All info about different vegan products, which ones to choose and how!

Category: Uncategorized

Best Bread Maker for Gluten-Free Bread

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1% of the world’s population suffers from celiac disease, a type of digestive disorder where patients experience abdominal pains when they ingest food containing gluten. Gluten is a naturally occurring ingredient found in rye, wheat, and barley.  The abdominal pains come from an issue with the small intestines that cannot absorb nutrients from such foods.

Many people do not have celiac disease but experience some discomfort when eating bread or pastry foods with gluten. Others just enjoy having healthy gluten-free bread. Whatever the reason for avoiding gluten, you can prepare quality gluten-free bread at your home’s comfort with a gluten-free bread maker. This article explores some of the best gluten-free makers in the market and offers a few tips on ways to have your bread well cooked and fresh for longer.

Best Gluten-free Bread Maker Reviews

1. Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882

The Hamilton Beach Bread Maker 29882 is one of the cheapest but great machines in the market today. It bakes two loaf sizes, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds. You can also choose from three crust settings that include light, medium, and dark. Besides, it comes with a timer that delays baking of your bread for up to 13 hours. You can also use it to make jellies and jams.

There are cycles that you can use to get the bread of your choice. They include the following:

• – Basic (white bread),

• – Gluten-free bread (this is the setting you are interested in)

• – Sweet

• – Quick (baking bread without yeast)

• – Bake

• – Dough maker

• – Whole grain, among others.

It takes 3.5 hours for a 1.5-pound bread and 3h 40 minutes for a two-pound bread using the gluten-free setting. Like any other machine, you should always start with liquid the sugar/salt in the order with yeast being the last ingredient. This prevents yeast from coming into contact with liquids.

The machine has a cuboidal shape with a grey top and a black bottom. Its control panel is easy to use thanks to its big buttons and relatively large LCD screen. Besides, it comes with an extra paddle that you can use if the other is in the dishwasher. Both paddles are non-stick, and therefore, easy to clean. The machine has a window on the top lid to make it easy for you to know your bread or dough’s progress without lifting the lid. Most customers have rated the machine as useful, especially the beginners in the world of baking or people who want a machine that can handle several recipes.

2. Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Bread Maker

Zojirushi brand is known for its quality, high-end kitchen appliances. Its BB-CEC20 bread maker is one such appliance. It features an elongated pan that can bake you a loaf that looks similar to what you find in your grocery store. It also has a two-paddle design that kneads the dough thoroughly before the rising stage. You can remove the paddles after the kneading stage if you do not want to leave the paddle holes on your bread.

You can select any of the three crust options that include light, medium, and dark. Besides, there are ten settings that include Quick wheat, Basic Dough, Sour Dough, and Homemade, among others.  With the Homemade program, you can adjust the kneading cycles, rising time, crust settings, and the baking time.

It has a 13-hour delay and automatically shuts off after baking. You may use this setting to have freshly baked bread either when you wake up in the morning or when you are back home. However, it does not have a dedicated gluten-free setting on its panel. Nevertheless, if you go through the user manual, you will find instructions on setting the gluten-free setting using the homemade setting.

You can use the machine for baking bread of between one and 2.5 pounds. However, the 2.5-pound bread is likely to raise the lid if you go for a high-rising recipe. Therefore, you have to be careful of what method you use with the 2.5-pound size. On the other hand, it has a non-stick coating on the paddle and pan, which is not Teflon. Teflon is not cook-friendly material but one of the most common non-stick coatings. Luckily, it is not used in this model.

3. Cuisinart CBK-100

This bread maker model is a middle-priced appliance, but at a price nearly twice that of Hamilton discussed above. It has three bread sizes that include a pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds. Use the load size button on the panel to determine your setting. You may also choose from three crust settings that include light, medium, and dark on the Crust color setting on the panel.

There are 11 pre-programmed menu selections: gluten-free, whole wheat, basic, Italian, packed mix, rapid bake, and dough setting. Its booklet comes with four gluten-free recipes for 1.5-pound loaves. Other great programs include the pre-heat and keep warm. You may want to use the pre-heat if your recipe requires so while the Keep Warm program keeps your bread warm and fresh if you do not want to consume it immediately.

The machine will complete baking in a 2.5 hours cycle. However, you may want to use a rubber spatula to incorporate all the ingredients during the dough making stage of your baking. If you find the cycle too short for some recipes, you may use the bake-only setting to extend the baking time.

Like other bread makers, stick to adding ingredients starting with the liquids, dry ingredients, and yeast as the last one. After the kneading cycle is complete, there will be six beeps to let you know that it is safe to remove your dough to paddle if you so wish. Be careful when removing the paddle as it may be hot. There are additional beeps when your bread is ready.

This bread maker has a top design where the control panel is accessed at the top. Its lid has a viewing window to enable you to see your bread making progress without lifting the lid.

4. Oster CKs TBRTW20

You should not confuse this model with the popular Oster Expressbake CKSTBR9050, which is twice the model’s price discussed in this section.  It has a tall cylindrical shape and can make between one pound and two-pound loves in one to two hours. You can as well use the fast bake to prepare a loaf within an hour. However, this setting cannot work with gluten-free recipes.

The appliance has 12 pre-programmed settings that include the basic bread, whole wheat bread, ultra-fast, jams, and dough. The 650 watts bread maker also comes with a 13-hour delay timer to ensure that you get fresh bread in the morning or when you come back from the workplace. In addition to the settings, there is a keep warm feature that keeps your loaf warm and fresh long after you have completed the baking process.

The model does not have a gluten-free bread setting. However, you can use the custom settings to put the right kneading time and baking settings for your gluten-free bread. Some users have also made use of 1:1 gluten-free flour with the regular bread setting and got well-cooked bread.  It can bake up two pounds of this bread in about two and a half hours. It comes with a measuring cup, a single kneading paddle, and a spoon to measure and prepare the dough.

The lid has a window that allows you to check the progress of your bread. The button and LCD screen are found on the side. The control panel is easy to use, but the LCD does not come with a backlight. Besides, the entire appliance is white or ivory. Therefore, it can fit most kitchen styles. Its aluminum body is both lightweight and durable.

