Gizmos for a fitter you

Kitchen gadgets are not always about convenience. Some of them, like oil misters and salad spinners, can help you eat better—take your pick
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First Published: Mon, Jun 03 2013. 08 46 PM IST
Digital food scale
Digital food scale
Your kitchen truly has the power to make or break your health. No matter how much one works out, if the diet is not balanced, good results are hard to come by. The market is flooded with kitchen gadgets that promise convenience and save time, but if we went out and bought one gadget per kitchen chore, we wouldn’t be left with any kitchen counter or cabinet space. Here are some devices that help save on oil in the cooking, make healthy eating somewhat easier, and help you eat your favourite foods without wavering too much from your diet plan.
Oil mister
This is not an aerosol oil spray, but it allows you to fill in your oil of choice and even add flavours to it such as chilli flakes, herbs, garlic, etc., to make your own variety of gourmet oil for salads and roasts. It can be refilled and reused. An aerosol spray can damage the Teflon coating of non-stick pans, but since this is a mister there are no such negative effects. Regular oil dispensers pour at least 120 calories per glug while the mister is just 5 calories for every two sprays.
Coat your pan with a spray from the mister to prevent sticking. Use less extra virgin olive oil in your salad dressing and mist herb and garlic flavoured oil from the mister just before serving for a flavour boost.
Price: Approximately Rs.1,400-1,500.
Microwave potato chip maker
If you are on a diet, you know that chips are the worst way to eat potatoes. But we all know, like a popular brand says, no one can eat just one. They taste delicious and they are addictive. So this inexpensive nifty gadget slices the potato for you and the slices then need to be placed in the slots and microwaved as per instructions. You could easily enlist the children in this task as there’s no danger of oil burns or spillage. The slicer gives you the option of regular slices or waffle chops.
You can also use this to slice vegetables for other dishes. You could even try gourmet versions of chips such as beetroot, sweet potato, tapioca and carrot. It can also make you a bunch of fat-free tortilla chips.
Price: Available online at a discounted price of approximately Rs.400-500.
Salad spinner
Salads are a breeze to make, right? Get a bunch of greens, chop up your favourite colourful salad vegetables, add a bunch of nuts or croutons, shake up the dressing and pour. But just cleaning the salad leaves can be a time-consuming chore since they often have dirt and soil stuck in the crevices. Drying the leaves is even more problematic, and this is where most people get it wrong. If you don’t completely dry the leaves, the salad is soggy, and the dressing does not coat the leaves, and you end up using more of the calorific dressing than you need.
The easiest way to do this, of course, is to use a salad spinner. You get these in a couple of sizes, depending on how many leaves you want to dry at one go. Pretty much like a washing machine, these spinners have a wash cycle that rinses your leaves clean and leaves them dry at the end of it.
Price: Approximately Rs.1,500-1,800.
Air fryer
This is considered to be a revolution as far as kitchen appliances are concerned. Launched in India around a year ago, this promises the taste of crispy fried foods using just 20% of the required oil. There is an internal convection oven that heats to a high temperature and evenly distributes the hot air to make crispy chicken, potato wedges and many more such dishes.
Because it is essentially an oven, you can also use it to make cakes, gratin, quiche, and much more. This appliance doesn’t come cheap, so it makes sense only if your family is big on fried food or you do a lot of entertaining. Do note that it will also occupy some counter space if you are going to leave it out all the time.
Price: Rs.14,995.
Digital food scale
This appliance is, of course, useful when it comes to weighing out ingredients before baking cakes and breads, but is also key to a healthy diet. There are people who complain that their diet is healthy but they don’t lose weight.
It is well known that people underestimate the portion sizes of the food they eat. It is difficult to visually gauge the volume of food you are eating—one cup of cooked mushy rice packed tightly into a bowl will have nearly double the carbs compared to loosely packed and fluffy rice in the same bowl. The way out is to weigh the ingredients before cooking, especially in the case of diabetics who are on a carb-counting diet. You could choose from the flat surface ones on which you can weigh anything using a bowl of your choice, or those that come with a bowl.
Price: Rs.700-1,100.
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First Published: Mon, Jun 03 2013. 08 46 PM IST
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