What’s worth the investment?
We have been a food allergy family for almost a decade. When unable to find safe food at the store we try to find a recipe and make our own. Having the right kitchen tools can make or break a recipe. There are such a wide variety of small kitchen appliances available it can seem a bit overwhelming. Below we made a list of some of the tools we have used successfully or have considered adding to our allergy-friendly kitchen.
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Best Small Appliances For A Food Allergy Friendly Kitchen
Bread Maker – Besides fresh loaves of bread you can also make pizza and pasta dough. Bread is so easy and quick to make in just a few hours. We make a loaf to turn into safe breadcrumbs and store it in the freezer to use when needed. I have been surprised at how much use we get out of our bread maker. For us, it was worth the investment. Many bread makers offer gluten-free recipes, as well as dairy-free, egg-free options.
Donut Maker – We invested in a small donut maker after realizing it was the only way we could make nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free donuts. It’s fun, quick and there are a variety of recipes to try for baked donuts. Many of these little machines also come in cake pop and brownie varieties.
Pasta Maker – Making our own pasta dough and filling it with cheese has been the only way we can make egg-free ravioli. It is a long and involved process but a fun activity for kids to try too. We tried a hand-crank machine as it was given as a gift. This isn’t something I would have ever purchased on my own and we don’t bring it out very often.
Pasta Molds – A cheaper option is to buy molds to shape the pasta.
Meat Slicer – A meat slicer may come in handy if you can’t find safe cold cuts due to cross-contamination in delis (mortadella can contain pistachios and cheese may be sliced on the same equipment for example). We are lucky enough to have found a safe deli, but if you are struggling to find safe, sliced meat, you may even save money buying larger cuts of meat at a butcher to slice on your own.
Slow Cooker – Throwing a meal in a crockpot, so it is ready when everyone gets home at night is a much safer alternative if your take-out options on busy nights are limited due to food allergies. Many have options to delay start so you can time meals to your schedule.
Waffle Maker – We are on our second waffle maker in the past few years. The second time we splurged on one that could make two Belgian waffles at the same time and was a much more durable quality. The time it saves and how easy it is to use has made it one of our favorite small appliances. Since we have not found safe boxed frozen waffles for our family, we make a big batch and freeze leftovers to reheat during the week.
Stand Mixer – I held off on this item for a long time due to cost. After breaking my third hand mixer, I gave in and got a stand mixer. It was definitely worth it for us with the amount of baking we do. Many stand mixers have optional attachments for slicing, grating, and even ice cream making.
Ice Cream Maker – Sometimes you can’t find store-bought, safe ice cream. Other times though it might just be fun to make your own. There are a ton of options and price points for ice cream makers. Just make sure you have the freezer space and storage containers if you start making your own.
Some Things To Consider
Before investing in a small appliance be sure you have some recipes lined up that you want to try. It would be frustrating to get a pizzle maker and realize you can’t find a safe pizzle recipe. Also, consider the size of the items and where you might store it. Our bread maker is HUGE and takes up way too much space on the counter. I had to make room in a cabinet and lug it out once or twice a week.