5. Breville BBM800XL

If you are looking for a bread maker that leverages cutting-edge technology, the Breville BBM800XL is the bread maker of choice. You can choose from three crust darkness functions, light, medium, and dark. Besides, it has a pause function for the decoration of the crust. Different loaf sizes include 1.0 lbs., 1.5 lbs., 2.0 lbs. and 2.5 lbs. It also has a smart LCD screen that is backlight and extremely easy to use. Besides, it has a countdown timer and a progress bar that shows both the loaf’s progress and the remaining period.

The appliance has 13 programmable cycles that include custom (with nine cycles), rapid, bake only, gluten-free, crusty loaf, sweet, yeast-free, pizza, pasta, and dough, among others. It also has a temperature and weight conversion button to use the ideal temperature measurements for your recipe. The appliance also has a 13-hour delay time that enables you to have the bread made when allowing it is time to have your snack. You can also set the sound to alert you when your bread is done or just mute it when you do not need to be disturbed.

Its kneading basin has a unique collapsible kneading paddle and another fixed one. When the bread is cooking, you can activate the viewing light and look through the lid to determine your bread’s progress. It also has a non-stick bread pan, which is easy to clean. The package comes with 46 recipes that give step-by-step preparation methods, including yeast-free and gluten-free.

Breville casing is made of stainless steel, which is high quality and durable. The control panel found on the top on one side and has easy to use knobs and the LCD screen. Its lid has an easy-to-lift handle that enables you to lift the lid with a single lift safely. On the other hand, its oven is highly powered with a rating of 830 Watts and can work with 110v to 120v. Should there be a power interruption, the appliance continues to run up to 60 minutes.

Tips to Note When Making Gluten-Free Bread with a Bread Maker

As said earlier if you would like to make a perfect gluten-free bread without a stand mixer, a bread maker is your best bet. While you can make bread in an oven, a dedicated bread maker gets the hard work off your bread making process so that you are left to enjoy the sweet aroma of the bread.

1. Making Gluten-Free Bread without a Specific Program: If you are making bread using a machine that does not have a gluten-free setting, read the user manual on ways to override the pre-programmed settings. Ensure that the machine has a 20-minute mix cycle, an hour rise cycle, and an hour bake cycle. At the same time, stop the second rise as it is meant for gluten bread and might damage the gluten-free ones.

2. Bring your ingredients to room temperature: Ensure that the ingredients are at room temperature when combining them. You may warm a bowl and then put un-cracked eggs on it to make them warm.

3. Always start by putting the liquid ingredients into the pan and then the dry ingredients at the top. You may whisk the dry ingredients before pouring them into the pan.

4. Use a rubber spatula to help incorporate ingredients during a mix cycle. On the other hand, if you do not want holes made by paddles after baking, remove the paddles after the mixing stage, just before rising. Reach out to the dough, remove them and smoothen the dough with the spatula. Please note that it is perfectly fine to leave the paddles in place.

5. Consider buying an instant-read thermometer: These inexpensive thermometers enable you to check if the bread is fully cooked. Use it to check the temperature of the bread before it leaves the oven. It does not matter whether it smells nice and done. As long as the temperature has not hit 205 degrees F, it is not well-cooked in the middle.

6. Let the bread cool down: Put the bread onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. You can now cut and consume your bread.

7. Store the bread when it is fully cooled: Let the bread cool for a few minutes before putting it in a ziplock bag. It should stay fresh for several days. However, if you want the bread to stay fresh for an extended period, you need to invest in wax food wraps. These wraps help the bread to stay fresh for longer and prevents the crust from getting overly dry.

8. Do not refrigerate your gluten-free bread: Refrigerating the bread dries it pout, making it hard to eat. Bake bread that you can eat in a few days so that there is no need to refrigerate the bread.

How Much Power Does a Bread Maker Use

Before you purchase a bread maker, it is vital to check whether it is worth the effort based on the ease of making gluten-free bread and the cost of running the machine. Then compare these costs and benefits with buying gluten-free bread.

The amount of power consumed by a bread maker depends on the type of bread and model of the maker. Some recipes require the bread to bake for a long period, which results in higher power consumption. However, we will look at average power consumption rates with a regular need for bread. Most machines have 600-700 Watts power rating and will be used for an average of 30 hours each month (about ten loaves, each taking 3 hours to bake). If we used rates on the higher side, the power consumptions would be:

30 hours x 600 watts = 18Kwh

In the USA, the cost of 1Kwh is about 12 cents (varies with the state). This means that you would pay (18×12 = 2.16 dollars) for power consumption. This is about two dollars a month, which is not a high cost for many households.

How does It Compare with a Conventional Oven?

You may be wondering why you need to buy a bread maker when you have an oven at home. First, the ease of making bread with a bread maker is the biggest advantage. Second, the power consumption of both has a high disparity. Unfortunately, most ovens use between 2500 and 5000 watts an hour. This four to five times the consumption of the bread maker. Therefore, if you are a regular bread eater, consider cutting costs and making the process easy at the same time.

What If you are Spending Less on Buying Bread?

The issue of quality comes into play. Most bakers add some additives to extend its shelf life. They may not be good for your health. When you bake your bread, you know what goes into the bread and how healthy it is.

Are you thinking of quality gluten-free bread? Any of the models reviewed in the section above offers an excellent baking experience. Read the user manuals, try new recipes, and enjoy quality gluten-free bread. There are tons of recipes available on the internet on this.

Rice cookers – Zojirushi vs. Tiger vs. Cuckoo

Rice is one of the popular dishes out there. You can take a different rice dish each day for several weeks without getting bored. However, if you want to try various recipes with success, you need to get a good rice cooker. There are multiple models in the market using different technologies to get different results. This article looks at some of the most popular brands; Zojirushi, Tiger, and Cuckoo, to help you make the right choice for your next appliance.

