Who doesn't love kitchen gadgets that are timesavers? I have put off doing this type of a post because I felt it had been overdone. That being said, when I was chatting with a few of my sailing gal friends, one of them a newbie to cruising, I rethought my decision….and voila! Here are my top top five timesavers to enhance the cruisers (or liveaboard’s) life, giving you more time to enjoy the outside!
Vitamix Professional 500 Series
This is my #1 go to kitchen item, and one that I depend on almost daily — both at home and on the boat.
I have looked at, and considered purchasing the Vitamix for more than four years before purchasing it. It is pricey — for a blender. But it can and does do so much more than just being a blender.
The Vitamix makes healthy green and fruit smoothies for breakfast, or a quick protein pick me up during the day. We use our Vitamix to make hummus, guacamole, tropical guacamole, and soups. I purchased the additional dry blade container to make nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, etc), as well as to chop nuts for various uses. We have been known to make frozen kahlua and cream cocktails and frozen goombay smashes in our Vitamix – a necessity for beach parties!
NuWave Convection Oven
We have all seen the late night infomercials touting the benefits of owning (insert name of gadget). That’s where I first saw the NuWave oven advertised. I thought to myself, “Naw. Not gonna happen. I will never buy one of those.” Boy, has that comment come back to haunt me!
Several years ago, a friend of ours invited us to stop by for Thanksgiving. When we got there, he was just taking his turkey out of his NuWave oven. I promise I am not exaggerating when I say it was the most beautifully cooked turkey I have ever seen! And it was flavorful! I was hooked!
Indigo does in fact have stove and an oven. But like most boat ovens, when you bake, the entire boat gets hot! So, we use our NuWave. We have cooked fish, chicken, steak, a 12b. turkey, baked muffins, cookies and cakes — all in the NuWave. From freezer to plate in 15 minutes for most things; a 12b turkey takes about 1.5 — 2 hours.
I love that our NuWave can run off shore power as well off our generator. So whether we are shoreside or on the hook, our meals are healthy and delicious!
Easiyo Yogurt Maker
Both Jim and I prefer to eat healthy and simply for breakfast. So yogurt and fruit with granola or a yogurt and fruit smoothie both fit the bill.
On our last trip over to the Bahamas in spring of 2015, I had a bit of sticker shock when I bought a SMALL container of yogurt for $2. This money-conscious gal almost choked. And that was at Maxwells, in Marsh Harbour, which is a fairly large size grocery store.
When Brittany of Windtraveler discussed the Easiyo on her blog, I knew I had found my solution! It is the most simple kitchen “gadget” we own! No electricity needed, which is always great on a boat. The Easiyo itself is not expensive. The yogurt sachets are about $1 more apiece than the larger containers of yogurt you buy from the grocery store. But the savings come when you compare the sachets to the cost of yogurt overseas — like the Bahamas.
I love that it is natural, with no funky additives. And it is easy — add water to the contents of the sachet, shake and then immerse in boiling water in the “cooking container”. And leave it — for 8—10 hours or overnight. When it is “cooked”, pop the container in the fridge and you have fresh, creamy, healthy and delicious yogurt! Add fruit and granola and you have a healthy and delicious breakfast.
Thrive Freeze Dried Foods
There is nothing worse than reaching for a piece of fruit or an onion only to find that it is rotten and unusable. It’s happened to all of us. But to have that happen on a boat, away from a grocery store? Major issue.
Thanks to our friends on Take Two, Jay & Tanya, we discovered Thrive. Easy to store (always a plus on our tiny floating homes)—, easy to use and delicious. A big plus for me is no additives — just fresh, freeze dried fruits and veggies.
We love to rehydrate the fruit and add to our fresh-made yogurt for breakfast. The black beans are wonderful in soups or burritos. Rehydrate the mushrooms, and put them on pizza….the possibilities are endless. Jim is a convert to Thrive Rice — he loves the flavor, and it doesn’t take as long to cook, so we conserve resources. Even on our short trips we are sure to have our Thrive with us!
Because we live in Florida, are on the water or in the water a lot, we’ve fallen in love with Turkish towels. Known as pestemals, they are the traditional, flat-woven towels used in the Turkish baths.
They are highly absorbent and fast drying, so they are perfect for boating life, and because they dry quickly, they are a time-saver!
The more they are washed the softer they will become. Since Turkish towels are flat-woven they are much thinner than traditional towels, and so they are easier to store, as well as easier to pack for a dingy trip to the beach.
Another benefit to the Turkish towel? They can double as a sarong, a shawl or beach wrap. Fashionable and useful = great benefit.
I’d love to know what your necessities are — leave a comment below.
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