Toaster Oven Tips For Your Kitchen

Baking in a toaster oven

Toaster ovens are extremely versatile appliances that unfortunately do not get taken full advantages of by a number of owners. They are extremely quick and efficient at many of the cooking jobs that most people use their full sized ovens for, yet they get seldom used as they were intended. If you love to spend time in the kitchen and prepare tasty treats for yourself or your family, then let’s give your countertop oven a workout and explore what it can truly accomplish for you.

Baking

This is where you can really get a lot of use out of a smaller oven, especially if you own a convection toaster oven. While some ovens do come with a few pans as accessories, it is a good idea to purchase some separate bakeware to truly take full advantage. Muffing pans, cooking pans and any other type of specialty pan should let you create some extraordinary baked goods in your oven. Convection ovens circulate the air inside while operating which especially good for baking. This will ensure that your food is evenly done on all sides without burning or soft spots.

Cooking

Just about any type of recipe that calls for the use of an oven can be done in a toaster oven. Modern machines are able to roast, broil, bake, and cook just about any type of meal with exceptional results. Today’s higher end toaster ovens come with settings for each of these different functions so it is as easy as pushing a button. They can also automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time depending on the food that is being cooked. You do not have to limit yourself to preparing only toast in a toaster oven, so get cooking.

Reheating

If you do not like how your food tastes after you try and reheat it in a microwave then you should pop in your countertop oven. Most machines have a reheating setting and they usually perform remarkably well. The smaller size of the oven requires less time to heat so it should be done in a snap. You can also reheat multiple items at once. Frozen pizza, leftovers, or even soup can all be brought up to a warm to hot temp without cooking it further. Toaster ovens are a great way to reheat items quickly.

Defrosting

The same thing that applies for reheating food also applies to defrosting frozen food. Microwaves can actually over heat certain spots while trying to defrost and you will end up cooking the outside in certain areas. This can be avoided with a toaster oven as modern models usually have a fully functional defrost setting that lets you thaw out frozen meat without cooking it.

Making Use Of The Convection Setting

If you have a convection toaster oven then you are truly in luck. These types of ovens can really help you speed up the cooking process without sacrificing taste. Not only will food get done faster, but you usually can use lower temps and less energy. The only downside of cooking with convection is that you will have to adjust your cooking times, generally by 20% to 25%. This will take some experimenting, but once you get it down, you will not want to cook your food any other way. Cuisinart, Breville, and Kitchenaid all make fantastic ovens with convection features and these are the brands we would typically recommend for those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. We purchased a Breville BOV800XL after looking around and determining that it was the best toaster oven for our cooking needs. Cuisinart and Kitchenain make comparable ovens, but we have been extremely satisfied with our “Smart” oven and we really give the convection functionality a workout.

Some Practical Tips

Once you get a toaster oven there are some small things that you can keep an eye on to prevent some unwanted hassles.

Clean Your Oven

Most of today’s oven are made with non-stick materials with stainless steel bodies. It is important to wipe them down once they have cooled. Pay close attention to the crumb trays and make sure that you remove any grease that may have dripped down. Grease build up may be ignite in extreme cases and you will wind up burning your food. Simply remove it when you are done cooking and rinse it out over the sink. This routine will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Don’t Over Stuff

The more centered your food is in the oven, typically the better results you will have. If you try to stuff to many items into the oven then some of the food on the out edges or corners may not get all the way done. This goes for anything from bread to cookies. Give your food some room.

Oven Lovin’

Most folks are hesitant to try something new, but if you already own a toaster oven then by all means feel free to experiment with it. Once you discover everything that you can prepare in one of these small appliances the more you will kick yourself for not taking full advantage of it sooner. If you do not own one of these ovens yet for your counter, then it is time to consider stepping up your game in the kitchen and get something that is going to save you time, energy, and money in your home while still delivering mouth watering results that your family will love.

Burning Off Those Extra Calories With A Jogging Stroller

BOB running stroller

Since we have been busy in the kitchen making some extremely delicious treats for our family it is important to balance that with some exercise to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. For new parents this can be a hard task to achieve as energy, motivation, and time are often lacking. However, jogging strollers may be a great way to overcome some of these obstacles to help you get your fitness goals back on track. They are convenient, fun for kids, and give extra resistance when running to increase the amount of calories you end up burning. Running strollers are on the rise, and one model that we have bought and used has really done wonders for our family. We thought we we share with you our experience with the BOB Revolution Flex stroller and how it helped our family get back into shape.

