Ask The Experts: The Healthy Kitchen
Insights from Mastercraft Kitchens Head Designer, Kristen Reid
I am often asked what is trending in kitchen design, and I never know where to start! But I do know what is directly impacting the change in kitchen design in an immense way, and that’s that we are eating healthier. And as kitchen designers, we are responding to this shift in eating habits.
Kitchen design is adapting to our healthy living trend
Designers are keeping up with this change by ensuring kitchens are easy to use. This may include:
- Incorporating a technology station in the kitchen, so you can have recipes and video tutorials visible when trying these techniques.
- Dedicated food prep stations with knives and boards within reach
- Extra bins for recycling and composting. Three or four bins are more popular now, dividing green waste from recycling and everyday waste.
- Living walls- fresh herbs growing in the kitchen. Not only does this look great, but it smells incredible and most definitely inspires.
The rise and rise of sink use
Sinks used to function purely for cleaning. However, with the increased interest in cooking and more home-grown and fresh produce being used, clients are opting for larger sinks, and beefing up the functionality with accessories such as colanders, chopping boards and racks.
We even have built in prep-board & knife stations behind sinks for the master chef in the family.
Speaking of home-grown produce
Fresh produce is key to staying healthy and we are placing more importance on how we prepare this. Many of us are embracing the concept of growing our own produce as there is something so empowering in sourcing something from your own garden, that you’ve grown. Have a fully accessorised prep station to prepare that produce creates a huge sense of satisfaction that our customers just love.
How we cook is evolving
Microwaves are taking a back step in a huge way, and we are looking beyond standard ovens and opting for steam cooking. Steam is the new black. More and more people are discovering that, not only is steamed food substantially better for you, the food tastes better and is more succulent.
So where possible, why not reheat with steam? Why cook a roast in fat and oil when you can make it taste and feel better with steam. The fantastic thing about steam ovens, is they are often a combination of steam and conventional oven – so there is no stress at Christmas time when you need that extra bit oven space.
So what about the poor old microwaves? As we are using them less, they’re being banished to the pantry or scullery!
Vacuum sealed goodness
Embracing different cuisines and experimenting with different cooking techniques has become the norm in many kiwi households. An example of this is the very healthy French method of cooking called Sous Vide, which involves vacuum-sealing the food first, then slow cooking it (either in water in a conventional oven or in your fabulous combi steam oven.) This seals in all the vital goodness and flavour!
This is a simple technique made easier with a vacuum sealer on hand. We often design it on a shelf, or under a bench where it lifts to bench height while you are using it, then slides back down when you’re done- all the while been plugged in. Too easy!
A change in kitchen function and aesthetic
I have noticed a shift away from minimalist design and a move toward more open style kitchens with visible storage solutions. Rustic preparation boards left on the bench with bowls of lemons nearby. Open floating shelves with LED lights, adorned with plants, glass storage jars filled with preserves and baking ingredients.
Nothing makes you want to get in a kitchen and whip up a healthy masterpiece more than appealing produce on the bench or shelf and knowing your kitchen will be easy to use and clean up!