1. Zojirushi

Zojirushi is a Japanese manufacturer of quality food equipment over the last eight decades. It emphasizes quality, comfort, and ease of use using innovative technologies. To this end, it has created several innovative rice cookers to take care of different customer needs. The brand is known for its capsule-based cooker bodies, mostly made of stainless steel with a few features featuring see-through lids. Here is a quick look at some of the most popular types.

(i) Conventional Zojirushi Cookers

A conventional rice cooker just cooks your rice and keeps its warm once the rice is done. It has a heating element that does a better job than cooking the rice in your pot. Despite the standard functionality, these appliances incorporate several indicators and cooking methods. However, there are no features to cook different rice types on these devices as all rice is cooked the same way.

One of the most popular standard cookers is the Zojirushi NHS-10 Rice cooker. It has 6-cup, 12-cup, and 18-cup capacity options and includes both a steamer and a warmer. The model also has a stainless steel steaming tray and an inner non-stick pan that is easy to clean. Besides, it has a see-through glass lid and handles that do not get warm when cooking. The package also comes with a spatula, measuring cup, and a removable cord for the ease of storage. Its’ keep warm’ function activates soon after the cooking is done.

A ten-cup model can cook rice for about five to six people. Zojirushi provides tender, light, fluffy, and delicious grains. You may also use its steamer to steam your veggies or one-pot cooking. Be sure to set the timer for ease of cooking.

(ii) Microcomputer Rice Cookers

Microcomputer rice cookers are advanced cookers as they use programs to adjust the cooking time and temperature according to the amount and type of rice, among other factors. This also gives you more options regarding cooking heat and time, depending on the rice style that you want to cook. They are also suitable for cooking rice porridge and brown rice without overcooking.

One of the best Microm cookers is the Zojirushi NS-LACO5XT. This 3-cup rice cooker has a warming function and comes in either stainless steel or black. It has cooking functions that include Quick-cooking, Brown, Sushi, White/Mixed. Its inner pan ensures even heating and has measuring lines for ease of controlling the ingredients. In addition, the cooker has an easy-to-read LCD screen, detachable inner lid, extended keep warm setting, reheating cycle, and a delay timer should you want to start cooking at a later time.

The cooker makes a sound at the start and after finishing the cooking. Therefore, you do not need to keep checking if the food is ready. It is also easy to clean thanks to its non-stick cooking pan.

(iii) Induction Cooking Pressure Cooker

An induction pressure cooker incorporates two technologies, pressure-cooking, and induction. Induction cooking heats the entire pot instead of the bottom like your standard pots. This way, your rice is cooked at the right temperature, whether the top or bottom. On the other hand, the use of pressure allows moisture to penetrate better into each grain. This, in turn, helps shorten the cooking time (but only in some cases) and leads to softer, better-cooked rice.

Zojirushi has several models that use both technologies, with some adding the microchip so that you have a smart, induction pressure cooker. One of the most popular intelligent induction cookers is the Zojirushi NP-HBC10. This has a 5 ½ cup rice capacity with smart features, as discussed in the section above and induction technology. This model does not have a pressure cooking functionality.

However, the Zojirushi NP- NVC10 has a 5.5-cup capacity, smart technology, and multi menu functions, all built into one. Its pressure-cooking functionality works well for parboiled or brown rice. Besides, its ‘keep warm’ feature can keep your rice warm for over 12 hours.

2. Tiger Rice Cookers

Tiger rice cookers are similar to Zojirushi in terms of the design and quality of their rice cookers with a few differences. Both of them started in Osaka, Japan, and have grown big over the years. One of the significant differences between the two brands is the price. Tiger offers premium quality cookers more affordably than the Zojirushi models of comparable quality. Most of their cookers are made in the USA but use Japanese technology.

(i) Conventional Tiger Cookers

The conventional electric cookers are a perfect cooker for people who do not cook rice regularly or need a hassle-free solution to cooking quality rice. This category of cookers only have the cook function and keep warm functionality. There are no timers or recipe settings for users. Tiger has several such cookers in the market with choices of either floral or stainless steel outer bodies.

All of them feature an easy to open lid with a large handle at the top. Unlike the Zojirushi and Cuckoo, the rice cookers are more cylindrical with higher depth. One of the most popular ones is the Tiger JNP-S55U. It has a polished stainless steel body with a charcoal lid and bottom with two indicators and buttons on the side.

The 3-cup capacity cooker has a non-stick inner pot, a retractable power cord, and simple switches that are easy to use. Its general ease of use allows it to cook other dishes such as one-pot gourmet or soups with ease. However, due to its capacity, it can only be used by small to medium families.

(ii) Microm Tiger Cookers

Microm Tiger cookers use microprocessor technology to allow you to make precise settings depending on the type of rice and recipe preferences. They can also adjust the cooking time and temperature depending on various factors inside and outside the cooker. They pretty work the same as those of Cuckoo and Zojirushi brands. Besides, they have an oblate shape, unlike the conventional models, except for the JAJ-A Series cooker that takes a cuboid shape. This cooker is also pink, while all the others are either white or tones of grey.

All the microm cookers have a synchronized cook function that allows you to cook two dishes simultaneously. This function is called ‘tacook.’ They also come with 4-in-1 functionality that will enable you to change from conventional rice cooking to slow cooking, steaming, or tacook in just a click of a button. The automatic keep-warm function activates immediately after the food is done and can keep your dishes warm for up to 12 hours. Finally, all of them have an easy-to lead LCD except for JBV-A multi-functional cooker with a rather small screen.

(iii) Tiger Induction Rice Cookers

An induction cooker is more efficient than a conventional cooker in that it heats the entire cooking pan to ensure even cooking. Tiger has scored a first in this category by incorporating ceramic induction inner pots. Most other brands use Teflon-coated aluminium pans instead. Ceramic pots ensure better heat distribution and are perfectly safe. On the other hand, Teflon coated pots are thought to release some compounds with time, which may not be the safest option. There are two induction rice cookers under the Tiger brand, the JKT-S series IH and the JKT-B series IH. Both of the models are also microcomputer-controlled cookers.

