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Upgrade your kitchen with these 5 gadgets

There are thousands of kitchen gadgets out there and many just aren't worth having! These five items can help you make more delicious meals from scratch.

  1. Microplane/zester. Lemon juice can add zing, but there is plenty of flavor hiding in the peel. Zesters or microplanes make it easy to remove the flavorful outer layer of the citrus peel (lemon zest) without getting the bitter white pith. Add lemon zest to marinades, dressings, baked goods, roasted vegetables and desserts.
  2. Immersion blender. If you like making soup, the immersion blender will be your new best friend. Instead of trying to add hot soup to a blender, simply stick your immersion blender right in the pot. This tool saves on time and dishes. They can also be used to make mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, fruit sauces and smoothies.
  3. Food Processor. This may be the most versatile gadget on the list. Food processors can be used to make fresh salsa, pesto, hummus, nut butters, pie crust, bread crumbs, ground meat and even whole grain oat flour. Some machines even come with attachments for slicing and grating.
  4. Meat Thermometer. Some people fear that using a meat thermometer will force them to overcook their meat. In most cases the opposite is true. Using a meat thermometer allows you cook meat so it is safe but not overcooked.
  5. Dutch Oven. Dutch ovens can be used on the stove top and in the oven, and they are very good at holding heat. Dutch ovens can be used to make soups, stews, roasted whole chicken, bread, fruit cobbler and braised meats.

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