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Kitchen helpers, green and small

Kitchen gadgets and accessories bound for stores this year display a trend toward the small, eco-friendly, and sometimes quirky.

This microwave's looks are tailor-made for a modest desk or Manhattan studio.
This microwave's looks are tailor-made for a modest desk or Manhattan studio.
iCubed International

What's new in the kitchen? We explored the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago in March to find out.

The trade show, which is closed to the public, is known as the largest of its kind, attracting store buyers from more than 100 countries.

Among the items attracting attention this year were a microwave and handheld espresso maker, both billed as the world's smallest. Eco-minded shoppers could find plenty of options for making the home a bit greener, and people with a sweet tooth could find contraptions for making doughnuts and gummy candies.

During the show, we covered gear targeting the germphobic, dieters, and sufferers of bad hair days, as well as plenty of energy-efficient, low-toxin appliances and products.