Your kitchen is a room filled with opportunity for saved time and money. Here are 15 great hacks to help you get the most out of your food.
1. Guac going brown? Put it in your container of choice and smooth the top as best as possible (an offset spatula works best). Then gently pour water over the top, creating a layer about 1/8” thick. This creates a barrier from the air, keeping it from turning brown. When you’re ready to eat, either pour it off or mix it in.
2. To keep apple slices from turning brown, sprinkle them with lemon juice. You can also keep the core and reassemble the apple; hold it together with a rubber band to keep air out.
3. If you’re been putting apples and broccoli in the same fridge drawer, you are the weakest link. Fruit causes vegetables to rot faster, so give them separate homes.
4. If you plan to make fried rice or another kind of mixed dish, make the rice the night before and keep it in the fridge overnight. When you mix the cold rice into your final dish, it will blend perfectly, whereas warm rice will surely clump.
5. To get thinly-cut meat à la cheesesteak or phở, partially freeze your protein before slicing to get wafer-thin pieces with minimal struggle.
6. Don’t throw out brown/black bananas! As bananas ripen, sugars develop, making older individuals perfect for sweetening smoothies and banana bread.
7. Ever notice that reheating pasta in the microwave renders it dry? When cooking, reserve some pasta water and add a splash to your leftovers to rehydrate.
8. Attention all toast lovers: toasting your bread straight from frozen makes for a perfectly crunchy-but-not-dry slice.
9. Vegetables tend to lose nutrients during the cooking process. Your best bet? Steaming in the microwave.
10. Trying to force smoothie ingredients for more than 1 person into a blender is a recipe for a traffic jam. Make a big batch with an immersion blender and a plastic pitcher.
11. Making a dish with a great sauce? Make extra to a) minimize work for the next time or b) flavor things like eggs, soup, or grains.
12. By the same token, put unripe fruit in a paper bag with a ripe banana overnight to speed up the ripening process.
13. Stinky fridge? Sprinkle baking soda (add some vanilla extract or essential oil of your choice if you please) on a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Stank-free.
14. If your scratch-made fries keep turning out soggy, try soaking the potatoes in cold water after slicing. Rinse and dry before cooking for crispy chips.
15. If crunchy veg like broccoli, carrots or celery are looking a little limp, put them right-side-up in a glass with a bit of water in the window to crisp them right up.