Features of the Flex Jogger

Some of the best features of the BOB Flex include:

  • Its front wheel can swivel allowing you for easy maneuverability. The wheel can also lock to allow for added stability.
  • The flex stroller is an all terrain stroller and is a perfect model for day to day adventures and is suitable for children from the age of 8 weeks and weigh up to 75 pounds.
  • Has an adjustable suspension system can take bumps in stride gracefully. This is because it offers three inches of travel and also two stages of load support giving your child an ultra smooth ride.
  • Its adjustable handlebars ist fit for all parents of different height. The handlebars offer up to 9 positions that create a perfect fit for all heights.You can pair the stroller with a BOB B-safe infant seat to create a safe travel system for your lifestyle.
  • The BOB stroller has parking brakes that allow you to secure a stopped position whenever you are engaged with something.
  • It has an easy 2-step fold mechanism that allows you for easy and convenient moving and storage.-It has a travel system ready feature that allows you just to use the infant seat adapter. This accessory adapter enable for easy and quick attachment of the child car seat or even the snack tray.
  • It has air-filled wheels on high impact polymer that gives you a smooth drive whether you are on the road or off-road.
  • It has an extra large cargo basket that will allow you to keep all your gears, supplies and also a few toys.
  • The stroller has a multi-position canopy that allows you to adjust for protection and a wide viewing window that allows you keep an eye on your child as your stroll or jog.
  • The seats are ultra padded, adjustable and are reclining for heighten seating comfort. The 5- point padded harness will make your child secure and comfortable.

Advantages

Some of the benefits of the flex stroller include:

  • the stroller has advanced features for easy maneuverability.
  • its large hood is close and is useful for blocking the wind and torrential downpour.
  • The stroller is ideal for both running and walking. It is the best stroller for outdoor activities and in areas where a typical stroller would not be able to work.
  • it comes with adapters that help you even accommodate the infant car seat.
  • the model is light and folds easily and relatively flat.

Disadvantages

  • Some of the clients who have bought this stroller have raised issues and complained about the model saying that:
  • the basket cover tears easily within weeks of use.
  • if you want to collapse the stroller, you have to remove the car seat adapter every time; the clients considered this annoying.
  • when you don’t have its sun shade extended, the fold will hit your child’s head.
  • the model is difficult to wrap and requires a lot of muscle.

Bottom line

There are numerous health benefits to running with a stroller which makes this such a worthwhile endeavor. Having something that your love to use and your child loves to ride in can make all of the difference in the world. Even though the BOB Revolution Flex is not a perfect stroller, it is as close as you can possibly get. We have had great success using this particular model to help us shed some extra pounds while including the entire family. BOB strollers are an investment, but they can really pay huge dividends in the end by providing you a great bonding experience with the kids while keeping yourself healthy.

4 Revitalizing Green Juice Recipes

Healthy Green Juicing Recipes

The wonderful world of green juice makes essential nutrients like vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and minerals more readily available for faster absorption into the blood stream. This helps to keep the body hydrated, nourished and healthy all year round. Whether you always feel tired, suffer from a bad skin, or you need help with weight loss, green juicing can help fix your problem. Here are some great-tasting green juicing recipes you should consider trying and the possible health benefits that they may offer you.

Kalicious Apple Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 green apple (for sweetness)

Improves Skin Complexion and Prevents Premature Aging

Consisting of more than 90% water, cucumbers are naturally hydrating and cooling. They are also rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium and silica that improve skin complexion, leading to a healthy glow.

Kale on the other hand, contain vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as calcium that help to fight free radicals, which cause premature aging. In addition, apples in this juice are a great source of vitamins A and C that tone the skin and preventing sagging.

Improves Digestion

If you are having digestion problems (constipation, poor digestion, bloating etc), this juice is for you. Apples and kale are both high in fiber, which helps to not only clean out and remove the wastes accumulated in your digestive tract, but also repair, heal and nourish your system.

