One product with many uses? We’re in. With kitchen space often at a premium, we know an uncluttered space to cook in is often a lot more productive (and satisfying). The Toolbar Colander was discovered by our Research Team over a year ago now, and it’s definitely become one of our go-to recommendations for those needing a bowl/colander addition to their kitchen.

We’re bowled over by how many uses we’ve found for this stainless steel Mixing Bowl and Colander by Toolbar. Not only is it durable, rust-resistant and space-saving, its multifunctional uses are always a topic of discussion in the Buy Me Once team. 

Here are a few handful ways our team have been using their Toolbar mixing bowl & colander set:

Use less water and get cleaner food

When washing dirt, pesticides and dust from our fruit or veg, it’s usually a standard ‘rinse them under the tap’ approach. But as we all know, every little bit adds up, meaning much more water wasted over time than necessary. That along with the common occurrence of the water pressure not actually getting half the dust off anyway! 

Using this set, it’s super easy to run the water briefly over the vegetables until the bowl is now a water bath of sorts. Use this to dunk your ingredients in, swish them around, or even soak in salt to more effectively wash dirt and bugs off. The colander’s micro-perforated holes provide edges for particles to dislodge against, improving the scrubbing. 

Once your food is nice and clean, lift the colander out of the bowl and strain your food from the water so it can begin to dry.

Toolbar set
Wake up your ‘straight to wok’ noodles

Just minutes before your roasted or stir-fried food is ready, add your straight-to-wok noodles to the colander (inside the bowl) and pour over kettle-boiled water until the noodles are submerged. With a fork, separate the noodles and allow them to soak for 2 minutes heating them through. Be mindful of the hot water while removing the colander from the bowl. Pour away the water and return the colander to the bowl, allowing the noodles to briefly drip dry before tossing everything together. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Wok to be with you for life, take a look at this beautiful lifetime guaranteed Solidteknics one.

Aquafaba rinse with Toolbar
Removing excess aquafaba from canned food

Strain, wash and ready. Aquafaba - otherwise known as ‘the water surrounding your canned beans and chickpeas’ is known to be useful as an egg substitute in baking or cocktails (great for making vegan pancakes too). For those who like to use chickpea juices, straining your tinned chickpeas into the colander over the bowl allows you to collect the leftover aquafaba and pour it conveniently into a jar for later. 

Once you’ve discarded the aquafaba, you can clean your canned food in the colander (inside the bowl) while saving water.

Wash potatoes with Toolbar
Extra crispy homemade chips

Whether you’re air frying or oven roasting, soaking your fresh-cut chips in cold water for 20 minutes is a neat trick to make them crispier than a McCains. For best results, use the colander to quickly bath your chips to remove amylose. This type of starch makes amazing mashed potatoes, but sometimes also sticky and soggy chips. Give the chips a stir, and after 10 minutes lift the colander out of the bowl and change the water before it becomes too cloudy. Dry your chips in a clean tea towel before cooking.

Compost caddy with Toolbar
A handy compost caddy

After washing fruits and vegetables, keep this bowl out to collect your choppings. For dry items with larger chunks like root vegetables, the colander works perfectly to collect leftovers, for everything else throw it in the bowl part ready for the compost bin or food waste collection box. 

Soak legumes with Toolbar
Soaking legumes, beans and pulses

The toolbar is ideal for preparing canned and dry foods. And the colanders' micropores mean it’s super for soaking small beans and pulses etc. Leave the colander inside the bowl and cover with water, soaking your produce for the required duration. Place an overturned plate on top, especially if leaving overnight. Once done, lift the colander out of the bowl and pour away the water. 

Spice them up with Toolbar
Spice marinade and toss. 

You may have added a few large handfuls of vegetables, or possibly taken our advice on soaking the potato chips and have added these to the bowl. The next step to create delicious chips, roasted vegetables or chicken pieces is to apply some oil and seasoning before baking or airfrying. By leaving the colander in when you do this you can make sure any excess oil drains away. Hey presto, some delicious flavour added to your cooking without the added washing up.

Have you found any handy ways to use your Colander & Mixing bowls together? You can shop them here.

Inspired by long-lasting cookware? Browse our full range of ultra-durable kitchen additions here.

Read next:

How to start buying less stuff

Getting started with one-pan cooking

Our founder’s manifesto, A Life Less Throwaway

What have long-lasting products got to do with the circular economy?

January 27, 2023 — Catherine McKay