair amount of money for a new machine you want to have some sort of assurance that if anything goes wrong that it will be taken care of, and this is a brand name that stands behind their juicers. They are solid, quiet, and dependable which has lead them to have one of the best reputations.

Omega NC800

This is one of their newest generation masticating machines and the NC800 is currently the top rated Omega juicer that you can buy. It has a number of features that make it a great choice for efficient juicing. A large opening on the feed chute will save you time on food prep and an adjustable nozzle will help you better control the flow and pressure to maximize your efficiency with different types of foods. It has a 15 year warranty and has food safe parts that are easy to clean. Owner ratings are exceptional and it gets high scores for how it well it handles green vegetables. It is efficient, easy to use, and easy to clean.

Omega VSJ843

This is one of their newer upright masticating juicers that will save you some room on your kitchen counter. It is almost whisper quiet and it has terrific performance with greens as well. The one thing about an upright model is that you have to be careful to not try and jam too much through the machine at once as this can cause clogging issues. Other than this one precaution, it shines when it comes to juice extraction.

Kuvings B6000

This is another vertical model that stands out for the size of its feed chute. It is quite large, comparable to those seen on centrifugal machines, which means that you can drop an entire apple into it. Barely any food prep is required which speeds up the entire juicing process. This does not get as high of marks from users as the Omega VSJ843, but it is still a very solid option in this area.

Other Masticating Juicers

Above are just three models that stand out, but there are others that are also worth considering. The Omega 8006 and 8004 are older generation juicers that can still deliver an excellent glass of juice. There is also the Champion juicer, Tribest Slowstar, and the Greenstar Elite which should all give you a super efficient juicing experience. Masticating juicers may cost a lot more up front, but their overall efficiency will end up saving you a ton in the long run. It is worth the extra price to get that little bit of extra juice out.

Health & Nutrition

We finally decided to break down and splurge a little bit and get a new toaster oven for our kitchenette as our old one was just about on its last legs. It had served us very well and we had it for about 7 years. When we went looking at what was currently available we were quite shocked. It seems like countertop ovens have come an awfully long way in just a short amount of time. They have embraced the “oven” part of the toaster oven moniker and now you can cook just about anything you want in one of these.

We ended up getting a high end, modern, and very versatile Smart oven and we are simply amazed with what we have been able to prepare in this tiny powerhouse. We are enamored so much that we thought that we would share some of the top ovens that you can get for your own kitchen. These also make great gifts so we are thinking about sending a couple of these out to the kids and older grandkids.

Our first step when we went looking for a replacement was to see what was available and find some feedback. We were digging through the toaster oven ratings on Gouverneur Times and came across a few models that we were interested in that received favorable reviews. Here are the top three that made our short list for our kitchen.

Cuisinart TOB-260N1

I have always have had good experiences with Cuisinart appliances throughout the years. They have been extremely dependable and tend to last a long time. The TOB-260N1 is their high end entry into the countertop oven space and it looks stunning. A modern LCD display and tons of stainless steel give it a futuristic design that should fit nicely into older and newer kitchens alike. It has a ton of cooking features that are perfect for the amateur chef in your family.

It has 11 preset cooking functions that include things like bake, defrost, broil, roast, bagel, toast, and a few more. It comes with something called “Exact Heat” cooking technology that Cuisinart came up with to ensure everything you place in the oven gets done to perfection. No hot spots or cold spots, just even food every time. It has a big interior that can do up to 6 slices of toast. This means that you can cook just about everything except a full sized turkey in there. It is quite expensive for a small oven but not quite as high as a Breville Oven. This was a very attractive choice for us, but we did not go with this particular model.

Breville BOV845SS

This is known as the “Smart Oven Pro” and it does indeed live up to its name. Breville toaster countertop ovens have been quite popular and given a closer look you can really see why. The BOV845SS is their latest model that includes an interior light and a “Slow Cook” feature that some of their older models don’t have. It also has a stainless steel body and modern LCD display that is very easy to use and read. They tried to make everything as simple as possible to use and it is just about a set and forget it type of oven.

It has 10 preset functions and convection cooking features, like the Cuisinart oven above, to enhance your experience and reduce recipe times. This has proven to be very handy for us and our food has come out perfect every time. Yes, this is the model we splurged on. It was the most expensive of all of the models on our short list, but so far it has been well worth it.

It looks complicated at first glance but the controls were very easy to understand. We did not even have to read the manual as we had it down in just a couple of minutes. It is extremely roomy on the inside and it can fit the baking dish we always use. So far we have made things like casseroles, baked salmon, and even barbecue ribs. The funny thing is, we have yet to try and make toast with it. This was a major step up over our older model which we basically just used to reheat items or make garlic rolls. We are actually cooking more homemade food now and it makes me wish that we had gotten one of these a lot sooner.

KitchenAid Digital Oven

KitchenAid is also another brand name that we have grown to trust over the years and their KCO273SS oven was quite appealing to us. It has an LCD screen and stainless steel materials like the other two, but it was a little more affordable. It has regular knobs and a black screen and it didn’t feel as modern as the Breville and Cuisinart ovens we were considering. It did get pretty good reviews and feedback from owners however that made us take a closer look. In the end however it was not what we were looking for. We had the money to spend a little extra, but if our budget was a little tighter then this is probably the toaster oven that we would have gotten.

Cooking More Than Ever

I have not really been a big fan of using a full sized oven and so I never really spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I would always take the easy way out and make frozen dinners in the microwave. However, since I got one of these more convenient smaller countertop ovens, I am now looking forward to dinner time and trying to find new recipes that I can make. It is actually a lot more fun now. Clean up is also a breeze which makes it less work and adds to the experience. If you are looking for a way to enjoy your time in the kitchen more, then we highly suggest you look into getting a toaster oven. You might just actually look forward to having a home cooked meal again.

Health & Nutrition