We visited relatives this past winter and they had a toaster oven which we used for almost every meal….toast at breakfast, heating leftovers at lunch, and quick suppers that didn’t require heating up the big oven first. The convenience as well as time and energy savings it provided us that week left me with a strong desire for one in our kitchen. I did lengthy research and decided that the Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven would be the perfect option for our family.
We have been using our toaster oven for just over two months now and I can honestly say that, other than when we have been away on holidays, we have used it every single day for something and I have not turned my big oven on for over a month! I have made everything from crostini for appetizers to pizzas for lunch to salmon as a summer salad topper at supper! It is also my favourite option for reheating instead of heating up the big oven or using the microwave.
The Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven offers the setting options of Bake, Broil, Toast, or Pizza and then preferred temperature and time settings within. And the wait time is truly just the cooking time as the toaster oven heats up immediately! There is a toaster rack as well as a tray for items that the rack isn’t ideal for such as making a cheesy pizza or roasting potatoes, croutons, or salmon. One feature that makes this toaster oven unique, and was a top draw for me, is that it has as roll top. This allows for counter space in front for any plates or platters I want to set food onto straight out of the toaster oven.
One fun meal that we used the toaster oven for is vegetarian personal pizzas. My boys had so much fun making them with me. Here is the recipe you want to make them with your little ones! Recipe Per Personal Pizza: 1 small whole grain tortilla, 2-3 Tbsp. refried beans, 1/4 cup shredded cheese (regular or dairy free), diced and sliced red pepper, 1/4-1/2 cup shredded zucchini. Place tortilla on tray. Spread refried beans on it and then sprinkle the cheese. Ask your children to add the veggies as they wish to…a happy face, a flower, a tree, a fish….the options are endless! Bake these at 350F for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese melts and enjoy! Getting your children involved gives them a sense of pride and autonomy about the meal and they are more likely to eat it up!
Another item I often made was whole grain crostini. These work as a base for bruschetta or as a cracker replacement. The process is so easy: Slice whole grain baguette in 1/4″ slices and lay on toaster oven tray. Drizzle a touch of avocado oil and bake at 400F for about 5 minutes until crisp and serve in your chosen way.
If you are looking for fun bruschetta recipes to make with your kids after you make crostini, you can find some of our favourites here.
I am so excited heading into a busy school year knowing that quick, easy, and healthy meals are going to be incredible feasible thanks to this toaster oven. What would be your favourite thing about using a toaster oven?