Food Hacks That Will Optimize Your Time in The Kitchen
Not everyone likes to cook. The process of properly storing, washing, cutting, preparing, and actually cooking food takes a lot of time. Unless you’re not a diehard chef, most people would rather spend that time, well, eating. That’s why the world of food hacks are so important – they reduce the time and unpleasantness of cooking and get you straight to the eating part.
Food hacks are the greatest thing since sliced bread (which, to be fair, was a great food hack). These hacks can do everything from adding flavor to your peanut butter to removing sogginess from your club sandwiches. Let’s take a look at some great food hacks that will optimize your kitchen time.
Reheat Pizza Slices with Water
Pizza is best eaten a little while after it’s taken out of the oven. If you don’t wait long enough, then the cheese can burn your tongue. If you wait too long, then it loses some of its heated goodness. Although that’s the best time, pizza is still pretty good the day after.
If you want to recreate the first-day taste, try microwaving pizza with a mug of water inside. This will rehydrate the dried-out slices by transferring moisture from the evaporated water to the pizza.
Flip Peanut Butter Jars Upside Down
Although this may sound too simple to work, it works wonders. All you need to do is take a jar of peanut butter, turn it upside down, and store it that way. Once you do, all the oils that usually rise to the top of the jar will head on down to the bottom.
That’s because there’s no stabilizers in natural peanut butter. When it’s time to eat, turn it over to easily scoop out the creamy goodness that would have taken a lot of mixing to get.
Put Overripe Bananas in Banana Bread
Bananas can be tricky to buy because they seem to turn black, brown, and bruised so quickly. If you don’t eat them right away, it can seem like a huge waste. Luckily, there’s always banana bread.
Baking banana bread is the perfect food hack for overripe bananas. That’s because they tend to be slightly sweeter and far easier to mix into batter. So, instead of throwing them away, throw those overripe bananas into a delicious (smelling and tasting) bread.
Keep Herbs in Water
If bananas are frustrating to buy because they spoil so quickly, herbs are even more so. Most people buy a big bunch of herbs (mint, cilantro, parsley, etc.) and then use them so sparingly that half the bunch gets wasted.
Most of that is due to improper storage. Rather than throwing them in the fridge, grab a glass, fill it with about 2 inches of water, and place the herbs inside. If you change the water and keep them out of direct sunlight, they’ll stay fresh for quite a while.
Put Coffee Iced Cubes in Iced Coffee
If you love iced coffee, then you’re familiar with the tense relationship between coffee and ice. The coffee is where all the delicious caffeine is, and the ice is frozen water that seeks to dilute the caffeine.
However, if you make ice from coffee then you don’t have to worry about watered-down drinks. Start by brewing a fresh pot of coffee. Then, after it has cooled down, use it to fill up an ice cube tray. Next time you make an iced coffee or cold brew, place a few of these special cubes inside.
Microwave Lemons For More Juice
The lemon’s sour taste can make or break a drink or meal. After coming in from a run on a hot day, the best relaxing drink is fresh lemonade. Usually that involves taking lemons out of the refrigerator and squeezing them into a glass.
Sometimes, however, not much juice comes out. A nice little food hack that gets around this issue is to put the lemon in the microwave and set it on high for 20 seconds. This will soften the lemon and make it easier to squeeze into a refreshing drink.
Fix Food Stains in Containers with Baking Soda
Planning ahead by making a big batch of chili or chicken stew is a great idea. After you eat it the first night, simply put the rest in tupperware containers to enjoy every night of the week. The only problem, however, is that the containers usually get stained.
If hot soapy water isn’t doing the trick, then give baking soda a try. Mix a bit of water and baking soda together, wipe the insides, and let it sit a few hours. When you come back, the stains will be gone.
Prep Breakfast Burritos Weekly
Filled with their eggs, veggies, and beans, breakfast burritos are a nutritious (and tasty) breakfast food. However, they aren’t the quickest meal – scrambling eggs, frying veggies, and wrapping tortillas takes a bit of time.
One food hack to reduce that time is to spend one day making enough breakfast burritos for the week. Then, wrap them up and store them in the freezer. The night before you want one, let it defrost in the refrigerator and then heat it up in the microwave for a delicious breakfast.
Reduce Sogginess of Sandwiches
There’s nothing worse than preparing a bunch of sandwiches for school or work only to find the tomatoes and cucumbers turned soggy by the time you eat them for lunch. The soggy texture can make the entire sandwich unpleasant to eat.
However, there is a simple food hack to get around it. Slice the tomatoes or cucumbers, place them in between two sheets of paper towels, and let them sit for five minutes. This will suck up any of the extra moisture that leads to sogginess.
Float an Egg to Test Freshness
Bad eggs are unpleasant. Not only do they taste bad, but they emit an odor that can make you gag – or at least make you want to reconsider eating eggs ever again.
The way around that is to test the eggs beforehand. One simple way to do that is the so-called “float test.” Fill a glass with cold water and stick the egg inside. If it sinks to the bottom, then it’s fresh. If it floats, then it’s bad because rotting gasses allow it to rise to the surface.