General ramblings

Kitchen Round Up

March 16, 2014

The week of focussed kitchen energy saving blogging draws to a close, (although the energy saving measures continue to be implemented, obv) and I did promise I would share all wonderful hints and tips picked up along the way.
And share you have, you wonderful, generous, energy savvy lot 🙂 Thankyou so much for all the blog comments, tweets and Facebook comments-you really are awesome!

I will do my best to ensure that there is no duplication of all the original hints I put in the 1st blog post (they are also wonderful, so you might like to check them out too)

  • Put hot porridge in a flask overnight to cook
  • Have a Baking day
  • Baking aside, try to cook in batches as much as you can. You can freeze what you don’t eat
  • The energy saving-ness (not a word I know) of Slow Cookers has been independently verified. By me. For a ‘roast chicken’ they only use less than a third of the energy
  • Use a Pressure Cooker-I don’t have one, so haven’t been able to ‘do the math’, but there are some hardened converts out there!
  • Pre-soak rice and pasta in cold water to reduce the cooking time
  • Get a wonderbag, or make yourself a wonder box, or haybox
  • You can use slow cookers for jacket potatoes, and cakes-this is potentially life changing..!
  • Halogen cookers are supposed to be lower in energy than conventional electric ones, as are Remoska mini-eletric ovens
  • If you have a combi microwave, it can also act as an oven and a grill, and uses much less energy, as it is a smaller space to heat-we have one, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it-must dig out the manual
  • The verdict is still out on eco-kettles, but de-scaling your existing one and then only filling it with the amount of water you want are good tips
  • If you have a large wide neck vacuum flask- you can use it to cook things like pulses that normally you would simmer for a couple of hours. Just soak the pulses overnight, boil in fresh water for 10 mins then pour into the flask and pop the lid on. Boil them up while you’re eating breakfast and the beans are ready to use when you get home in the evening! Its like a mini haybox and also works well for small quantities of soup
  • Cut your veggies into smaller bits-this is so simple but so true! If you are booking potatoes for mash, chop ’em really small, and they will cook in half the time

I also had some great links tweeted to me, of pages jam-packed with super-savvy energy saving kitchen info:

None of these tips on their own are going to win us the Great Energy Race, or indeed have a significant impact on our electricity usage. BUT all of the tips taken together, will. And that, for me, is what it’s all about-making small changes, that will collectively make a difference.
And actually, as I will enlighten you tomorrow, even saving 1 Watt of electricity in your home, is actually saving much more energy than that…(Cliff-hanger/teaser for tomorrow-apologies if you are too excited now to sleep tonight 😉 )

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  • Reply rachellestrauss March 17, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Hi Jen

    Loved all these tips (I too was blown away when I cooked a jacket potato in the slow cooker last year for the first time!)
    Can you tell me more about putting hot porrage in a flask to ‘cook’ overnight (as in, how, specifically, do you do that) and how much time you can reduce cooking if you soak basmati first?
    Finally, what sort of pulses have you ‘cooked’ in your flask? I can imagine red lentils would work well, but what about the larger stuff like chick peas…

    • Reply Jen March 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Would love to, but they are all tips that people left on the blog, and haven’t had time to do any experimenting myself yet!
      I think you would need a wide necked thermos to do the pulses in, so I am on the hunt.
      Last week, we had spaghetti, and I put it in the water cold, put the pan on the heat, and then turned it off when it came to the boil. Took about 5mins longer than normal maybe?
      Sorry not to be more help!

  • Reply helen marshall March 16, 2014 at 10:01 am

    could we get the slow cooker cake recipe please?

    • Reply Jen March 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

      I didn’t have one until yesterday Helen, when the lovely Hilary e-mailed me with one. Will try it this week and then post it!

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