Both models are oblate in shape with a yellow backlight on their LCD screens. The control buttons are placed on the side and raised for the ease of pressing. The outer body is made of stainless steel with black accents at the edges. Besides, there are two preset cooking times to enable the tacook feature. You may also use 11 cooking menus that include porridge, baking, slow cooking, and mixed rice settings. Otherwise, you may customize your cook settings if none of this fits your required cook method.

3. Cuckoo

Cuckoo is a Korean company that makes all types of kitchen appliances, including rice cookers, juicers, and electric kettles, among others. The company has been producing quality electronics since 1978, with the rice cookers being among the most popular appliances. The brand produces smart cookers, either the programmable ones or induction-supported pressure cookers. Here is a quick look at some salient features and popular models under the brand.

Features

Stainless Steel Detachable Cover

 Most Cuckoo models have two covers: detachable covers, and the inlet of your top cover. Both of these covers are made of stainless steel. It can withstand the pressure, steam, and high temperature that comes with rice cooking.  Just open the lid and remove the cover on the inside.

Pot Design

The pot design is similar across all models. It is a cylindrical shape that is tapered towards the bottom, making it look like an egg when viewed from the front. The only model that looks significantly different from the others is the Cuckoo CR-0351F rice cooker with a round shape and is substantially smaller than the rest of the models.  Generally, the brand produces polished stainless steel bodies n different colors with black and grey accents in different parts.

Multi-Cooking Programs

Cuckoo uses a touchscreen display for most of the models with features shown on the screen’s sides. This gives it a clean, luxurious look, unlike the Zojirushi and Tiger brands. Besides, the new display can be seen from afar, thanks to the high contrast, which is not available in most of the other brands discussed above. There are up to 13 cooking programs that include mixed rice, white rice, rice porridge, and Sushi rice. However, this may differ from one brand to another. The Cuckoo CRP-P0609S and JHSR0609F also feature voice commands to enable you to understand instructions better.

Water Drainage and Ease of Cleaning

To keep your dishes fresh and ensure that there are no bad odors from your previous cooking, this brand has created a unique water collection system for most of its models. Water from your food collects in a detachable container that you can then drain with ease. Besides, most models feature an automatic steam-cleaning feature that uses steam to dislodge any food particles and thoroughly clean your cooker within a few minutes. The inner cooking pan is made of a non-stick coating for the ease of cleaning.

Pressure and Induction Cooking

The Pressure and induction cooking is only available in the CRP-JHT1010F. The model has a twin pressure technology, which allows you to change between high-pressure cooking mode and non-pressure cooking. 

It also has a voice guide function in English, Chinese, and Korean. Other features include the induction heating technology that allows heat to circulate the cooking pot for even cooking. Besides, it has a diamond-coated inner pot that concentrates heat within the pot for a better cooking experience.

If you want to cook the food faster, you may use the turbo cooking function that gets your dishes ready in significantly shorter periods. On the other hand, the white display allows you to see what is going on in the pot, even if you are at a distance.  

Conclusion

The three brands below provide a wide range of rice cooking features that you can use to get that awesome rice dinner. However, there are significant differences among them and individual models of each brand. The Zojirushi and Tiger brand offers more design and function options than Cuckoo. Yet, Cuckoo has some of the most modern designs in the market. Depending on your budget and preferences, you may go for a standard rice cooker or pick either the micro or the induction cooker. Tiger does not have pressure cookers, while the other brands combine micro and induction models.

Air Fryer Dishes for Vegans

We cannot deny the fact that air fryers are fantastic. They give crispy, ready dishes in a matter of a few minutes. You also get half the fat and calories than you would if you went with the traditional cooking methods or ordered food in your local restaurant while not compromising on the taste. Besides, you can always shake up your cooking by adding some out-of-the-box ingredients along with spices and herbs. As a vegan, you have hundreds of tasty, healthy dishes that you can prepare on the go and enjoy a combination of amazing texture and taste. This article looks at some popular air fryer dishes and advice on different air fryer sand how to get it going!

Tofu with Air Fryers 

Does that crispy tofu make your mouth water? You can now prepare some at home with your air fryer. They cook fast and have low-fat content. Tofu is an excellent addition to your stew, wraps, and salads. You can also take it as a snack to calm your midday hunger pang before you have lunch. Preparing it is quite fast and easy and should be ready in less than twenty minutes. It tastes like it is straight out of the deep fryer without the ridiculous amount of fat involved in deep-frying.

Tips for Making Best Air Fryer Tofu 

Where possible, go for firm tofu. Super firm tofu is also high in proteins. It gives better results on air fryer than the less secure options. If you do not get super firm one, be sure to squeeze as much moisture as possible before putting it into the air fryer. You can always use a tofu press to remove the excess moisture. To do this, remove tofu from the water pack and cut it into small cubes. Then, place the cubes on a flat surface lined with absorbent materials such as paper towels. Cover it with similar material before placing heavy stuff on top. This speeds up the draining process. 

Consider marinating the tofu for a few minutes before placing it in an air fryer. Most people just put it in a bowl that has a mix of oil, pepper, and salt. Unfortunately, this marinating does away with the creamy consistency on the inside of the tofu cube. Instead, consider using a marinade made of a tablespoon of rice vinegar, a similar amount of sesame oil, and two tablespoons of soy source. Make sure you go for soy that is low in sodium. If looking for gluten-free alternatives, pick tamari sauce. The above proportions should work with an 8.oz batch. You can always increase the amount to cover other portions.

At this point, some people add some cornstarch to give the tofu an extra-crispy feel. However, that is only needed when you are deep-frying it. In an air fryer, it will get crispy without the starch. Just ensure that it sits in the marinade for at least 15 minutes. If you still want to add cornstarch (it is gluten-free), you can add to the tofu after marinating. However, you are likely to have a powdery coating on your tofu cubes. You can deal with the problem by spraying them with some olive oil after air frying.

You can add some seasoning to the marinade. For those going for the basics, a pinch of salt, pepper, and lemon juice will do. However, if you want to give it a taste twist or go the Indian way, add some paprika, ginger powder, turmeric, and garlic powder. The Indian type has an advantage when preparing tofu for snacking. 

