Each new year, after the indulgent holiday season, we feel the need to want to get back on track and put an end to our bad eating habits. If you have ever wondered what a pressure cooker is, how to create zucchini noodles or vowed to take your lunch to work everyday from now until eternity, then this post is for you. We'll explore some of our favourite kitchen gadgets and tools available at Bradshaws so you can prepare healthy foods at home that will ignite your desire to take better care of yourself this year!
I am REALLY lucky to have a great friend who happens to host a Community Dump several times a year. Meet Sara Bradford of Nourish Real Food... While everyone else is chasing a fad by "Cleansing", Sara and her online community are DUMPING! Dumping bad habits, bad food choices, negative emotions, toxins etc. - BUT not in an unhealthy way . Sara's Dumps are full of REAL FOOD - healthy, fresh, seasonal and delicious food, and that is the way I choose start each new year.
Now, while trying to eat healthy, you're going to need some important tools in your kitchen to help you make healthy cooking fun and adventurous. Here
are some of our favourite "Dump Friendly" kitchen gadgets and tools that will get you well on your way to a healthy and successful new year.
1.& 2. Pack-It Freezable Lunch Bags
While taking your lunch to work may sound like a drag, these bright, cheery lunch bags will actually make packing your lunch more fun, AND they will keep your healthy meals food safe while you're on the go thanks to the built-in freezable gel liner! I like The Uptown because it's stylish and has a handy cross-body shoulder strap. I also like the Ziggy because it is really roomy and I like to pack a BIG lunch, AND snacks. It holds all your glass storage containers nicely. And it folds up really compact to be stored in your freezer overnight, so your food stays chilled all morning! Use them when you are going to the grocery store or farmer's market in the summer as well.
3. Bee's Wrap
I'm not going to go super-in-depth about this amazing product because we have a previous blog post entirely devoted to Bee's Wrap here, but I will say this... When you want to wrap your healthy food up to take on the go or to simply store it in your fridge, you NEED Bee's Wrap! It just feels wrong to smother all that goodness in unhealthy plastic products. And the entire Bradshaws team just loves it!
This crazy item has been on my Christmas Gift Guide for the past two years and it is still going strong. WHY??? Because many of us have gluten sensitivities, and even if we don't, eating a giant bowl of pasta can make us feel sluggish and bloated. We have many types of spiralizers at Bradshaws, but my favourite is the Westmark Spiromat. This baby is easy to clean, stays put on your counter and gives you glorious zucchini, carrot, sweet potato noodles in seconds. Yes, seconds! Simply eat these noodles raw, blanched or lightly sautéed and viola, a delicious meal with no guilt.
Check out our blog posts "Learn to Spiralize" by guest blogger Jenn Parsons to get some amazing spiralized recipes and ideas, and to find out which spiralizer is best for you!
5. Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla
If you're trying to kick your sugar cravings like I am, pure, natural vanilla is a great way to in a sense "sweeten" things without adding sugar, honey or maple syrup. I sneak a bit into Sara's Chia Coconut Pudding and Homemade Coconut Milk. Nielsen-Massey uses only premium ingredients and a proprietary extraction process to craft their all-natural, pure flavours.
6. Trudeau Insulated Stainless Steel Food Jar
Now that you're preparing all this nutritious food, and taking it to work, this stainless steel food jar from Trudeau is a nice size to eat out of (not too tall), seals properly and is double walled to keep your food properly insulated. Great for bringing hot soups or stews on the go!
7. Bodum Stainless Steel Travel Mug
I am not the greatest when it comes to drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Especially in the WINTER when it is most important to stay hydrated to avoid sluggishness and dry skin. This is why I love my Bodum Stainless Steel Travel Mug. It's got a nice large capacity, and it's double walled stainless steel. Not only does that keep my green tea hot, but it also is so uncool (for many reasons) to have a plastic liner in your drinking vessels. This Bodum number will keep your hot drinks hot for HOURS, and will also keep your cold drinks cold (great for smoothies and juice in the summer). And, it's stylish. And all your friends will want one when they see yours. Trust me.
8. Cuisipro Egg Poachers
Sara praises the health benefits of whole, pastured, fresh eggs on her Winter Dump. But if you struggle making beautiful, well shaped poached eggs like I do, you need these Cuisipro Stainless Steel Egg Poachers. They're designed to hook onto the side of your pot to allow water to circulate around your eggs while keeping them contained to stop them from spreading into an unsightly mess.
9. The Pressure Cooker
This thing is a serious rock star in the kitchen... Fast, efficient and powerful, my pressure cooker is my winter BFF. Even though I come home from work at 6pm, this item enables me to put a meal on the table in minutes! And, if you happen to be on a Dump like I am, making nutrient dense Chicken or Beef Bone Broth can be made in a fraction of the time it would take to make it in a conventional stove top pot. Plus, while my pressure cooker is doing its' thing, I have about 8 minutes to tidy up. By the time my meal is prepared, my kitchen is actually spotless!
Other meals you can make in a pressure cooker include: turkey chili, beans, soups, stews, risotto (in only 8 minutes), mashed sweet potatoes and SO much more. When I am looking for a great pressure cooking recipe, I look to Laura Pazzaglia of hippressurecooking.com. You can also find Laura's Hip Pressure Cooking Cook Book at Bradshaws!
I hope I've given you some great info on these interesting products at our store. There are SO MANY MORE items to talk about, but we will save more for another day. Happy Dumping everyone, and here's to a HEALTHY 2016!
If you would like to sign up for Sara's next Dump, click here, and be sure to follow her @nourishrealfood on Instagram to see lots of healthy food inspiration.
Read Sara's Gift Guide for the Health-Nut to learn about more nourishing products!
Shop for our favourite healthy products below!