My must-have kitchen gadgets for cooking with Crohn's disease
With a new year now here, lots of people set a resolution to be more creative in the kitchen. Cooking with Crohn's disease can be tricky. Not only does it take some time for us to figure out our trigger foods but the process of cooking can be draining: whether you've not got the energy to prep or your joints are too sore to chop and peel.
Today I wanted to share my favorite kitchen gadgets that have made cooking with Crohn's disease a little bit easier.
Cooking with a slow cooker for Crohn's
A slow cooker is my number one recommendation for cooking with Crohn's disease. Although it does require prep, this can be done in the morning or the evening before, meaning you have a cooked meal by the time evening time comes around.
A slow cooker, or crockpot as it is also called, cooks the meal slowly throughout the day, so you can pop it on at 7 am and then once 7 pm comes around, simply turn off and serve. Although you can get creative, in its simplest forms, you can just add your meat, vegetables, stock, and spices to the dish but you can cook anything in a slow cooker-from porridge to pasta.
You can prep 'dump bags' in bulk with your meat, veg, and marinades in one go weeks in advance and store these in the freezer; meaning you always have something on hand for those days when you just don't feel like cooking. One of the best things about a slow cooker is it really softens your vegetables so I find them much easier to digest!
An alternative to a slow cooker is an instant pot which is more expensive but has a lot more functions. I personally have just got a slow cooker but I know some people love an instant pot.
A blender is a must-buy
A blender is another must-buy. A blender often makes things easy to digest as although it doesn't get rid of the fiber from fruit and veg, it does make things smoother and breaks them down. A blender is great for making nutritious soup recipes. A soup maker is great if you make them often but can be expensive, so heating vegetables in the pan and then blending can be cheaper and just as easy! I also use a blender to make smoothies and homemade nut butter.
Easy pull chopper for when joints are hurting
For days when you feel like your joints aren't up to chopping, an easy pull chopper is a genius. You simply pop in the plastic tub and pull the string, which finely chops your vegetables in seconds. Another easy gadget swap is an electronic can opener which makes things so much easier.
Silicone food covers
These silicone food covers are really easy to use and are an eco-friendly alternative to cling film or foil. Not only are they better for the environment, but I find them easier to use too since you don't need to tear off or remember to buy more foil; simply stretch to cover the bowl or plate, wash and reuse.
A juicer to remove the fiber from fruits and veggies
I've written about my experiences with juicing previously and it's another kitchen gadget I love. Unlike blending, juicing removes much of the fiber so it is ideal for those days when you can't tolerate much fiber but still want the goodness.
I would advise you juice mainly vegetables because juicing lots of fruits together can cause your blood sugar to spike. I usually juice courgettes and carrot with kiwi or apple and throw some ginger in.
Microwave to heat things up quickly
An obvious one but a great microwave is a godsend. I find one with a defrost function super helpful for when I forget to defrost things overnight. Sometimes microwaves and ready meals get a bad reputation but there's nothing wrong with heating up food in a hurry and, should you wish to, you can find some super healthy ready meals on the market too.
When it comes to IBD, sometimes managing three meals a day is an achievement in itself (due to things like fatigue, nausea, and changes in appetite) so heating up a ready meal is nothing to be embarrassed about.
I hope these gadget tips have been useful. What's your favorite kitchen gadget?
What type of IBD have you been diagnosed with?