Do not put too much tofu on your air fryer basket. Just a few layers would do so that you can get even crispness all around the cubes. If you have lots of tofu, consider diving it into batches and frying each at a time. Since it takes a few minutes to have them ready, you can prepare the batches and have them taken together. Besides, it is good to turn our tofu midway into frying to help with even browning. An air fryer works by circulating hot air from all the sides of the basket, unlike cookers with a single heat source. Therefore, you need to turn your tofu and have it ready.

Sample Instructions for Air Fryer Tofu 

  1. Using the marinade choices discussed in the section above, toss your drained or super firm tofu in a marinade for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Create batches of tofu such that you cook 8 to 10 oz of tofu in a batch. This helps increase exposure to hot air and enhance their crispness.
  3. Set your air fryer heat at 375 degrees F for about 15 to 18 minutes. However, if you want the creamy feel when you bite into the tofu cubes, air fry each batch for a maximum of 12 minutes. Chewier tofu should be ready in under 16 minutes.
  4. Toss your tofu by removing the air fryer basket after about 7 minutes of frying to ensure even frying

Can You Use other Oils?

Yes. You can use other oils to prepare your marinade other than the sesame oil. However, you need a high smoke point oil that will not burn and create smoke in your air fryer basket. You can use avocado oil instead of olive oil, as stated above, as it has a higher smoke point. Other alternatives include peanut oil, grape seed oil, and sunflower oil. Each of these oils has smoke points of above 400 degrees F.

Serving Air Fried Tofu 

Tofu can be taken warm or rather cold if taking it as a snack. You can always warm tofu for about five minutes in an air fryer at temperatures of about 375 degrees F. You can serve your tofu as it is and take it with your favorite drink. However, it works well with salads and sauces and can be added to full vegan dishes. Some of the dishes it can be served include Thai kale salad, cucumber pea salad, and the vegetarian instant pot baked beans.

Don’t know which air fryer to use or choose? Here are some of the best options I’ve come across and put together for you!

1. Air Fryers with Racks 

Most common air fryers just allow you to cook a single type in one go, especially where you have green leafy vegetables. This is different for air fryers with multiple racks that enable you to place various items on different ranks. You may have your veggie pizza on one rack, corn on another, and vegetables on the third compartment. This allows you to cook your meals fast and can prepare different meals at the same time. Several air fryers have one rack, but there are a few with multiple racks. Here is a look at some of the most popular ones. 

(i) Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Air Fryer 

The Cuisinart TOA-60 Convection Toaster Air Fryer has several internal components that enable you to cook various portions or different food types. These components include a baking pan, an air fryer rack, and an oven rack. Cuisinart is one of the largest oven manufacturers today. This model is designed as a specialty air fryer. It also comes with seven cook functions: toast, broil, warm, bake, air fry, and convection bake. 

For oven cooking, the warm, baking, toasting and broiling functions work well. However, if you would like to have even crisping on your backed food, go for the conventional oven instead. The function we are most interested in is the air fryer feature that gives you unlimited possibilities. When air frying large potatoes and veggies such as broccoli, you may use the two rack positions on the appliance. 

You also do not need to stay and wait for food to get ready. You can set the cooking timer for up to one hour. On reaching this time, the appliance will shut off. Besides, the appliance allows you to see the browning thanks to the interior light. It also has enough heat thanks to its six-element heating with a cooking power of 1,800W. One thing that sets this one apart is the location of the controls on the top of the door rather than the side for most air fryers. 

(ii) Best Choice Products 11.6qt 1700W 8-in-1 XL 

Best Choice Products 11.6qt 1700W 8-in-1 XL is a three-rack fryer that allows you to air fry various food items on one go. It comes with several features that make the process a lot easier. It has a rotating basket for air frying small food items such as French fries. The basket has a handle for ease of removal. It also has a wire rack that you can use to dehydrate your fruits or grill vegetables, tubers, and bread. 

If you love a rotisserie type of cooking, there are forks to hold your food in place for ease of cooking. The fryer also has a ten-skewer rack to cook your kebabs and vegetables. It works with a rotisserie shaft. Finally, there is a drip tray at the bottom of the fryer, which catches all the debris and oil from your foods to ease cleaning.

You can use the pre-set cooking options to get your dishes ready without little hustle. The options can make cookies, broiling, pressure cooking, and baking, among others. Changing the options is easy, thanks to the large LCD touchscreen display. Besides, the fryer has an oven style design where the door has a window, which you remove to check on the food without letting all the air out. It also has heat resistant housing and overheat protection.

(iii) Modern Home Air Fryer

Modern Home fryers are loved for their portable designs. They may look like they cannot hold a lot of food. On the contrary, with its two-tier rack made of stainless steel, the total amount of food that it can hold at any given time is amazing. It also comes with a non-stick baking pan that you can use for cakes, cookies, omelets, and cakes.

The air fryer function allows you to fry, bake, roast, and grill vegetables and pastries (such as the peanut butter cookie bars) faster than you would do on a conventional oven or your traditional one. A combination of hot air and rapidly circulating fans drive the internal temperature to 400 degrees F in less than a minute. This will get your dishes cooking faster and more evenly. There are eleven other presents in the air fryer, allowing you to enjoy everything from toasting to warming and broiling specific kinds of food. Therefore, apart from air frying, you can bale your cake warm and prepare sandwiches for your snacks. All the removable components of this appliance are dishwasher safe, making the cleanup a lot easier and faster. 

(iv) NUWAVE BRIO 14-Quart Large Capacity Air Fryer Oven

The 14-quart capacity Nuwave Brio air fryer comes with three racks, a fry pan basket, and a rotisserie kit. It also has an integrated digital temperature probe that helps you ensure that the food is cooked right. Besides, you can use warm, reheat, and delay programs to get your food at the right temperature when you are ready to eat it. As for temperatures, you can air fry on anything between 60 degrees F and 400 degrees F with five degrees increments from one level to another.