Green Java

Ingredients

  • 1-inch piece ginger
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 8 stalks celery
  • ¼ organic lemon (with rind)

Improves Energy

The next time you feel the urge to drink coffee, try this green juice instead. The chlorophyll in green plants such as spinach and kale help in oxygenating the blood, consequently increasing brain function and physical activity.

Improves Sleep and Mood

Spinach is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes better sleep and improves your mood. It is also high in magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and nerves. Hence, drinking this juice can be a great way to relieve stress after having a long, stressful day.

Helps in Fighting Colds

The high Vitamin C content in lemon helps in safeguarding the immune system from common colds and other infections. On the other hand, ginger is a warming herb that stimulates blood circulation, relaxes muscles around the blood vessels and prevents blood clot formation. These warming effects help to keep colds at bay.

Prevents Anemia

The high amounts of iron in spinach make this drink great for people who suffer from anemia. Iron not only reactivates and regenerates red blood cells, but also supplies our bodies with fresh oxygen. In addition, spinach helps in eliminating accumulated toxins from the body. Therefore when taken regularly, this juice can detoxify the body, leading to healthy hair growth and glowing skin.

Promotes Weight Loss

Celery is low in calories and high in fiber, hence this juice improves weight loss as well as digestion.

Kale Cabbage Concoction

Ingredients

  • 1 wedge lemon
  • 3 leaves kale
  • 1 piece of ginger (thumb sized)
  • 1/8th head cabbage
  • 1 papaya (small)

Improves Digestion

The fiber content in cabbage and kale cleans out wastes from the upper bowels and stomach, which reduces constipation and improves digestion. Another powerful digestive aid in this juice recipe is papaya. It contains papain, an enzyme that helps in digesting proteins. Ginger also helps to relax the intestinal tract and reduce gas.

Accelerates Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight, the lemon in this recipe can help you achieve your goal faster.

Prevents Cancer

Freshly juiced kale produce a compound called sulforaphane, which slows down the division of cancer cells, particularly in stomach, breast, skin, cervical and prostate cancers.

Clean & Green

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 8 stalks celery
  • 1 stalk broccoli
  • 1 handful spinach

Reduces Sugar Cravings

The celery stalks and carrots help in adding some much needed sweetness in the juice, thereby reducing sugar cravings.

Boosts Immune System

Garlic has sulfur-containing compounds, which are powerful in boosting the immune system. Broccoli is also rich in Vitamin C, which helps in increasing the production of white blood cells (WBC). And as you may already know, WBC cells fight infections, making you less likely to become sick. So, sip this juice all year round to stay healthy and happy.

Improves Digestion

The high fiber content in carrots, celery, spinach and broccoli helps to eliminate waste materials from the digestive tract and improve digestion.

Improves Eyesight

Drinking this juice regularly will also improve your eye sight, as carrots contain vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for good vision.

Overall, it’s never too late to take total control of your health. While Breville juicers are very fast machines, they are not the most ideal for leafy greens. The recipes above will probably be better served using a masticating juicer. However, if you have a centrifugal machine you can still make some delicious green juice cocktails, it just may not be as efficient a masticating juice extractor. Hopefully these recipes can give you some wonderful ideas to experiment with your juicer and have some fun in the kitchen.

Finding A Quality Juicer For Your Fast Paced Lifestyle

Finding the perfect juicer

Breville juicers are some of the best selling and top customer rated juicing machines currently available. Breville is known world wide for making some of the most advanced and well built small kitchen appliances and their line of juicers adds to that reputation. While they do make a masticating juicing machine, They really shine when it comes to their centrifugal juicers. They are made with high end, durable materials that make the entire juicing process quick and efficient.

Designed with modern styling, Breville’s “Juice Fountain” juicers are engineered to be simple to use, easy to clean and yield high amounts of juice from just about any type of fruit or vegetable you drop into them. Owner satisfaction for these juicers is quite high. Below are our quick reviews of some of the top centrifugal juicing machines you should consider.

