Category: Kitchen Appliances (Page 2 of 2)

Rice Cookers Historically

How simple a gadget is the rice cooker?  Very simple and more versatile than a toaster!  Most western households have a toaster; most Asian households have a rice cooker.

As the Japanese invented the idea, the best rice cookers are probably still made in Japan or at least their design is Japanese and they may be made on license around the world.

The first commercially produced rice cooker was made by Sony and was in fact a bit of a disaster, fairly primitive.  The rice came out either over cooked or under cooked, depending on the weight of the water added.

Apparently it was Toshiba who came up with the first commercially viable rice cooker in 1955. This design was using a method named “double-pot indirect cooking”; a cup of water poured into the outer pot, the machine turning off automatically when the all the water evaporated and really not much different to the principle of rice cookers today. Whoops some say it was Mitsubishi, but we may never know, one of the two anyway.

As companies competed the manufacturers were coming up with more ways of making the rice cooker more useful.  In the 1960’s advances in technology meant that rice cookers could keep the rice warm after it was finished the cooking process, some even had timers.

Then came induction heating (IH) as a standard for cooking rice. It was using an electric current passed through coils around the pot producing a magnetic field, heating up the metal, phew.  Metal heats up quickly with an electric current running through and this meant the pot heated up quickly and the rice was cooked evenly.

Now fuzzy logic is everywhere says www.ricecookersportal.org, your new washing machine may be a bit fuzzy, it can detect how much dirt is in the water, fab for getting your clothes nice and clean or a quick wash if they are not so dirty.  The same principle is applied to the rice cooker, a computerized rice cooker in other words.

As brown rice is now considered a far healthier option, some rice cookers will give you a button for brown rice!  Yes it does take longer to cook so the method is slightly different. Perhaps you don’t want plain old rice, hit the rice porridge and there you have your rice porridge for breakfast, perhaps a timer would suit you so it can be ready for your wake up call.

They come in all shapes and sizes now, from dinky little basic on/keep warm rice cookers to 2 in 1 rice cookers with steamers and other abilities.

There are rice cookers which double as crock pots or pressure cookers and whichever type of cooker you go for; rice should now be foolproof, no more undercooked rice and no more mushy wet stuff.

Different types of pot

  • Chemically treated non stick
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Clay

A non-stick pot is great so long as you take care not to scratch it, some people cannot resist scouring the pot, definitely not a good idea for a non-stick pan.  These non-stick pans are easy to clean, sturdy, not breakable so good if you are a bit clumsy in the kitchen.

Aluminum is also easy to clean, even if you manage to burn your rice, yes it is possible a short soak will lift the burnt bits and it will be as good as new.  You can treat it quite roughly as well.  However, some people will be concerned about the amount of aluminum that gets into the cooked rice so is not so popular.

Stainless steel is a great alternative to chemically treated non-stick and aluminum and even clay. Stainless steel is relatively cheap as well.

The clay pot is the most natural type of pot but oh so breakable if you drop it you will be out of action until you get a replacement.

In Asia you will see people throwing the rice into their rice cooker, throwing in some water, switching it on!  That’s it, no seasoning, no nothing, out comes perfect rice.

Here it all is, different types of rice cooker all basically working on the same principle of bringing you perfect rice every time.

Some of the Common Mistakes you can make with Juicing

If you are juicing then you are going in the right direction, however, if you are a novice juicer it is easy to make common mistakes and without guidance you may not know how easy it is to get it wrong.

Eating and drinking

One common mistake is to eat and drink juice together, as this does not help the enzyme process.  Many people with irritable bowel problems do not realise this, as the enzyme process begins in the mouth, whilst the acid break down of protein starts in the stomach.  Drinking juice helps the enzyme process, but drinking juice and eating will confuse the enzyme process.  As there are so many enzymes working to aid digestion it is better to keep these separate, drink juice, and eat well but not together.

Too many fruits

Fruits add flavour, but you really want to concentrate on the goodness of vegetables and not the sweetness of fructose.  Fructose is still ultimately a sugar and not what you are aiming for if you want the health benefits of juicing. Using too much fruit is not going to help if you are at risk of diabetes or already suffering from candida (thrush).

You can add lemon or lime to your veggie juices; they both add taste and are also very good as additional nutrients.

Chlorophyll is green

Yes, that’s right; chlorophyll is what makes your greens green. So green vegetables help oxygenate, cleanse, and detox plus improve blood circulation. Green vegetables will not raise blood sugar/insulin and there is no wastage, you can juice the whole thing, leaves, stems, florets!  Keeping to green vegetables as much as you can, making use of fruits and sweeter vegetables like beets and carrots to the minimum.