You can also use the preheat function to get the fryer ready before placing your food and the sear function to cook food at high temperatures within a short time. Besides, it has 100 pre-programmed recipes that you can try by just clicking the touchpad control panel. Alternatively, you can air fry with your custom settings by clicking the stage function. With all these controls and settings, you can prepare your dishes like a pro without having to carry a recipe book to the kitchen.

These are some of the leading air fryers with racks. Depending on your family size or preferences, you can go with these or go with smaller ones with just a single space. The price difference is not much compared to the functions and features that you get when you go big. 

2. Best Air Fryer for Vegetables 

A good number of people still fry their vegetables in oil. Doing so not only leads to the loss of some of the trace nutrients but also makes you eat high amounts of fat, which may not be good for your health as it can get deposited in your circulatory system or lead to a rapid increase in weight. Fortunately, the new generation of air fryers allow you to enjoy your veggies without adding unhealthy oil. In addition, they give them a crunchy texture and an excellent dry taste. You can air fry just any vegetable, whether green leafy ones, green corn, spring onions, cauliflower, plantain, and carrots, among others.

There are tens of air fryers in the market, each with different features and functions. Not all of them may do a great job on your veggies. This section takes you some of the best air fryers for your vegetables with a detailed look at their features, strong and weak points. 

(i) Cosori Air Fryer 3.7 Quart 

The 3.7-quart capacity air fryer capacity works well for a small to medium family. The Cosori brand has come up with a unique square design that allows you to fit more food than you would in a round or oblate-shaped one. Besides, it has an LED touchscreen top face, again different from the small LED touchscreens found in many brands. This one allows you to make your settings with ease according to your recipe. Besides, it has eleven pre-set options that enable you to try everything from tofu to vegan pizza with a few clicks.

The interior frying basket comes with a handle that you can pull with ease when your food is done. It is also replaceable should you ever need to change it in the future. This air fryer has a wattage of 1700 watts that will get your vegetables cooking fast. It is also FDA approved and ETL certified as safe. The temperature ranges between 180 degrees F and 400 degrees F with a 10-degree difference between different levels. You can also use the self-timer for up to 60 minutes if you might not be around to check on the food. On the other hand, you may switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit if you are not comfortable with the current setting. 

(ii) Linsion Air Fryer Electric Hot Air Fryer 

If you are looking for a basic fryer that can feed up to five people at a go, then Linsion Air Fryer is the model to pick. It has a beautiful oblate design and polished black outer. Despite the compact design, it has a 5.8-quart basket, which is impressive. Besides, it comes with seven pre-sets, among which is an air fry setting. You just need to prepare your veggies, click the right setting, and voila! 

Besides, it has a high-temperature range of up to 400 degrees F with increments of 10 degrees for precise setting. If you are not sure how to prepare the vegetables, check one of the 50 recipes on the recipe book that comes with the appliance. To ensure that it sustains the heat, Linsion has created a 1400-watts hot air system with a unique circulation system that enables you to reach the target temperature in less than three minutes. Finally, once you are done cooking your food, you may detach the cooking pot for the ease of cleaning. 

(iii) Yedi Total Package Air Fryer XL 

If you are looking for a medium-capacity air fryer that gives you additional features, then the Yedi Total Package Air Fryer XL is the model to consider. The 5.8-quart cooking appliance comes with a divider for the cooking basket and 50 perforated parchment papers and a multi-purpose lack. If besides cooking your vegetables you would like skewers, cake, and pan, you will get a cupcake silicon pan, a cake carrel, and three skewers.

On the outside, the air fryer has a sleek, scratch-resistant black paint. It also has a touchscreen top face to allow you to make your food settings with ease. If you want something unique at the dinner table, you may use the 100-recipe cookbook that comes with the unit. On the cook program list, you will find options for preparing hard and soft vegetables as well as searing. 

(iv) Ninja Air Fryer AF100UK 

Ninja is a renowned household appliance manufacturer with ovens and air fryers on its list of items. The AF100UK is a 3.8-quart unit and one of the best air fryers in terms of reliability and no-fuss air frying mechanism. This medium air fryer comes with a few functions to make you air frying easy and fast. You can select among dehydrate, reheat, roast, and air fry at the touch buttons on the side of the appliance. You not only prepare your vegetable really well, but you can also reheat the left offers to incorporate then in your next meal. Besides, the dehydrate feature can be used to dry out your fruits so that you can add them to your dishes. 

Its compact, clean design makes it ideal for individuals who have little space at home. However, despite its small size, it packs a whopping 1550 watts of power to get your food ready fast. The temperature ranges between 105 degrees F and 400 degrees F, enough to cook any hard veggies well. Another feature that stands out is its ceramic-coated basket with a need pullout insert that you can use to rest your food once you have pulled it from the fryer. 

Conclusion 

These are some of the best veggie air fryers in the market for small to medium families. You can check bigger versions or upgraded versions of the same brands that are listed here. You may go for brands with specific cook settings so that you can prepare one on the go. However, a good number allows you to make and save the best settings so that you do not have to redo it the next time you want to cook the same dish. However, we recommend trying various recipes using these appliances to vary tastes at your dinner table.

Pediasure vs Orgain. Which One For Your Kids?

The general diet that most kids get regularly does not have some of the nutrients required for healthy growth, especially where the kids have growth challenges and struggling with malnutrition. Healthy kids also need some trace elements that sometimes are not available in their regular diet. Nutritional shakes supplement the diet by providing various nutrients that include minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Some shakes can be used as food replacements, especially where the kid is struggling with excessive weight or has a poor appetite.

Benefits of Healthy Drinks for Kids

• They prevent the kids from being constipated by enhancing hydration

• They come with antioxidants that play a role in improving their immunity

• They contain healthy, natural sugar that helps underweight children gain some weight

• Healthy drinks have plenty of nutrients that include minerals and vitamins which aids in child growth and development

Best Nutrition Shakes for Kids Buying Guide

There are tens of brands selling all manner of nutritional shakes for children. However, not every brand lives to the required nutritional and quality standards. Below are some few areas that you should check when buying nutritional shakes for your small kid.

