5 Kitchen "Hacks" to Make Life Easier in the Kitchen
By: Chef Cristian Feher
If you were to do the math - and I did - the average person spends 35 to 45 full days in the kitchen each year! That’s a lot of time. And while I’m not proposing that you try to spend less time in the kitchen - as cooking should be a relaxing and therapeutic activity - I am proposing that you make that time as enjoyable, and easy, as possible.
The following “kitchen hacks” should make time spent in your food cave a little brighter!
Save the bananas!
How often do you have to buy bananas? And how many bananas do you end up throwing out when they over-ripen? To make bananas last longer, simply pull them apart and wrap them individually in plastic wrap (or wrap tightly in a plastic bag) this will slow down the ripening process and your bananas should last long enough for you to eat them all!
You can also refrigerate bananas. Although the skins will turn brown, the banana inside will still be good, and will last for 1 to 2 weeks in this state.
Cut Calories and Healthy-Up your Baking!
Do you want to avoid refined oils, fats and calories in your baked goods? How about these substitutions?
When a recipe calls for butter, you can substitute with equal parts mashed avocado, or mashed bananas. Instead of sugar, you can lower the calories by adding equal parts apple sauce. And instead of vegetable oil, you can add equal parts Greek yogurt. These substitutions may not work for all recipes, but they do work for most.
Chill out, man!
So, you forgot to chill the white wine, and now you have guests over. What to do? Not problem, because you froze a bag of grapes after reading this article. Frozen grapes are a great way to chill a glass of wine without watering it down. Simply place large seedless grapes in a freezer bag and leave in your freezer for emergency situations. How long do they last? Until they are visibly frostbitten.
The Pot is Boiling Over!
Don’t you hate it when a pot boils-over on the stove? Aside from the messy clean-up and menacing hissing sounds, it’s just plain annoying.
To prevent your pot from boiling over, simply add a little vegetable oil to the water, and rest a wooden spoon over the pot. This will break the foam and prevent it from spilling over.
Send your herbs to Alaska!
Cooking with fresh herbs is great! Unfortunately, when you only need a pinch, you end up having to buy a whole bag at the grocery store. And what do you do with all those leftover fresh herbs? They will certainly go bad in your fridge after a few days, and you most likely end up throwing them in the garbage.
To keep fresh herbs for future use, simply chop them up coarsely, stick clumps of herbs in ice cube trays, fill them with olive oil and freeze. The olive oil will freeze solid. Every time you need fresh herbs, simply pop a cube out of the tray and use it for cooking!
I hope these tips will make time spent in your kitchen much more enjoyable. Until next time, happy cooking!