For many of us, the kitchen is the most-used room in the house. We prepare and cook meals in there, eat in there, and clean in there. We hear stories in there and grow closer with our families in there. But, as many of us don’t realize, you can get super creative in there too!
10 Food Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Before:
1. Waffle irons are not just for waffles.
I don’t know about y’all, but there’s something about waffle irons that makes me happy. It’s probably the anticipation of the yummy waffles that will soon be ready to eat. So why not make other tasty treats in your waffle iron? Try eggs with some delicious veggies, some shredded hash browns, or some mouth-watering cinnamon buns. Trust me, it’s life changing.
2. Make bananas last longer.
When I first learned of this trick, I almost cried tears of joy. As much as I love making banana bread with all of the overripe bananas, sometimes it’s nice to actually get to use the fresh, perfectly ripe ones too. To keep them fresher longer, separate the bananas from one another. Wrap the stem end—the end that was joined with the rest of them—of each banana in plastic wrap. This helps prevent the gases from escaping, which causes the bananas to ripen too fast.
3. Make fruit ripen faster.
And then there are those times where you need fruit to ripen quickly. If only there was some magical way to do this… Well, my friends, today is your lucky day! The secret weapon is a brown paper bag. Place the fruit that you want to ripen inside, close the bag, and let it work its magic for a day or two, depending on the desired ripeness. The bag keeps the gases that are released contained, which helps ripen the fruit faster. You can do this for bananas, pears, peaches, etc.
4. Keep brown sugar soft.
One of the most annoying things in the kitchen is when you’re in the zone, getting your ingredients together, and you reach into the brown sugar and it’s like a brick. An easy way to help it stay soft is to throw it into an airtight container with an orange peel. If you need a faster solution, microwave the brown sugar with a glass of water next to it—the moisture will help soften the brown sugar and make it useable.
5. Use plastic wrap like a pro.
Plastic wrap scares me. Yes, it comes in super handy in many situations, but the thought of it getting tangled and sticking to itself stresses me out. If you’re like me, then stress no more! Keep your roll of plastic wrap in the fridge. The cold makes the plastic wrap easier to use when needed.
6. Make buttermilk in a snap.
So, you’ve found the absolute perfect recipe. You go to get the ingredients together and realize that you’re out of buttermilk. But this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker! Just add a tablespoon of white vinegar to one cup of milk, and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Of course, it won’t be as thick as regular buttermilk, but it sure does the trick as a super handy substitute.
7. Quickly bring butter to room temperature.
If you don’t have time to let your butter sit out and get to room temperature—I mean, really, who does these days?—then here is a perfect solution. Put a bowl, filled with a few inches of water, in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl, dump the water out, flip the bowl upside down, and place it over the butter. This allows the heat to soften the butter, without melting it. Depending on how soft you need your butter, you may have to do this a couple of times.
8. There’s no need to flip your fries.
Flipping fries, or similar baked items, is such a hassle. It’s pretty much impossible to flip every single fry, but then if you don’t, some of them remain soggy. And no one likes soggy fries. The trick is to put your baking sheet in the oven while it’s preheating. That way, when you add the fries, they’re essentially being cooked on both sides.
9. Say goodbye to ice cream freezer burn.
You’ve had a bad day—or perhaps an amazing day—and you head to the freezer to grab some ice cream, only to find that it is freezer burn city, population you. To prevent this in the future, place a piece of wax paper over the ice cream, then put the lid back on.
10. There’s a quick fix for salty soup.
So you’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day, cooking up your favorite delicious soup recipe. You taste the soup and realize it’s just way too salty for any human to possibly enjoy. A quick and easy way to help fix this problem is to peel a whole potato and drop it into the soup. The potato will soak up a lot of the extra salt. Once the soup is done cooking, remove the spud. Your taste buds will thank you!
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