5 Kitchen Items for Your Wish List

As with rid­ing, the right equip­ment for cook­ing will help you per­form at your best

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - NUTRITION - By Matthew Kadey

Ly­cra and Di2 shouldn’t be the only things on your Christ­mas wish list. You should also con­sider ask­ing Santa nicely for some of the best tools that will op­ti­mize your time in the kitchen while mak­ing your diet tastier and more nu­tri­tious in the process. Af­ter all, a func­tional kitchen is one that is stocked with multi-use items and not just one shot won­ders (hello, Mr. Panini Press). Here are the items that you’ll want to find un­der the tree. Or make them a Box­ing Day pri­or­ity to in­crease your kitchen prow­ess.

Cast iron skil­let Metallica al­bums aren’t the only heavy metal you should have in your house. More ver­sa­tile than a Swiss Army knife, a cast iron skil­let is a kitchen work­horse if there ever was one. It’s in­ex­pen­sive, sturdy, non-stick with­out the sketchy chem­i­cals and can go from stove top to oven ef­fort­lessly, mak­ing it a great op­tion for a plethora of cook­ing needs in­clud­ing stir-fries, pan­cakes, frit­tatas and even roasted chicken. An abil­ity to ra­di­ate high heat and re­tain it makes cast iron well-suited for sear­ing cuts of meat to browned per­fec­tion. Plus, it’s a way to add an ex­tra dose of en­ergy-boost­ing iron to your diet. Abeego food wraps It’s time to bid adieu to sin­gle use plas­tic wrap. Cana­di­anowned Abeego has clev­erly de­signed re­us­able, ro­bust, mal­leable beeswax-coated food wraps made from hemp and or­ganic cot­ton that are up to the task of ex­tend­ing the life of cut veg­eta­bles and fruits, baked goods, cheese and del­i­cate herbs. Or, use them to trans­port your lunch sand­wiches. When out­door-rid­ing sea­son rolls around again, use the wraps to hold your home­made fuel in your jer­sey. Food pro­ces­sor You might ask your­self: “I al­ready have a blender. Why bother with a food pro­ces­sor?” While a blender is great at whip­ping up post-ride smooth­ies, it can strug­gle when there is lit­tle liq­uid present. So, if you want to em­brace the trend among ath­letes of mak­ing your own en­ergy bars and power balls, which in­volves pul­ver­iz­ing whole dried fruits and nuts, a food pro­ces­sor is what you need to get the job done. It can also be your go-to tool for mak­ing pestos, dips such as hum­mus and diy nut but­ters. As a bonus, many ma­chines come with slic­ing and shred­ding blades that can make quick work of veg­eta­bles for items such as sal­ads and slaws.

Zester If you want to in­fuse mi­cro hits of flavour into dishes, look no fur­ther than a zester. Prov­ing that great things come in small pack­ages, the tiny ra­zor-edge holes of a zester, such as Mi­croplane, make hun­dreds of fine cuts on foods so their flavour can be dis­persed into dishes. Drag a le­mon, lime or or­ange over the holes, and then use the re­sult­ing shreds of zest to brighten up oat­meal, plain yo­gurt, pan­cakes, salad dress­ings and sauces with vir­tu­ally no calo­rie cost. Also use the zester to breakdown hard cheese, such as Parme­san, whole gar­lic cloves, fresh gin­ger and even bars of dark choco­late to bet­ter dis­perse their good­ness. Also use it to turn the flesh of whole pep­pers, jalapeno for ex­am­ple, into tiny pieces for bet­ter heat dis­si­pa­tion in dishes such as salsa and chili. Sil­i­con muf­fin cups A muf­fin pan is great at mak­ing, well, muffins. But it can also turn out batches of In­sta­gram-ready in­di­vid­ual frit­tatas, meat­loaf, baked pan­cakes and cheese­cakes – all in a por­tion con­trolled for­mat. But there is no rea­son why you should have to chisel out your meal or rely on sin­gle-use pa­per lin­ers. Food-grade sil­i­cone muf­fin trays are vir­tu­ally non-stick and are flex­i­ble, which makes un­mould­ing items a stress-free un­der­tak­ing. Be­ing able to turn the cups inside out also makes wash­ing them a breeze. What’s more, sil­i­cone muf­fin trays are freezer, microwave and dish­washer safe. Plus, they come in many dif­fer­ent cheery colours to brighten up your kitchen.

“When out­door­rid­ing sea­son rolls around again, use the wraps to hold your home­made fuel in your jer­sey”

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