Wondering what to get for that special someone in your life who lives with food allergy? Not sure how you’ll ever find the right thank you, Valentine’s Day gift, birthday or holiday gift?
Let me tell you from experience, the more food allergies someone has, the more likely they will probably LOVE a cool kitchen gadget.
Consider getting them something that will make food preparation, cooking, or storage easier. Here are a few options to consider.
Food preparation tools: There is something wonderful about having the right tools for cooking. For example, having a very sharp kitchen knife was one of the very first (and most useful) tools I ever bought.
What is it about knives that go missing, anyways? My mom never had enough, and my sister is forever losing knives after holiday parties… wouldn’t it be wonderful if a guest brought you a high-quality knife as a gift? There are even some really cool (and safe) chopping options for kids to help in the kitchen, if you shop around.
The other day I came across a pump action slicing tool, which is rapidly changing the way I cook root vegetables. I used to chop them by hand with my chef’s knife, but even though I’ve learned several great time saving chopping techniques, it still took forever, especially to slice the vegetables evenly or thinly. So, I bought a regular mandolin. Though I am rather accident-prone, I am quite happy to say that I have not injured myself too badly, but the caution required while using it still meant the process was slow. With the pump action slicing tool, there’s a small chute to hold and press the vegetables onto the blade, and it’s quite fast and safe to quickly process even something as hard as a sweet potato.
Cooking tools: Every cooking tool I add to my kitchen helps me manage my food allergies better. For example, my mom found some incredible little toaster bags at a kitchen store which allow me to borrow someone else’s toaster and cook my allergen-safe bread without risking cross-contamination!
Slow cookers and other kitchen appliances that do the cooking for you are almost magical, especially if life involves unpredictable hours, shift work, kids, or all the above. I use my slow cooker to make a week’s worth of suppers in advance, and my portable food warmer lets me heat up the leftovers. Or, I can also use my food warmer to cook frozen raw meat overnight before I add rice and veggies and water in the morning, take it to work, and have it ready for whenever I happen to be able to eat my lunch. I even used it this past weekend to cook a pineapple crumble with chocolate in lieu of celebratory cake, which worked fabulously.
Storing tools: Once you’ve managed to make food, you’ll next look for tools for storing the food. For long-term storage you’ll like vacuum sealers, dehydrators, or pressure canners. Decorative tins, containers, or even reusable silicone bags are incredibly helpful for more short-term storage solutions. Some silicone containers even allow you to freeze, and then microwave or even cook food in the oven!
These things are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m completely in love with my cotton candy machine and pop machine and a stand mixer or ice cream maker would completely change my life. But I have been equally honoured when guests have brought me more dish towels, especially when they notice my love of owls. Plus, the more you inspire someone to get back into enjoying their kitchen, the more likely you are to be invited back for dinner!
– Janice H.
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