Timing

First thing in the morning is the best time to drink your juice, on an empty stomach.  That will help you to absorb the nutrients and give you a great start to the day, far better than a mix of carbohydrate in the form of bread or cereal and dairy in the form of milk and butter.  When you feel the boost in energy levels you will wonder how you got by before your juicer.

Cold pressed!

If you are using a centrifugal juicer that is certainly better than nothing, but bear in mind that heat and oxygen destroys some of the nutrition and enzymatic process of your juices.  When you are ready to upgrade look for a cold pressed juicer also known as a masticating or slow juicer. A cold press juicer compresses and squeezes the juice out, bringing more juice in better condition, which I knew this before.  If you want to see the difference in colour just check out some of the amazing YouTube videos on the subject.  Only you will know when you are ready to upgrade to start making better quality juice.

Drink it!

Taking the time in the morning to make your juice is well worth getting up 15 minutes earlier, so if you can, and then do drink it right away.  Air and light destroys some of the antioxidants. If you make a big batch of juice, store it in a dark container in the fridge and try to consume it within 24 hours, better than not drinking juice at all.

What, not clean?

Go for the organic produce as much as possible.  Now we know that locally grown vegetables are about the best for our digestion, wherever you are in the world, find out what is least likely to be covered in pesticides or just go the extra mile for organically certified. Better still grow your own. 

Gulping it down

Your juice is not meant to be knocked back like a shot!  Take your time, and whilst it is not a meal replacement it is still meant to be enjoyed as such.  As the enzymes like to know what this is in the mouth, let the juice stay in your mouth and give them a chance to work.  Sitting down in a relaxed state is far better than trying to rush around drinking your juice.  Sit down, relax, take your time, drink slowly and let the juice do its best job, giving you a great start to the day.

Not juicing???

Well there is a mistake, juicer tucked away in the back of the cupboard and settling for commercially heat produced sterilized juice that has no live enzymes at all!  Get that juicer out, read the manual, get the veggies in and go for it.

Only 9 mistakes, so if you are making any mistakes at all, now you know.  Perhaps you were just curious and I hope now you can make a very informed decision as to which type of juicer to buy and the many benefits of using a cold press juicer to kick start your day.

Wouldn’t You Love it if You Could Make Ice Cubes From Your Home?

Have you ever wondered how it would actually feel to know that you can make your own ice cubes at home and have the peace of mind that they’re the same or even better than the ones you’re served at your local bar when ordering a drink? Well, if you didn’t, then you can bet I did! I’m actually the type of guy who loves to have perfectly clear ice cubes in his drink every single time I’m having one at home.

You see, the ice cubes they give you at the bar are not clear: they look like a bad combination of snow with ice that just doesn’t look right. Well, if you’re also the type who cares about every little detail when it comes to enjoying his favorite drink, then please read on in order to find out how you can make your own clear ice cubes in the comfort of your own home.

Get some distilled water

Now in order for you to make ice cubes that aren’t cloudy, you’ll need some distilled water. Get as much as you want, based on the number of ice cube you plan on making. Pour the water into a kettle and then boil it. Make sure to fill the kettle though, since if you don’t, then you’re wasting space and time. If you don’t have distilled water, then don’t worry about it. Filtered water works perfectly fine as well. Just make sure that you use a high quality water filter that filters out all the impurities in it and you’re good to go

Get some silicone ice cube trays

Now after the water has boiled, it’s time to take a few silicone ice cube trays, if you don’t have them you can buy an awesome globe ice mold at icemakercubes.com and then pour the water carefully into them. The reasons I’m recommending silicone is because compared to plastic, it’s a lot more heat resistant and you probably already know that pouring boiling water on plastic is not going to end well. Given the fact you’re using filtered water that’s also boiling, this is going to slow down the freezing process. Eventually, the ice will release all the air bubbles that give conventional ice that unfinished look many of us are probably tired of seeing. After this step, all you need to do is place your trays carefully in your freezer until the water freezes.

A few things to bear in mind

You could actually use a wide range of silicone trays and when I say this I’m referring to the shape of the “cubes”. Spheres or geometric cubes are some of my favorite ones and they really make the brandy and whisky I drink a few times a week a lot more interesting and even tastier I might say. However, if you don’t have silicone trays, then don’t you worry about it. You can also use metal ice cube trays. Just make sure that when you pour the water into the trays to be very careful: spilling some on your hands or fingers is definitely going to hurt quite a bit!

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