The best kitchen tech for a healthy life
Looking to boost your nutrition in 2022? Here are recipes to inspire and the kitchen gadgets to help
As the New Year begins, many of us are considering trying to institute a healthier lifestyle. Luckily, it’s never been easier to change your bad habits – a bit of clever planning and a helpful gadget or two will give you all you need to create nutrient-rich meals and healthy snacks. Below we’ve rounded up some easy-to-follow recipes from Waitrose & Partners (who have a wealth of healthy recipe ideas) as well as a range of kitchen appliances suggestions to help your quest for healthy eating.
‘How we prepare food has been revolutionised in recent years,’ explains Zoya Mir, Partner & Buying Assistant, Small Electrical. ‘Machines are heavy-duty and multi-tasking, making light work of complicated techniques. There is a wider range of culinary options at home than ever before, enabling customers to make healthier choices.’
And if you find the wide range of new food technology available a little bit baffling, read our food preparation buying guides to gauge the best item for your kitchen and your lifestyle.
Get the juices flowing
Juicing is a quick and easy way to get a hit of vitamins and nutrients. And there are loads of different types of juicers queuing up to help you, from straightforward citrus juicers to more sophisticated masticating ones (which crush the fruit or veg and separate the pulp) as well as the centrifugal variety (which slice and dice the fruit) like a blender. ‘If you're big on juicing and green smoothies, save yourself some counter space with a brand new innovation by Sage,’ advises Zoya. ‘The Bluicer allows you to blend, juice, or combine both for delicious drinks every time. But with 10 speed settings, you can use it to create all sorts of other dishes too – nut butters, nut milks, cocktails, dips and more are a touch of a button away.’
‘Green leafy veg, such as kale and spinach, are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as folate, all of which are really important for the normal function of your immune system,’ says Dr Emma Williams, Partner & Nutrition Manager at Waitrose & Partners. ‘Remember: only one 150ml serving counts as one of your 5 a day so drinking more won’t add to this.’
Winter green juice
Preparation time: 5 minutes
30g kale or spinach leaves, washed and any tough stalks removed
2 ripe kiwis, peeled
1 yellow grapefruit, peel, pith and pips removed
10 green seedless grapes, to blitz and/or serve (optional)
Place all the ingredients into a liquidiser. If your liquidiser is suitable for crushing ice, add a few cubes. Pulse until smooth, then pour into glasses (over ice if you wish) and drink immediately.
The best of blends
Whichever blender you use, making your own healthy concoctions can be a game changer. Blenders are also ideal for making super-nutritious soups, which themselves are a great way to use up veg from the fridge. ‘We have a wide range of blenders that cater for specific to varying needs,’ explains Zoya. ‘A blender can help you whip up an easy shake, but the same machine can also make soup for the whole family.’
‘This smoothie recipe contains berries which are rich in vitamin C – important for normal psychological function – and dates which are stuffed with vitamins and minerals and aid digestion,’ says Dr Williams.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
2 small bananas, roughly chopped
100g frozen mixed berries
2 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
4 mint leaves
½ x 500g pot Yeo Valley Natural Organic Yogurt
About 80g fresh blueberries and blackberries
Small handful spelt flakes
1. Put the bananas, frozen berries, dates, mint and yogurt in a small high-speed blender. Whizz until completely smooth (you may need to stop it and scrape down the sides halfway through).
2. Divide the smoothie between 2 bowls, then top with the fresh berries and spelt flakes. Serve immediately.
You can top the smoothie bowls with other fruit – try sliced mango and kiwi instead of berries for a tropical twist. The spelt flakes add crunch, but toasted pumpkin seeds or flaked almonds work well, too.
Part of the process
From super soufflés to the perfect pesto, a good food processor opens up a world of culinary possibilities. You can shred, slice, grind, whisk and purée foods which gives you a huge amount of versatility in the kitchen. ‘Food processors allow us to do traditionally time-consuming tasks in minutes, with discs for jobs ranging from blending your own spice mix, to cutting, chopping and slicing all types of foods for super-fast meal prep,’ says Zoya. Crucially, a food processor can also help make sweet treats like cake mixture and icing, for those moments when you need to indulge.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 tbsp garlic oil, plus extra to serve
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
Large pinch chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
2 sweet potatoes (about 750g), peeled and roughly chopped
200g split red lentils, rinsed
1.2 litres vegetable stock
320g chilled Jus-Rol All Butter Puff Pastry Sheet
2 tbsp Geeta’s Premium Mango Chutney
50g Wensleydale, well crumbled
1. Heat the garlic oil in a large saucepan, then soften the onions for 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chilli, cook for 2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, lentils and stock.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender. Blend until smooth or mash and leave chunky. Season, then transfer to a freezer-proof container, cool completely and freeze for up to 3 months.
3. Meanwhile, unroll the pastry with the longer side closest to you, then spread the mango chutney. Scatter the cheese on the right half of the pastry, then fold the other side over it. Press down a little, then cut into 8 strips starting from the folded edge. Twist the strips, then freeze on a baking sheet. Once solid, pack into a freezer-proof container.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. To reheat the soup, place it, frozen, in a large, deep frying pan with 50ml water, cover and cook over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until piping hot, adding a little water to loosen if needed. Meanwhile, bake the frozen twists on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15-18 minutes or until puffed and golden. Finish the soup with a drizzle of extra garlic oil and a few chilli flakes to serve.
The soup can be defrosted in the fridge, before reheating gently until piping hot. The cheese twists are best cooked from frozen.
Images by Waitrose & Partners