Category

sponsored

sponsored

Creating A Zero-Waste Kitchen With the Ninja Air Fryer | AD

In this paid-for content, learn how you create delicious meals, dehydrate food, use kitchen leftovers in creative ways, and heat up leftovers in the Ninja Air Fryer.

Did you know that the UN estimates that global food waste from households, retail establishments, and the food service industry totalled 931 million tonnes in 2019? It would be easy to say that the bulk of this waste is caused by food retailers and the food service industry. However, it’s eye-watering when you find out that in the UK a whopping 70% of our food waste comes from householders.

I’m really keen to reduce my food waste. So when the Very Electrical Shop got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try a Ninja Air Fryer from their extensive range to see if I could help reduce my food waste further, I was keen to give it a go.

What Is A Ninja Air Fryer?

Image of dehydrated apples, with a blue text box that says creating a zero-waste kitchen with the Ninja Air Fryer

You might be wondering what an air fryer is. Well, the Ninja Air Fryer is an electrical kitchen appliance that uses heat and air to cook food. This creates a crisp exterior on foods like chips or roast potatoes. And because the hot air technology does all the crisping, you add hardly any fatty oil, yet you still get an almost deep-fried finish. In fact, the Ninja Air Fryer uses 75% less fat than traditional frying methods, making it a much healthier choice than deep fat frying.

As well as being a healthier choice, what’s to love even more is that the Ninja Air Fryer is up to 75% faster at cooking food, compared to a fan oven. What’s more, there is no pre-heating required, making it perfect for quick dinners or snacks.

Whilst you can get different models, we opted for the Ninja Foodie Dual Zone. This offers 6 different ways to cook your food – being able to choose between Max Crisp, Roast, Bake, Reheat, Dehydrate, and Air Fry. What’s more, with 2 independent cooking zones, you can mix and match the cooking programmes, times, and temperatures across both drawers. This allows you to create delicious meals in minutes.

Cleverly, you can use the sync function to cook different foods in each drawer, with both being ready to serve at the same time. It’s kitchen wizardry at its finest!

We’ve been using our Ninja Air Fryer over the last month to cook a variety of meals. We’ve discovered that tofu cooked in the air fryer, using the air fry setting, is phenomenal. So crispy and delicious. And roast potatoes? Using the roast setting, they are simply the best. So crispy on the outside, but so buttery soft in the middle.

Using the Ninja Air Fryer to Cut Your Food Waste

However, as well as cooking meals, I’ve also been using the Ninja Air Fryer to help cut our food waste. Some kale leftover from making a stew? Instead of lingering in the fridge until it goes slimy, instead, I’ve been popping the leftover kale in the air fryer with some seasoning to make some delicious kale crisps, This takes about 4 minutes flat – no pre-heating required. I used this recipe from A Beautiful Mess and will be using it again and again.

I’ve also tried using leftover chickpeas to make roast chickpeas. This is a really tasty and healthy snack that comes together in minutes. Once roasted, the chickpeas can apparently last for about two weeks, but they don’t seem to last that long in our house!

Next on my to-make list is this zero waste crisps recipe, which I think will work even better in the air fryer than in the oven.

The air fryer has definitely made us get creative with our leftovers, without any real effort. I also feel it’s encouraging us to make healthier snacking choices, which is always a good thing.

Something else I’m excited about is the Ninja Air Fryer’s dehydrate function. I’ve always wanted a dehydrator. However, with a tiny galley kitchen, I could never justify giving up precious countertop space to house one. Having a multi-purpose device, that can be used in many different ways means I can justify devoting space in my kitchen, and get to dehydrate fruit. Whilst I haven’t used that particular function yet, come summer you’ll find me dehydrating all the strawberries and soft berries to preserve them for another day.

Using the Ninja to Reheat Leftovers

I have also found that the Ninja Air Fryer is far superior to using an oven or a microwave to reheat leftovers. As I mentioned, unlike an oven, there is no warming up period. Simply pop your leftovers in the air fryer, select the reheat function, and reheated and perfectly crispy food is ready in minutes.

At Christmas, we prepared our roast potatoes perfectly in the air fryer. Despite our best efforts in portion control, we cooked too many. Popping the leftover roast potatoes in the Ninja Air Fryer meant we had the best tasting leftover roast potatoes ever come Boxing Day! They were perfectly crisp, like they had just been cooked. Not a soggy potato in sight. I’ve also recently learned you can even reheat pizza in the Ninja Air Fryer, and even warm baked goods. Amazing!

I’m not normally bowled over by a kitchen appliance. However, the Ninja Air Fryer has made it so easy to create delicious meals quickly and easily. It’s also really helping us to reduce our food waste further, in such a quick and easy way, that it’s definitely found a permanent spot on our kitchen counter.

sponsored

Easy Energy Saving Tips to Be A Carbon Reducing Hero | AD

This guide to easy energy saving tips is paid-for content in association with Worcester Bosch.

