What Are the Best Tools in the Kitchen?

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This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

I really appreciate the feedback I get from my readers. It is my readers that have inspired me to write so many of my articles to share with you.

A few weeks ago, one reader contacted me to tell me about a kitchen tool (other than me) that she found that worked really well for her. I easily turned zucchini into strands for a pasta-like dish with something called a Veggetti. I had never heard of it.

Kitchen Tools: Not Just Pots and Pans

I am not a tool-specific chef. I don’t have thousands of different tools with only one or two uses. I have a set of knives that I have used forever, my food processor, Julia Child’s recommended pepper mill, a bunch of graters, the usual suspects of pots and pans, and rolling pins. With the exception of my skillets, I have owned most of these for years. I did have to replace my food processor this year and am sad to report that the new one (KitchenAid) does not work as well as my 25-year-old work horse did.

But any good cook will tell you that your clean hands are your best tools. They do so much and are so very easy to clean up. They never break, and they always do what you expect of them.

For those of us with diabetes, there are three other tools I would like to mention:

  1. Your brain: What our brains and imagination will come up with to make our lives easier is beyond any tool you can buy. Using your imagination, you can turn something like say spaghetti squash into a pasta-like dish, a casserole, and even a dessert. Let your imagination run wild. It is fun and will give you more choices AND challenges than you can ever imagine. This week’s recipe (below) takes an old-fashioned humble cake to new taste heights and surprises. And, last but not least, it is really easy to prepare.
  2. The Internet: If you can think of something you want to eat and don’t have a recipe for it, I will bet you that you can find a recipe that is diabetic-compatible for it on the Internet. You can even find a picture of it so you have an idea how it should look. Just be careful. YOU know what you really should or should not eat. If the recipe does not seem to be right for a person with diabetes, it probably isn’t. If it says it has some number of carbs that you think are alright for you, look at the serving size. I saw a recipe for fudge brownies that had only a few carbs but the recipe said 16 servings. Each serving was equal to maybe half a bite – not half a brownie, but half a bite, barely a crumb. I have too big an appetite for that kind of serving size. I bet you do too. You are smart as hell. You know what works for you!
  3. Your friends: Personal friends, friends of friends, and your friends from cyberspace. I have found that being inspired by my friends, I have learned to create a lot of new dishes and learned to think about foods a different way. I have also learned to adapt a recipe of mine to work for them. So many people I “meet” online have gluten or nut sensitivities that I have learned from them how to change some of my recipes to make them work for them. For some, I can’t find a way. But for them, like so many recipes, if you can’t make it work for your diet, move on. Find something else that is wonderful to replace it in your diet. That brings us back to using our brains.

I want to thank my online friend for making me think about the tools I use to make my diabetic diet delicious. It is her comment that inspired me to share what works for kitchen tools for me with all of you. Thanks Ej. “Cause you gotta have friends….”

Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy and BE DECADENT!

Click here for Ward's Summer Plum Cake recipe!

Get more nutrition tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.

Photo credit: Homestead Anywhere