Cut back on time spent in the kitchen prepping and cooking healthy foods by using these fun food hacks. No longer do you need to wait days for water to boil or or what seems like forever for your bananas to ripen. These tips arm you with an arsenal of quick-cooking solutions yielding delicious results.
1. Ripen Green Bananas
Are you tired of waiting days for your bananas to ripen? Wait no longer! With just a little kitchen magic and 25 minutes, you can turn hard, unripe green bananas into perfectly overripe bananas that are ready for banana bread baking. Place unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until the peel is black and the bananas are soft. Cool and use in your favorite recipes like smoothies, banana pudding or banana bread.
2. Hard-Cook Eggs in the Oven
Skip the pot of boiling water, and grab a muffin tin to make the best-tasting, easy-to-peel, hard-cooked eggs. Just follow these three steps: place a whole egg in a dry muffin cup, bake at 350°F for 27 minutes, then transfer the cooked eggs to an ice bath for 10 minutes. Chilling the eggs in a large bowl of ice water stops the cooking process to prevent the dreaded green-ringed yolk.
3. Hull Strawberries with a Straw
Stop wasting the top third of your strawberry trying to cut off the green leaves. Hull strawberries simply by inserting the tip of a straw in the bottom of the berry. Push through, and pop out the stem.
4. Toast Nuts in the Microwave
Say goodbye to burned nuts and hot kitchens. Toasting nuts has never been easier when you prepare them in the microwave. Place nuts in a microwave-safe dish, and cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir and place the nuts back in the microwave to cook for another minute. Stir and continue to cook in 30-second intervals until nuts smell fragrant. Depending on the strength of your microwave, almonds toast in about 4 minutes, and walnuts and pecans toast in 5 minutes. Just remember to let your nose be your guide. Once the nuts become fragrant, they are done.
5. Halve Grape Tomatoes in Seconds
Cutting grape tomatoes has never been faster when you use this trick. Arrange grape tomatoes in a single layer in the center of a flat plate then top with another flat plate of the same size. Press the top plate down gently with your hand while running a sharp knife horizontally between the two plates. In an instant, you’ve sliced as many as 20 tomatoes.
6. Peel and Devein Shrimp in One Step
Peel and devein shrimp like a pro by using kitchen shears to cut through the outside of the shell along the length of the shrimp. Peel the shrimp, then use the tip of the kitchen shears to remove the vein.
7. Let the Blender Clean Itself
Stop scrubbing chia seeds off the blades, and let the blender do the tough cleaning for you. Once the contents of the blender have been removed (i.e., eaten), add hot water and a drop of dish soap and blend. Pour out soapy water, repeat if necessary and rinse with more hot water.
Photo credit: Holley Grainger Nutrition