Ten tips for fuss-free cooking when you’re blind or partially sighted
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Blind fitness instructor, Jaina Mistry, shares her tricks and tools to help make cooking easier at home.
Do you want to cook more for yourself, but the thought seems daunting, time-consuming or complicated? No matter if you’re already a whiz in the kitchen or a complete newbie – here are my top tips on how to make cooking in your kitchen easier:
1. Measuring spoons and cups
These are an absolute staple in my kitchen. Having a selection of different size plastic spoons and cups will make measuring ingredients much easier when following recipes. The sizes I find the most useful are:
Half a teaspoon
Quarter of a cup
Half a cup
2. Talking tools
It always comes in handy to have a talking kitchen scale (check one out on the RNIB Online Shop).
3. Non-stick pots and frying pans
If you hate scrubbing pots and pan, then investing in non-stick kitchenware will save you a lot of time. There is also an added health benefit because you will need less oil when cooking food. As a side note, always use plastic or wooden utensils to avoid damaging the non-stick surface.
It's a good idea to place these on appliances, particularly those that require heating food, to ensure you are able to use them safely and easily. Brightly coloured Bumpons jazz up my microwave, oven and gas cooker knobs.
5. Apps for reading
If you struggle to read packaging labels or recipes in magazines, there are some useful smartphone apps you can try, including:
KNFB Reader: which reads virtually any type of printed text
Be My Eyes: which connects blind and partially sighted people with sighted helpers from around the world via live video connection.
6. Identifying food
Make it easier to find and identify food in your kitchen with:
TapTapSee: a smartphone app which allows you to take a picture of an object and then it identifies what it is
PenFriend: an audio labeller which allows you to record your own voice onto labels which you then attach to items.
7. Use your heightened senses
Your acute senses are your most useful tool in the kitchen!
Now this one is down to personal preference – some good recommendations are egg timers, talking alarm clocks and cooking timer apps. Or you can just simply use the timer on your smartphone, which is what I personally like to do.
9. Keep items organised
I think one of the best ways to store food is in air-tight Tupperware, which helps to keep it fresh and secure.
10. Silicon baking tins and muffin cases
For those who like to bake, I recommend using good quality silicone baking ware. Their multipurpose nature means you can create great bakes that keep their shape, roast vegetables then easily clean the tray, and they are safer to use as they cool quickly (unlike metal tins).