In 2021, the average UK household’s energy bill was £1138 a year. And with energy bills expected to rise further in 2022, it makes good financial sense to save energy where you can.

And not only does it make good financial sense, but it also makes good environmental sense. This is because on average, electricity and gas use creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. Cut our electricity and gas use, and we cut our carbon emissions. Cutting carbon emissions helps to tackle climate change. It’s a win-win all round.

78% of us worry about climate change every day. But, while in reality there are lots of ways we can make a difference, knowing how to do so is often a real difficulty. As such, in association with the UK’s leading boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch, I am sharing my top energy saving tips to help both the planet and your wallet.

Easy Energy Saving Tips To Implement

Image of a stylish living room with a blue text box that says easy energy saving tips to help you become a carbon hero.

Think Like A Carbon Hero

One of the best ways to save energy is to think like a carbon hero. Feeling a bit chilly? Rather than upping your thermostat, pop on a jumper first. If you’re still cold after putting on your jumper, then put the thermostat on. Cold feet? Pop on a pair of socks and/or a pair of slippers before putting on the heating. Can you hang your laundry outside to dry rather than using the tumble drier? Simple little lifestyle tweaks like these can make all the difference to your energy usage and your bills.

Upgrade Your Boiler

If your boiler is reaching the end of its life, then upgrading your boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls (TRVs) could save you as much £300 per year, based on fuel prices as of June 2021.

We upgraded our 20-year-old boiler to a Worcester Bosch Greenstar A-rated boiler two years ago, and it was one of the best investments we made when renovating our home. Not only does it heat our home much more efficiently and is so much quieter to run, but we know it’s saving us so much energy, and money on our bills compared to our old boiler. With guarantees of up to 12-years on Greenstar Lifestyle boilers (Ts & Cs apply), they also offer great peace of mind.

The other great thing about Worcester Bosch’s new Greenstar boilers is that they are capable of running on a 20% hydrogen blend.  This means your boiler will continue to run even when the government begins to increase the amount of ‘green gases’ into the UK gas grid. This could be a great way to future-proof your investment in your boiler to an extent and could help to save even more carbon. If a move to 100% hydrogen is made, however, you’ll need to switch to a hydrogen boiler to be carbon-free, a technology being developed by Worcester Bosch in trials. 

Choose Smart Controls to Save Energy

Even if you aren’t looking to upgrade your boiler, then an easy energy saving tip is to consider investing in smart heating controls. These clever devices allow you to control your heating remotely using your smartphone. This means you can manage your home temperature wherever and whenever you are, so you’re not using energy where and when it isn’t needed and could save you as much as £75 a year.

You can also even go further, and make your home super smart. Smart TRVs, alongside a smart control, for example, will even monitor each individual room’s temperature for you. This means they will automatically switch your boiler on if it drops below your preferred level, and will switch it off again once the desired temperature is reached. You don’t even have to lift a finger. Even carbon heroes need a rest now and again!

Set Your Thermostat Correctly

Speaking of thermostats, it’s important to set your hot water thermostat correctly. The average boiler hot water thermostat in the UK is set to 65ºC. However, at this temperature, you have to cool the water that you’ve spent money heating to be able to use it. Heat loss from your boiler/hot water cylinder is also increased at this temperature.

You can save around £30 a year simply by turning your boiler temperature down from 65ºC to 60ºC. Don’t get too carried away though. Whatever you do, don’t set your hot water thermostat to be below 60ºC. You need your hot water to be at this heat to kill any nasty bacteria in your water.

Get Energy Saving Smart In The Kitchen

The kitchen is the one room in our house where our energy use is often the highest. Thankfully there are some easy and clever energy saving tips and techniques that you can implement.

For example, frost buildup in your freezer increases the amount of work your freezer’s motor has to do. If the motor is working harder, then this means it’s using more energy.  Keeping it fairly frost-free means savings for the environment and for you. Apparently, you can save £100 to £200 a year just by defrosting your freezer – a figure not to be sneezed at.

If defrosting your freezer sounds like too much work, you can also save energy just by switching off your microwave at the wall when you are not using it. A typical microwave is on for 70 hours a year. Yet a microwave draws power for more than 100 times as long, just to keep the clock and electronic controls powered. That means you are using energy and paying extra on your bills for appliances you are not even using.

And when you’re using your hob, it’s good practice to use a lid on your pans. This is because the lid keeps the heat in the pan, where it’s needed, rather than escaping into the air. Your food will cook faster this way, saving energy on your energy bills.

Looking For More Inspiration?

If you are looking for more easy energy saving tips and inspiration then do check out Worcester Bosch’s Green Hero page. Here you’ll find advice on the future of heating, as well as carbon saving top tips to help homeowners along the road to Net Zero 2050.