1. Go for Products that do not Have Artificial Growth Hormones  

Synthetic growth hormones may be added to milkshakes to enhance the growth in kids. However, studies have shown that the use of growth hormones may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and increased risk of such conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

2. Stay Away from Products with Artificial Sweeteners

Some of the popular artificial sweeteners include saccharin, sucralose neotame and acesulfame, while some shakes may contain organic sucrose and other forms of refined sugar. Artificial sugar may cause several conditions from mild bloating to altered taste buds and lung problems. Real sugar leads to rapid increase in weight, which is unhealthy for the Kid. However, expect small amounts of sugar to enhance the taste.

3. Go for GMP labelled Products

GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices. It means that your nutritional shake was produced in a facility that discloses all the ingredients used to create the product. It also means that the manufacturer follows the best industry practices.

4. Be Careful on the Flavours

Unlike adults, children may be pricky on the flavours and may reject a product just because it does not taste good. If you would like to purchase a nutritional shake in bulk, consider buying small quantities of different flavours so that you can pick their most favourite flavour.  

Lets us compare two of the most popular nutritional shakes, Pediasure and Orgain.

PEDIASURE

Pediasure prepares various nutritional shakes for the kids to rump up their vitamin, mineral and protein intake. The B000ARPKBM is meant for children of ages of two to five years. The composition of the ingredients has been optimised to meet the daily nutritional allowance of this group.

The product has been clinically proven to help the young ones grow. The manufacturer carried studies on children that were facing malnutrition. Each of them was given two Pediasure bottles each day for eight weeks (Huynh DT et al.) along with dietary counselling. It was noted that the children who were in the 5th to 25th weight-for-height percentiles recorded speeded up growth, which included weight gains and increases in height. Each of the children was allowed to choose his or her most favourite flavours. He or she got the same flavour throughout the study.

Features of the Product:

The shake is packaged in a 237 ml reclosable plastic bottle. Each pack contain 24 bottles that do not require any refrigeration until after opening them. The shake comes in six great tasting flavours that include banana, chocolate, vanilla, berry, Strawberry and S’mores. This product is sold ready to drink, but it is recommended that you shake well before giving the kids.  

It has a smooth consistency. However, given that nature of the ingredients, there might be some settling after lying still for some time. That is why it is recommended that you shake for a minute. While you do not need to chill the product before opening, it must be chilled while closed after opening. It is best taken within a week after opening.

Composition:

The shake provides complete balanced nutrition for kids that contains a mix of proteins, omega-3 fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Each bottle contains 7 grams of high-quality proteins, 27 vitamins and 32mg DHA omega-3 oils. Among the vitamins, it has a high concentration of vitamins E, C and selenium. It has low fat content at about 9 grams per bottle and delivers 240 calories.  The product does not contain the artificial growth hormone, and therefore, safe for regular intake by the kids.

• Six flavours that include s’ mores, vanilla, banana, berry, chocolate and strawberry

• 27 vitamins with a high concentration of vitamin E, C and selenium

• 7 grams of high-quality proteins

• 32mg DHA omega-3 fats

• 240 calories per bottle

Pediasure comes with two protein sources, milk proteins concentrate, and soy protein isolates that provide a balanced blend of all the essential amino acids that your child require for rapid growth and development. The product also has FOS, a non-digestible dietary fibre that is good for digestion. Live cultures of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus also assist in digestion.

The high DHA omega-3 oils concentration is particularly important in the kids’ brain health as well as their general health. It may also help children with poor sleep quality and those who have ADHD as well as allergic conditions such as asthma.

The products are halal, kosher and gluten-free. Therefore, vegan children and those with gluten intolerance or conditions such as the celiac disease can take it.

Whom is the Product For?

You can give the shake to any kids between the ages of two to six years. At this stage of their growth, they need high amounts of proteins for bodybuilding and various vitamins for healthy growth and fight illnesses. This formula has essential nutrients that the child needs to grow healthy and strong.

The product is also highly recommended for children that may be facing growth and nutritional challenges as follows:

• Has little supply of fruits and vegetables

• Has a poor appetite

• Is highly selective on the kind of foods it takes

• One accepts very few new types of food

• Does not stay still during mealtimes and often leaves the food on the table

• A child that is recovering from medical conditions that have severely affected  growth and weight gain

• Lactose intolerant children

Who Should Not Take the Product?

The product has milk proteins and sugars. Therefore, it is unsuitable for children that suffer from galactosemia. This is because people with the condition get a build-up of undigested sugar in the blood when they take foods containing milk or ingredients derived from milk. The product also contains soy protein isolate. Therefore, it is not recommended for children that suffer from a soy allergy.  Most children outgrow the soy allergy after their third birthday into adulthood. If you are not sure, seek the assistance of a paediatrician. Besides, if you have a child that is below two years of age and has problems with stunted growth, seek a recommendation from your paediatrician before giving the product.

When Should the Child Take the Product?

a) As a Snack

You can give the nutritional shake at snacking times across the day. The child may take it alone, with fruit or any other snack. It can also be taken with honey, oats and other cereals.

b) In a Recipe

You can use the nutritional shake for garnishing other dishes. However, it is not recommended for cooking as heat destroys the vitamins and changes the structure of the proteins therein.

c) Take it with Meals

You can serve the drink along with your main meals, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. It helps seal the vitamin and mineral gap in your meals.

For effective results, do not give more than two bottles a day. You should also space the two bottles so that they take it at different times of the day. For overweight children, you may give the drink to supplement regular snacking. Its fibre content and slow-release carbohydrates help your child stay full for an extended period. This, in turn, lowers the urge to snack now and then and may eventually help in weight management.

Conclusion:

Pediasure is an all-inclusive nutritional shake. It contains the right balance of nutrients required by kids between ages two and five years. With several essential nutrients lacking in the daily diet, this product supplements the daily diet with a punch of vitamins and proteins. However, for your child to realise benefits from taking the nutritional shake, it is essential to provide a balanced diet, manage portions and lead a healthy lifestyle. Your child should not experience any issues when taking the product except for the conditions discussed above. However, if you notice any reactions or allergies, please discontinue the product and seek medical attention.  

