Summer Kitchen: Heat up your mouth, not your kitchen

With summer heat upon us in full blast, there is little desire to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven. Rather than go out to dinner, remain in control of your food and keep the stove off with these two great appliances: a blender/food processor and a spiralizer.

In most instances a blender and a food processor can be used interchangeably. However, it is best to contain liquids in a blender. Smoothies and chilled soups are perfect summer time reasons to use your blender. Combine your favorite seasonal berries, ice, coconut water and mint together to make a refreshing post run cool down beverage. Another option is to freeze the mixture to make popsicles. I reach for my food processor when I make my own energy bars. It does a great job of chopping up dried fruit and nuts. The food processor is also useful when making sauces and pestos.

Another great tool is a spiralizer. It can be a challenge to justify having one more gadget in your already overcrowded kitchen, but I believe this one is worth it. This vegetable slicer easily cuts fruits and vegetables into ribbon-like slices. One medium sized zucchini feeds at least two people. Zucchini “noodles” are a nice, light, no-cook alternative to pasta. You can also use the spiralizer to cut other foods like, potatoes, apples, and cucumbers.

When you cook in your kitchen, you are in control. You can pronounce the ingredients and decide how much, or little, to include. At a restaurant, there is a great deal of uncertainty and it is easier to over indulge in foods. Resist the temptation to eat out because it is too hot to cook at home. Fire up the grill to cook up some protein and plug in your food processor to make a meal that won’t heat up your kitchen.

Check out this recipe for Zucchini “Noodles” with Spicy Cashew Sauce. It is sure to heat up your mouth, but not your oven.