For this Grow with Nutrition post, I’m featuring Guest Blogger Donna Bottrell, who is a colleague, friend and fellow dietitian. An expert in the Foodservice Industry, Donna is contributing a three part Culinary Series to my Grow with Nutrition site. This is Donna’s first post about her favourite kitchen gadget and the reasons why you will want one. I know I want one after reading the post! Learn more about Donna from her bio at the end of the blog.

I adore practical kitchen gadgets with multiple uses. Less clutter in my kitchen drawer is a good thing. If you were to ask me, “What kitchen gadget could I not live without?” Without hesitation I would reply, “Hands down, my Microplane.” If it broke tomorrow, I would have to go out and get another one because I use it every day!

microplane_grated parmesanWhat is a Microplane?

A Microplane is a long and durable rasp grater with razor-sharp holes that make it easy to grate and zest a variety of foods. They come in a variety of models. I have the Microplane Classic Series Zester, which is a very versatile model. I received it as a gift six years ago. The first thing I used it for was mincing garlic. Before long I was grating ginger root, parmesan cheese, whole nutmeg and zesting citrus. How did I function in the kitchen without it? So much speed, control and flavour…it’s brilliant! Never seen a Microplane?

Three Reasons Why You’ll Want to Buy a Microplane

Maximum Flavour with Less Calories

Sounds good right? Because everything gets chopped up so thin – there is more surface area to come into contact with your taste buds. So flavours are maximized. When you are using high calorie ingredients like parmesan cheese, once it goes through the Microplane, you will need less cheese to experience a delicious flavour intensity.

Start With Whole Foods and Enlist the Help of Others

With your handy dandy kitchen gadget, go ahead and buy wedges of parmesan cheese, whole garlic and even whole nutmeg. You can grate it yourself or better yet, get your kids, significant other or friends involved in the food prep. Guess what, no knife skills required!

microplane_nutmegGet 3 for the Price of 1

A Microplane Classic Series Zester can replace a garlic press, citrus zester and hard cheese grater. Get this model first. There are other models for different uses. Visit Microplane’s website for more information. There are other brands available, just make sure you invest in a quality brand that is durable and maintains its sharpness, then it will last for years.

Love Garlic? Buy It and Try It

August brings us local garlic! Got 30 minutes and two helpers? Freeze minced garlic for the entire winter! Here are the steps:

  • Step 1 Peel garlic cloves
  • Step 2 Grate cloves with a Microplane
  • Step 3 Measure 5 mL portions and drop on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Step 4 Place in freezer until frozen
  • Step 5 Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a container or freezer bag and place back in the freezer (5 mL = 2 cloves garlic)

My Favourite Kitchen Gadget is Under $25

You want one now – right? Microplanes cost anywhere from $15 to $24. You can purchase them online and from most kitchen supply stores like Kitchen Stuff Plus and Bed Bath and Beyond. Over the last few years, I have found myself giving this kitchen gadget as gifts so others can discover for themselves how it makes food prep easier and flavourful. Other than yourself, I am sure you know someone who needs one!

Happy Grating!

DBottrell_headshotDonna Bottrell has been a Registered Dietitian since 1994. She attended Brescia University in London and completed her internship with Aramark (Versa Foods). Donna has years of diversified experience in the foodservice industry, providing strategic direction to a variety of initiatives relating to wellness. She is a food consultant who connects nutrition, culinary and sustainability in her holistic approach to smarter food choices, marketing and the customer’s experience.  Follow Donna @donnabottrell44 and connect with her on LinkedIn.