ORGAIN

Orgain has prepared a protein supplement for the young kids in the form of a ready-to-drink nutritional drink. This product is ideal for kids between the ages of two to 10 years. At this stage of their growth, they require high amounts of proteins and vitamins, most of which are not sufficient in their daily meals. Therefore, this product seals the gap by blending the vitamins that are not generally found in most foods. Various paediatric medical institutions have approved the formulations for the protein shake.

Features of the Product:

The protein shake is packaged in bottles of 244 ml (8.25 fl oz). A straw opening is put on top to allow children to take the drink on the go. These bottles are sold in packages of 12 shakes. The product does not require refrigeration before opening and can be carried around in ambient temperature. Each package is meant to be consumed once opened as it does not come with a cap for storage. You have a choice of three flavours that include chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

The product has a thick, smooth consistency, which should go up the straw without a problem. However, expect some settling if the product has been staying still for some time. Therefore, shake it before giving it to your kid.

Composition:

This shake contains 8 grams of organic protein along with 21 vitamins and minerals. Part of these vitamins are included in the vegetable and fruit blend. The manufacturer has blended ten different fruits and vegetables into the supplement. Each serving delivers 200 calories per serving from 23 grams of carbohydrates. There are also 3 grams of fibres and 13 grams of sugar in each package.

The milk concentrate is derived from grass-fed cows, and therefore, does not contain the synthetic growth hormones given to cows. Besides, there is no artificial human growth hormone in the product.  The product is gluten-free and does not contain any GMO ingredients.  

• 200 calories per serving

• 23 grams net carbohydrates

• 3grams of fibre

• 13 grams of sugar

• 21 vitamins and minerals

• Does not contain synthetic growth hormone

• 8 grams of organic protein

The organic fruit blend in the product includes raspberry, apple, acai, banana and blueberry. All these are good sources of vitamins. On the other hand, the vegetable blend includes tomato, carrot, spinach, kale and beet, all of which are good sources of vitamin A, E, and potassium. Vegetables are also good sources of dietary fibre and aids in digestion. The product has carbohydrates derived from complex sources such as brown rice. This allows for a slow release of the same in the body, thereby keeping the kid feeling full for longer.

This product is USDA organic, non-GMO, carrageenan-free, soy-free and gluten-free. It also conforms to Kosher and halal certifications and does not contain any artificial colours. However, it has artificial thickeners s such as the locust bean gum and gellan gum, which may upset some children’s digestion systems. It is recommended that you start with moderate amounts and see if there is an adverse reaction before giving them more.

Who Should Take the Drink?

As said earlier, this is ready to drink protein for any children above the age of two to about ten years. It offers an excellent protein and vitamin supplement to enhance the little ones immunity while at the same time, enhances their growth and development.  It can also be considered for children with the challenges below.

• Children with low weight than their peer at the same age

• Pricky eaters who most of the time do not take vegetables

• Children that may have been malnourished

• Overweight children that require a meal replacement to manage their weight

• Children whose immune systems are weak  

• Any child that is recovering from a long illness

Who Should Not Take The Drink?

The product contains milk and ingredients derived from milk. Therefore, it should not be taken by kids who allergic to milk proteins and glucose. The product should also not be used to supplement milk for children under the age of two years. If you feel that the drink could be f aid to children at that age, seek advice from a paediatrician.

When should the product be taken?

a) As a Meal Replacement

The drink makes for a good meal replacement due to the blended vegetables and fruits. If taken to improve health, consider giving it alongside other foods or between the meal times. On the other hand, if taken for weight management, it best works during snack times such as mid-morning and late afternoon to cut down those hunger pangs and help reduce potions in the meal times.

b) As a Snack

The kid can take the Orgain drink as part of a snack, whether alone or with fruits and cereals, especially in the morning.

c) With meals

The Orgain nutritional drink can replace other fluids taken with meals. You may use it as a drink on the side or put it in dishes such as crackers and oats. When taken with meals, it adds those nutrients that might not be in the dish that the kid is taking.

Conclusion:

Orgain is an organic protein shake for kids of the ages of two years. It has an excellent formula that includes real vegetables and fruits, besides other nutrients. Most diets lack vital vitamins and minerals since most of it lacks fresh greens and fruits. This drink can help kids meet their daily vitamin and mineral requirement while giving them essential proteins to enhance their growth. The product does not have many allergens. Therefore, kids without dairy allergies should be able to take the drink without a problem.  

Which of the Both Nutritional Shakes is Good for Your Kids?

Your choice of the nutritional drink largely depends on the specific health goals that you would like to achieve on your kids. This then transcends to the ingredients that you are going to pick for the nutritional shake. Let us compare these two products to determine which is best for particular cases.

Similarities between both Products​:

Both products have high amounts of vitamins and minerals. The Pediasure nutritional shake comes with 26 vitamins while the Orgain product has 21 vitamins. Each also has relatively the same amount of proteins. Therefore, if you are looking for a nutritional drink to boost the general health of the kids by increasing their vitamin intake, both of them will do. Besides, both of them have several flavours from which your child can pick one.

You can also order a sample of each flavour to help your child choose the best flavours. The size and type of package use are generally similar although Orgain uses a sealed container with a straw opening. Both nutritional shakes do not require refrigeration before open, and you can carry them as on-the-go drinks.  

Differences:

The Orgain protein shake incorporates organic vegetables and fruits in its formula, thereby giving kids more benefits that include natural fibre and trace minerals found in the natural food. Besides, it does not have soy-based ingredients, and therefore, safe for kids that experience allergic reactions towards soy. The Pediasure has higher amounts of minerals, especially the Omega-3 oils that are good for brain development. It also has a lower fat content and less sugar than the Orgain nutritional shake.

Overall, both products meet the basic requirements for general health and growth of the children. You may go for any of them and enjoy their benefits. However, if you are looking to increase fibre and vegetable intake, Orgain has the best product. For higher mineral content, pick the Pediasure product.

© 2020 summerveg

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