We put the latest kitchen appliances to the test to see if they really can take the effort out of mealtimes.
Eating healthily can seem like a hassle but we’ve found the top appliances that will help make it a doddle. Read our Reviews: healthy eating gadgets to find the gizmos that will help you rustle up a healthy plateful in no time.
WHAT IS IT? A health-conscious low-oil fryer and multicooker in one. It claims to cook everything from stews and pizzas to cakes and pies.
BEST BITS: The large bowl means there’s enough space to cook a family meal. The special heating system allows for rapid cooking, without drying out food, and there’s also an inbuilt paddle that constantly stirs ingredients to ensure food is cooked through.
DOWNSIDES: This noisy gizmo doesn’t chop or peel, so you’ll have to prep veg. Also, the timer doesn’t automatically switch the appliance off, so you have to keep an eye on it.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT: It can cook up to 1.5kg of potatoes (that’s enough chips to feed eight) in just 14ml of oil. Healthy and handy!
WHAT IS IT? Dessert lovers don’t need to worry about their waistlines with this clever contraption from the makers of the popular smoothie machine. It creates delicious frozen desserts without the added sugar, fat and calories of shop-bought ones. Simply insert frozen fruit into the chute, place a bowl beneath the dispenser, push down the plunger, and in a matter of seconds out squirts a delicious chilled concoction. Genius!
BEST BITS: Like its older sibling, it will pulverise any seeds or pith to give you a smooth dessert. It’s simple and quick to set up and use – you’ll already be tucking in while your regular tub is waiting to thaw!
DOWNSIDES: Serveral of the ice-creams recipes use frozen banana, so if you don’t like the yellow fruit this may not be for you.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT: Add different combos of frozen and fresh fruit to boost your 5-a-day.
WHAT IS IT? A blender with a power boost upgrade. Its laser-cut blades blitz through even the toughest ingredients, including ice, to create a smooth blend of juices, soups, sauces, smoothies and frozen desserts.
BEST BITS: The pack comes with two travel cups that are double-insulated to maintain temperature, so you can enjoy your soup or smoothie on the og.
DOWNSIDES: If there’s not enough liquid in teh blender, the blades can stall, resulting in a slightly lumpy concoction. And as it’s rather pricey (and won’t be making you a family meal), you need to be a blending nut to justify the price tag.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT: Read up on what foods should be placed in the jar and where, in the accompanying guide book. Then check out the cookbook (also included) for ideas on whizzing up drinks, sauces and nut butters.
WHAT IS IT? A stackable steamer that you place over a saucepan or wok, or in the microwave, to easily steam food – one of the healthiest cooking methods.
BEST BITS: There are two stackable layers with divisions, so you can cook different componenets of your meal together. Or you can remove the inserts to make one large compartment, ideal for steaming a pudding. Plus, it goes in the dishwasher.
DOWNSIDES: While loads of food can be steamed, it’s not the right cooking method for everything, so could be a bit limiting.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT: Read the steaming guide that comes with the product, as it’s helpful for getting timings right and giving you ideas for different foods to steam.
WHAT IS IT? Your very own one-pot wonder that chops, stirs and even cooks you delicious dishes, without a chopping board or wooden spoon in sight. It can whip up anything from casseroles and risottos to soups.
BEST BITS: There are three pre-set programmes: ‘chop’, ‘steam’ and ‘one pot’ to create simple, tasty meals. Plus, there’s even a ‘keep warm’ option.
DOWNSIDES: After chopping, you often need to scrape down the sides (with the provided spatula) to ensure all ingredients are cooked. And the pot is on the small side – so better for dinner for two, rather than a large family meal.
MAKE THE MOST OF IT: If you’re stuck for inspiration, use the recipe app, which contains over 200 ideas.