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I wrote a post about "5 gadgets that make slow food faster" to this Intel microsite that's partnering with Boing Boing. (Intel had no say in the content of my piece, edited nothing, and I wanted to write this up for Boing Boing anyway.) I honestly believe every word of the piece, and am preparing my breakfast with three of the devices listed as I type this G+ post. Chekkit.
One of the most often-repeated fallacies about eating healthier is that
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Wow, thanks for that - I like the look of the VitaClay, I feel a purchase coming on.
The VitaClay rules. I soaked some "sprouted rice" aka GABA rice when I woke up, then turned it on, and 25 minutes later, awesome brown rice for breakfast. Could do steel-cut oats the same way, or whatever breakfast cereal you fancy. I use it every day. And once you've cooked beans/chili in it, you'll never want to use any other pot (or cooker) for beans again. Clay was made for cookin' beans.
+Adam Fields I don't eat meat so I don't have any use for it, but that's a good gadget for someone else to review on BB! I've heard a lot of people very excited about it.
A lot of where sous vide cooking shines is in cooking animal proteins, but it is also very good for vegetables (though they typically require temperatures more around 185F than 125F-150F).
I'm a serious coffee geek (as in roast my own, use manual lever espresso machines, etc.) and would suggest that a decent hand grinder would cost about the same as the Capresso (which is, frankly, a piece of crap with 'burrs' that crush rather than slice the beans) and give far better results. It does take a few extra seconds to grind the coffee, but there's less waste, less mess, and it's far 'greener' as you are the motor.

I admit to being completely over the top when it comes to coffee, so it's completely understandable if you think this is nuts.
Back to basics: The stove. Earlier this year I started using the microwave less and making food (as opposed to microwaving it) doesn't take that long.

That Vitaclay sounds awesome. /buying
I also have a little hand grinder, which I use on the road now with a Hario V60 for pour-over. I don't think you're nuts, but the burr grinder I noted in the piece has yielded results I was happy with. Now I'm going to go cry.
+Hygieneboy (G+ won't let me + you) you gotta toss that microwave in the trash. I swore off that like 3 years ago, it's a great thing to do for many reasons. Even if you don't believe that it degrades nutrition or gives you radioactive space cooties or whatever, I think there's a clear argument to be made that it degrades the flavor and feel of most things.
Pffft pour overs! That's like camping, check what geeks do with their Rancillio's and PIDs: they digital control them, over clock 'em too.
+Xeni Jardin I'll admit to being espresso-centric, which is why I'm biased against the cheap burr grinders. They're just too inconsistent in grind for good espresso. I'll also admit to have used my coffee fixation to put together a nice little collection of vintage Dutch and German hand grinders that grind fine enough for espresso.

There's no crying on the internet!
Love the little spiral gadget and pickle press. My burr grinder died and got tossed never to be replaced. I still have a Chemex in memory of my mother's coffee, but it's more for show!
I use my spiralizer ( A japanese brand that eludes me) a lot - also the tsukemono / banchan making boxes are in active duty too. Apparently high stomach cancer rates in Japan and Korea are primarily from all of the chemicals and additives found in commercially produced kimchi/banchan/tsukemono. I also love my Vitamix - I need to order a Vitaclay, that will be used as I eat a lot of rice and beans. Great piece +Xeni Jardin
Also love hand grinders. When I was little, my mom had me grind coffee in her box grinder. A favorite sense memory is sitting in our pantry with that grinder balanced on my knees. I have an art table in my living room which incorporates an old one that is a daily reminder.
I love my Capresso grinder. My rice cooker does a lot for me, too, but that VitaClay looks tempting. Thanks for these!
+Xeni Jardin
I don't remember whether it was from reading Eat to Live or The China Study, or my friend's 11 year old's reluctance to eat micro'd food - but I'm with you on this.
+Xeni Jardin What does "fully programmable" mean on the vitaclay? What options do you have for time/temp?
Over on there's a thread on hand grinders in the grinders forum that has some gorgeous photos of some classics. Darn! Now I have to pull myself another shot.
Nice, I'm totally getting the Japanese Pickle -Tsukemono Press for a food obsessed friend.
+Adam Fields there's a bunch of pre-defined settings for like, brown rice, sweet rice, white rice... soups... stews... reheating stuff. You can choose manually by time also. It's not infinitely optioned, but it's more than enough for me!
+Cameron Siguenza fascinating and sad. I never buy pre-made pickles at the mainstream Japanese and Korean markets for that reason, so often they include chemical coloring or flavoring agents. So unnecessary, it's so easy to make these at home with little effort.
+Xeni Jardin I do a lot of label reading at Ranch99, Matsuwa, or Hankook for the same reason :) I love having a shelf in the fridge filled with homemade pickes - with seaweed, nuts, seeds etc - they easily banish boring rice and salads, I am now very hungry.
+Cameron Siguenza sounds yummy! Some people avoid them even when they don't include additives because the idea is that pickles sitting in plastic bags for months leach out bad stuff from the plastic. I don't know what the science says, but man, the flavor is just so inferior to homemade.
+Xeni Jardin BTW - bb is down at the moment. Looks like someone didn't add enough client connections to your new MySQL instance.
I have been wanting to try out pickling for a long time. The quickie pickle press looks like it could be a great place to start. Thanks!
I'm actually looking at the 8 cup version of the vitaclay it's only $7 more and will leave room for some leftovers since there are 6 of us here and I eat a ton of rice by myself.
The VitaClay looks interesting. I've been using a Romertopf clay cooker for years and love what it can do.
I use Mexican clay pots to make beans, they work beautifully - but have wanted to change out our tiny non stick cooker for a while now. Ordering a VitaClay soon.
I've been using old school non-aluminium pots to make beans, but that Vitaclay looks/sounds awesome. Not too long ago I had a conversation with friends about how food was prepared in the old country - and how the taste couldn't possibly be replicated here in North America because "noone cooks with clay". Now that statement might be disproved!
I've never been able to get good results cooking beans in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker - the texture is always either crunchy or mealy. I've been able to get them just right using the standard stovetop method - bring to a boil and simmer for 45 mins - but that's also hit or miss for me. I've never been able to get the same consistent creamy texture I get out of jarred beans. (Sous vide works well for black and red beans, but white beans discolor unpleasantly.)
+Oscar Bartos wouldn't the clay pot get exploded in the pressure cooker? :(
Recently acquired a Vita-Mix, and it rules so much. Use it almost every day, for all kinds of things.
There's no +1 button on the page! :-o

