The kitchen is really the heart of many homes, ours being no exception, so I have been making it a goal over the last 6 or 7 years to purge said area of health-hazards and junk. This means switching from plastics to glass, wood or pottery, and from teflon-coated cookware to stainless steel and cast iron. I have also been trying to invest in appliances that withstand the test of time, and regular use. Obviously, it would be impractical (and EXPENSIVE) to do this all at once. We have just replaced one item at a time, as things wear out.
So what about kitchen appliances? Glass and steel are not always an option in some of these cases. Many kitchen appliances are also very cheaply made, often times validating the old adage, you get what you pay for. I have four main kitchen appliances that I use on a VERY regular basis, so I need them to hold up. These are my food processor, dehydrator, blender, and juicer.
The first time I really splurged on an appliance was when I bought an Omega Juicer.
Mine doesn't look exactly like this model, because I bought it eight years ago. This was a huge splurge for me as a broke college student who was waiting tables to pay the rent. After many years of use this thing is still going strong, and I would say it was worth every penny of it. What do we use it for?
1. Making fresh, delicious, nourishing juice (Loren and I have done several juice fasts, and you really cant do one without a good juicer). When Sadie is old enough we will make her fresh juices that are all real fruits and vegetables with no sugars or preservatives.
2. Making nut butters. This bad boy has made many a batch of almond butter.
3. Making jelly. I run my blueberries through here to get rid of seeds and skins for pure, wonderful blueberry goodness when I want to make jelly. (I often do this with the late season berries because they are super soft ant it its harder to clean the leaves and stems out of them... I just run it all through.)
4. Milling baby food, or other relishes. Now that we have a little'un we can run her food through the grinder and blank used for nut butters.
Almost six years ago LP and I tied the knot, and we received this KitchenAide food processor as a gift. This thing has taken a beating as well and still runs like a champ.
I use this appliance for everything west of the sun. Pureeing, chopping, grating cheese, slicing fruit or veggies paper thin for pickles and pies, grinding nuts, making the most DELICIOUS BANANA TREAT ever. You name it, this thing has done it. It is now 6, and still running without problems.
Next up, my dehydrator. I have one of these:
We use this for drying fruit, making delicious living foods like kale chips, museli flax crackers, fruit leather (I have a feeling that will be a Sadie favorite in a few years) and many other goodies. I also use this to raise bread and it has made countless batches of moose and muskox jerky. Yum!
And, no kitchen would be complete without a blender. In my life as an appliance owning adult I have personally burned out the motor on at least six blenders. Yeah, we drink a lot of
margaritas smoothies around here:)
Last year, after burning out yet another blender in the $50-$80 price range I decided enough was enough. I saved up all the money I made selling pottery at the Thanksgiving Craft Show and forked out for a Vitamix... the mecca of blenderdom. Was this thing expensive? oh yes. But if I added up all the money I have wasted on cheap-o blenders that burned out after a short service, I probably could have bought one of these. This thing is a beast. It could grind up a tennis ball (not that I would ever do that). I have been loving the smoothies, blended soups and ground nuts this thing churns out like no problem. I have also been using it to make all of Sadie's baby food purees. One huge bonus of a vitamix is that they are super, super easy to clean... no fussing with unscrewing blades and losing gaskets. It is a blender that stays in one piece and you just rinse it out. I love this thing. You know what else I love? That it came with a TEN year warranty. Yep, that is how much pride they take in their product.
So there you have it--from my happy kitchen to yours.