Tags:

4 Black Friday Favorites for Cooking Healthy Meals

 

Waking up early to hit the Black Friday sales? Me too. Well, kind of early—6 a.m.

Every year there’s an assortment of kitchen appliances that are significantly discounted.

If you like cooking at home, or at least tolerate it, one of these appliances could make life a little easier for you.

“A great time to focus on healthy foods is when you get a fun kitchen tool,” said Katherine Carithers, MHA, RD, LDN, the clinical nutrition manager at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “Cooking at home has many positive benefits over eating out—you control what foods you eat, portion size, and things like sodium.”

We solicited Katherine’s expertise on four healthy recipes to make with these popular appliances. Let us know if you make them!

1. Instant Pot

This electric multi-use appliance is a Black Friday favorite. It comes in three sizes and the insert can be washed in the dishwasher. The Instant Pot isn’t just a pressure cooker but also doubles as a slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure canner, yogurt maker, and more. 

Instant Pots provide additional culinary versatility, adding more value to your new purchase. They are a great tool for busy families who are looking to prepare healthful, wholesome meals; whether you plan ahead and use it as a slow cooker, or stop at the store on your way home from work and use the pressure cooker function.  

Chicken Breasts

  • Place chicken breasts in instant pot insert.
  • Add in 1 cup chicken stock or veggie broth.
  • Season to taste.
  • Set pressure cooker to 6 minutes on high pressure and turn the valve to seal. For logistics on using the appliance, be sure to read the manual or do a Google search. Many people have posted tutorials on how to use it. 
  • Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, and do a “quick release.”
  • Remove chicken from liquid and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

2. Immersion Blender

These nifty handheld blenders are great for soup or if you don’t have the need for a counter top blender. You can pick up a decent immersion for anywhere from $25 to $40. They do go higher in price point depending on the brand and functions of the appliance.

Creamy Cauliflower Low-Carb Soup

  • Roast some cauliflower. You can buy a head or bags of florets. 1-2 bags or one head is about enough.
  • Chop an onion and throw it in a Dutch oven or pot with olive oil and garlic, salt, pepper to taste.
  • When the cauliflower is finished, throw it in the pot. Add three cups chicken broth, 4 ounces cream cheese, and 2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Blend and enjoy!

“The portable nature of immersion blenders make them the perfect tool for when you need to puree stock, gravy, or other soups that you don’t want to transfer to another blender container,” Carithers said. “Immersion blenders are also a great option for mixing your morning smoothie if you prepare it in a high-sided cup. This can really cut down on pre-work clean-up and help you get fruits and veggies in first thing in the morning.”

3. Stand Mixer

This appliance is a baker’s best friend and is better suited to minimize messy batter drips over hand-held mixers,” Carithers said. “Since you can purchase multiple attachments to make this appliance more versatile, you may be inspired to bake your own bread or make homemade pasta. People who are concerned about additives in their food may find it fulfilling to make these types of processed foods at home.”

Making your own pasta is easy. Check out this great tutorial on making pasta. For the silkiest texture, be sure to get the “00” baker’s flour.

4. Air Fryer

Air fryers are the latest gadget for easy, healthier cooking. It’s a kitchen appliance that uses convection to circulate hot air (and, in some cases, oil) in order to cook food. If you need to deep-fry—think potatoes for French fries—this is a healthier option and many users swear by the taste.

“They are a healthier alternative to a deep-fat fryer since the appliance uses convection to circulate hot air and oil to cook the food uniformly and with less fat,” Carithers said.

If you’re looking for an air fryer recipe, there is no shortage of them on the internet. Take this sweet potato fries recipe. All you need is oil, sweet potatoes, and salt, pepper, and paprika.

For more healthy recipe options, speak with your nutritionist.

*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.

MORE IN Live Well