Great devices (I don't think they are gadgets), though. I especially like the VitaClay and the pickle maker.
Soon as I get my hands on a decent clay pot I'm trying this out.
(And anticipating a biiig cleanup afterwards. We'll see.)
I have one of those Super Vitamix 5000 things. I don't know the exact model, but that's literally how we refer to it. In addition to making awesome smoothies, we also use it to powder sugar. And when you're starting with organic sugar, the difference in flavor between freshly powdered organic and your standard powdered sugar is probably similar to the difference between watered-down Starbucks and freshly ground and brewed coffee.

Has anyone else tried making tofu from dried beans? It's a fair bit of work, but I like the results.
I have a friend with the Vitamix, & he tells me that at top speed, you can actually cook your soup with it? Well, maybe cook is a strong word, but that the friction can heat the contents to an enjoyable soup-like temperature.
+Jean-Luc Menut I don't think that's true. Slow Food advocates enjoyment, taste, and contemplation, as opposed to packaged "convenience" - i.e. : Fast Food. Arguably, if you can prepare that food faster, you'll have more time to enjoy it, and more incentive to make it instead of buying something premade.
+Jean-Luc Menut yeah, I know it's a little bit of a stretch from the strictest, most literal interpretation. But I think it's in line enough to be helpful.
I always thought of a veggie spiraller as a decorative, garnishy sort of gadget… Making veggies into 'pasta' never occurred to me, that sounds like an excellent idea!

Edit: My hand burr coffee grinder was the one thing I forgot to pack the last time I moved. I just hope whoever moved into that apartment was a coffee geek…
+Xeni Jardin The reviews of the Vita Clay cooker cause me some concern. You've used it, did you have the sorts of problems people are complaining about, namely the use of chemical coating of the clay pot?
Naunihal (I can't seem to + you)—I looked into that (saw a few random, anonymous Amazon reviews to that effect), and wasn't able to substantiate the claims that the model I suggested had any kind of chemical coating on the clay. Some of these same folks were saying that the clay was contaminated in other weird ways, and it just didn't add up. The manufacturer showed data that these claims were bogus.
+Adam Fields Hmm, good point... I still have the original PSD file around, I could adjust. :)
I clunked down the big bucks for a vitamix about a month ago. worth every single penny. my favorite snack is slightly frozen bananas blended by themselves (or with a few walnuts tossed in) into the creamiest ice cream treat. beats whatever ice cream is in your local store any day of the week...
+Xeni Jardin I've been using an aluminum/coated rice cooker and that VitaClay looks like an awesome upgrade, but ultimately it's more about the recipes than the gadgets. Where can I find recipes other than plain rice or beans to cook with this gizmo?
Though with porous clay, I'd be wary of making anything too strongly flavored in it, though the lingering residuals of earlier meals might be part of the charm.
+Adam Fields I had no idea there were cookbooks for rice cookers. A whole new world to explore! Thanks!
Rule 34 applies for food porn, too.
+Chris Gordon the Vita-Clay comes with a surprisingly good cookbook geared toward the specifics of cooking in clay. Meat stuff included, though I'm eating vegan and bought the thing to cook vegan staples (legumes, grains).

We've cooked intensely spiced Mexican and Central American dishes in it that include a lot of smoky chile, cacao, warm and pungeant spices, and no problem using it to cook other things after it's cleaned. It's not so porous that this is a problem.
Roger Ebert is all about some particular kitchen gadget. I forget which one. I don't know if it's a rice cooker or not, but it's something very specific (brand, even). Might go poke around his blog and see.
Somehow I think I can work a plug in here for the kitchen freshness gadget my agency makes. A decade ago, Xeni won a box of them from us.
I have Ebert's book. With all due respect, and I love the man's spirit and work (especially recently), the book is completely worthless. It's some sort of meta exploration of non-cooking, with maybe one or two pages of recipes and a lot of discussion about how you don't need recipes because you and the pot will figure it out together. Which, if it's true, you don't need that book to tell you that.
It was a blog contest and sent you a package of snacks sealed with our product, looking it up, one sec. Was called Blogstakes ran by Brian Alvey, anywho, can't believe I remembered that myself.
Haha. I like +Adam Fields review of the Ebert book ^. I am now inspired to make my own impact with a book about eating out of the cupboards while standing at the counter.
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