20 Surprising Kitchen Hacks To Save Time And Money
Time is money, and money is time, so why would you want to spend all of your time and money in the kitchen? A stressed out chef is not a happy chef, and scientists are starting to find a relationship between anxiety and the bacteria that are vital for digesting what we eat. Basic kitchen skills can be a lifesaver when you’re a professional on the go, and combining some kitchen smarts with a handy dash of frugality can save both your minutes and dough. Not everyone can be a TV chef with a team of kitchen scientists and dietitians backing him up and making the magic of television a reality.
These hints with a generous serving of ingenuity can make your time in the kitchen more pleasant, or even enjoyable.
1. Cutting grapes or cherry tomatoes with ease
You’ll want to get out your serrated knife for this one as it will make quick work of the skins on both grapes or tomatoes. Cutting tomatoes with a serrated knife is just a good hint in general, as you don’t need to have a razor sharp knife in order to make the first incision in the tomato, especially the ripe ones.
To make this hack work, simply place your tomatoes between two lids, apply gentle pressure and slice smoothly. The longer the better when selecting your knife as well – I prefer a bread knife with a fine serration. The edges of the lid will work to keep your fruit of choice in place, protect your hand, and help to make an even cut through all of the little morsels.
2. A slice of apple or bread will keep your cookies or other baked treats from getting hard
This one is suuuper easy. Put your cookies in a container.
Then throw in a slice of bread. I’ve even used this trick to rejuvenate hard stale cookies. If you go with apple slices instead of bread, it will impart some apple essence to the cookie as well, another subtle flavor to your treat!
3. Banana Ice Cream
Dig out your food processor for this one, it’s time to use up some of those old bananas.
Really this is a good way to get rid of old bananas and some of that frozen fruit you bought 6 months ago when you were on that smoothie kick. Freeze a banana, throw it in your food processor, and pulse if a few times. When that is done, add in your favorite mix-ins and pulse a few more times. I won’t tell if you go with chocolate chips instead of raspberries. Add a dash of milk or soy-milk for proper consistency.
4. Bag up that Ice Cream
Once you have your ice cream ready to go, you better dig out that zippered baggy. Why, you ask?
Storing your ice cream in a baggie reduces the amount of air that comes in contact with your frozen confection, and keeps it softer for a longer period of time. Or you can just eat the ice cream and not worry about it going hard at all.
5. Batter Bagger Up!
Still have your baggies out? Good, it’s time to make breakfast for tomorrow.
Mix up your pancakes in a zippered bag for an easy clean-up breakfast. When you are ready to chomp down on some pancakes, cut a corner off of the bag and squeeze your batter onto your griddle. Go to town on some fun shapes as well.
6. Healthy Pancakes?
Since you’re indulging yourself with pancakes, you might as well make them a little more healthy. I actually prefer my pancakes made with whole wheat, oats, and some wheat germ. Add some protein powder or dry milk powder to help your energy stick around past 10:00.
This hack can be done on other foods, too. Whole grains help slow digestion, and are loaded with the fiber you should be getting on a daily basis. Bonus tip: re-heat those pancakes in the toaster to return them to their crispy shelled grandeur.
7. Easy peel? Give it some time in the fridge
Fresh eggs are tougher to peel when hard boiled so try eggs that have sat in the fridge a few days
They are perfectly fine to eat but choosing your “older eggs” will save your fingers a lot of work! Another thing to try is making sure the water is already at a slow boil when putting the eggs in. Not too hot though, or the eggs will crack and you’ll be chasing whites around your pan, but that’s for a later hack.
If you simply must do it fast, a spoon makes fast work of shelling eggs.
This isn’t going to work for deviled eggs where presentation is half the battle, but if they’re just going into an egg salad or potato salad, grab a small spoon, crack some eggs, and scrape everything out of the shell.
9. It’s incredible and edible
Do you like eating poached eggs? Do you hate making poached eggs? Same here.
If you want to keep your poached egg from separating while cooking, soak it in vinegar for 7-10 minutes before cracking the egg. The vinegar reacts with the whites, forming a membrane around the egg that will keep it together while in the kettle.
10. Hash = Hurry
You should have started this before the poached eggs.
Get your waffle iron warmed up and put a serving of hash browns on it to cook while you’re poaching your eggs. A generous spritz of non-stick cooking spray will make clean-up easy. Much easier than when your waffles squeeze out the side of your waffle iron. See the other 10 hacks on the next page, you won’t be disappointed!
see 10 more tips on the next page