Breville 800JEXL

The Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite is not only a top seller but it also garners some unbelievable ratings from owners that makes it perhaps the best home juicer on the market. With a powerful two-speed motor, this juicer is able to handle both hard and soft fruits and vegetables with ease and extract a very nice juice yield. Made with stainless steel parts and titanium reinforced blades, this juicer delivers a commercial grade experience that you can have in your own kitchen. The sheer amount of high user ratings has this model at the top of our juicing machine wishlist.

Breville JE98XL

This model is in close second place and it is a fantastic choice for those that wish to have the high quality standards of a Breville juicer but at a lower starting price point. The JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus can be had for around half the cost of the 800JEXL above, but that does not mean it is half as good. It comes with a slightly less powerful two speed motor, but it is still able to handle a wide range of fruits and veggies with ease. This is perhaps Breville’s most popular juicer as it is a great blend of high quality and great value. This model also receives some rather impressive ratings from owners.

Breville BJE510XL

510The Breville Ikon BJE510XL falls somewhere in between the two models listed above. It does have some features however that set it apart such as a 5-speed motor and a digital LCD display. The five speeds offer greater flexibility when juicing produce of varying hardness. Softer fruits can use slower speed settings and hard vegetables can be used with the higher setting. This helps get the best overall juice yield. This model is slightly more expensive than the JE98XL but a lot less than the 800JEXL. This is yet another top selling Breville juicing machine that gets extremely high scores from owners.

Breville BJE820XL

This model is also known as the Juice Fountain Duo. The “Duo” refers to the additional cutting blade that can be used to puree foods to make smoothies or tasty dips. The BJE820XL has the most powerful motor of any Breville model and it features a 5 speed setting dial to help get the most out of both hard and soft foods. This unit is a powerhouse high-end juicer and it comes with a high-end price. It does not have as many customer reviews, most likely due to its price point, but the reviews have also been extremely high from those who have purchased it.

Breville BJE200XL

brev-compactGoing from the most expensive mode to the most affordable option, the BJE200XL is perfect for beginners. This unit is great for those who are not sure if they are going to like juicing on a regular basis and just don’t want to spend a lot of money to find out. The Compact Juice Fountain juicer is smaller in size than the other models and takes up less counter space. It features a capable motor that has just one speed…HIGH. It makes fast work of anything that you drop into it and is perfect for those who just don’t have a lot of time to fuss with juicing. While customer reviews for this juicer are not quite as high as the other models listed above, it is still a popular unit with very good scores from owners.

What Makes Breville Juicing Machines Stand Out?

As you can see, the company has a wonderful line of centrifugal juice extractors. If you examine current juicer reviews you will see that Breville always seems to be at or near the very top. With a rather astonishing number of positive reviews seen across numerous online retailers, some of the features that users really appreciate about their Breville juicers include some of the following:

Speed

For folks that don’t have a lot of time to juice everyday, these types of juicers are a perfect choice. With powerful motors that run at speeds between 6500RPM all the way up to 14,000RPM, Breville centrifugal juicers are extremely fast at turning raw fruits and vegetables into juice. These types of juicers work great for harder produce such as carrots.

Sturdy Construction

Breville uses high quality stainless steel parts and titanium reinforced cutting blades in most of their juicers. They build them to last so that you can get years of dependable juicing performance. This is one aspect of the models listed above that owners tend to appreciate the most.

Easy to Use

Breville designed their juicing machines to be trouble-free to use. All models come with an extra wide feed chute that is able to accommodate larger fruits and vegetables so you don’t have to spend time cutting them up into smaller pieces. The parts that come into contact with food and need cleaning are also easy to disassemble, wash and reassemble. Owners really love these features.

Juice Yield and Quality

With variable speed motors, quality mesh filters and modern technology, Breville juicers are able to produce high amounts of great tasting juice that tend to contain less pulp than a typical masticating juicer. The pulp that is collected into a separate container during the juicing process also tends to be rather dry which means that most of the juice has been extracted.

Design

Breville not only makes small appliances that perform well, but they also incorporate modern styling that appeal to a lot of owners. How it juices is obviously the most important factor of any juicer, but its also a nice bonus to have something that looks nice sitting on your countertop.

Customer Ratings

Breville models continue to receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from owners with thousands of positive scores and recommendation rates for users. If you want a fast, convenient and quality juicing experience then any one of the Breville juicer models listed above would be worth considering.