Do you know the difference between a blender and a food processor? Or when to use a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker? We tell you what they do – and why they make cooking easier and save you loads of time in the kitchen after a busy day when thet LAST thing you feel like is cooking…

Whether you’re a full-time parent, a student, someone with a full-time job – when the end of the day arrives and it’s time to go home, the last thing you want to do is spend another hour or so in the kitchen trying to cook dinner.

And it’s that exhaustion that leads us to cheat meals and unhealthy eating, which we know we shouldn’t be encouraging.

But, what if you were told that you could halve the time you spend preparing and cooking meals, by simply buying the right kitchen appliances?

You’d want to get online, search for kitchen appliances, add to basket and proceed to checkout as soon as possible, right?

Well, before you can do that, we need to let you in on the kitchen appliance secrets of all speedy and happy cooks. Because, let’s be honest, we aren’t all gracious and happy ladies in the kitchen. Well, not yet, anyway.

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Blender and food processor

You may think that a blender and food processor are basically the same appliance, but that’s not true. They may have similar properties but they’re not the same and, therefore, you need both of them in your kitchen.

Smoothies, purees and even dips are best with a blender, while butter, doughs, shredding cheese, grind nuts and chopping vegetables are best left with the food processor

In a matter of seconds, you can grate, chop, mix, combine and grind with the respective appliance. You can save your arm muscles the work out from trying to mix things together that just don’t want to mix. And breakfasts have never been so speedy – just stick the banana, peanut butter and yoghurt in the blender, turn it on and you can grab a travel cup for your morning smoothie on the go.

Smoothies, purees and even dips are best with a blender, while butter, doughs, shredding cheese, grind nuts and chopping vegetables are best left with the food processor

Pressure cooker

Pressure cookers save everything. From time to money and energy. Cook meals with frozen ingredients, watch your meat fall right off the bone and have minimal cookware to wash up afterwards. It’s as simple and throwing ingredients in, setting a timer and letting the steam pressure cook your food at an incredible speed.

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And if you need to prepare some of the vegetable ingredients beforehand, use your blender to chop them, and you’ll be good to go.

And with the pressure cookers of today that don’t explode over the stovetop, it’s as easy as pushing a button with the setting appropriate to the food you’re cooking and letting it do its thing.

Make sure the countdown is complete before opening the lid: you don’t want to get burned by the excess pressure that is still being released.

Slow cooker

Now we take a look at the slow cooker. You may be wondering how this kitchen appliance can save you time when “slow” is in the title, but it really can. It saves time because you can start it up in the morning, go to work, grab a plate and have your ready-made dinner.

They may not be as quick as pressure cookers, but you can leave them on for the most part of a day to do all the hard work for you.

Set a timer to make sure you don’t overcook anything (which is hardly possible with a slow cooker) and all the effort you need to do is put the ingredients inside and switch it on.

And if you’re looking for something that looks less like a slow cooker appliance and more like a decorative kitchen item, you can buy a Wonderbag.

These do the same job as a slow cooker but you use your own pot (which you bring to the boil on the stove with all the ingredients) which is then placed in the Wonderbag that will retain the temperature and let it bubble away.

Read more: Slow Cooked Upside Down Banana and Coconut Cake recipe


Copyright: thamkc / 123RF Stock Photo

Coffee machine

Waiting for the kettle to boil and forgetting you’ve already turned it on takes up too much time in the morning. You want your coffee with a snap of your fingers and having a coffee machine is the closest you’ll get to that. At a click of a button (and a waiting period of about30 seconds), you can have a cappuccino or Americano ready to be enjoyed.

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Wherever you can save time and effort in the morning, the better. And everyone loves a good cup of coffee.

When you have guests over and you’ve all just enjoyed a slow cooker cooked meal and a pressure cooker cooked dessert (yes, it’s possible), you can offer them coffee that will be easy to make and enjoy from your coffee machine.