10 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks
True, time in the kitchen can be relaxing and therapeutic -- but that doesn’t mean efficiency is a bad thing. There are lots of shortcuts that make cooking a healthy meal quicker and simpler. Here are ten favorite tricks of the trade.
• Pomegranate seeds are like gold -- especially if you have to take your time to pick them out individually. Try this instead: Cut the pomegranate in half, and gently loosen it with your hands. Holding the cut side down over a bowl, whack the skin with a spoon. The seeds will pop right out!
• For easy cutting of fruits and vegetables, start by cutting a small piece from one side of the ingredient to form a wide, flat surface. Then use the flat surface to stabilize the produce. The food will be less likely to roll around (and you'll be less likely to cut yourself).
• Forget chopping ginger. Use a Microplane and grate it instead. The same trick works for garlic.
• Avocados are actually quite simple to cut, if you know this old move: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Give it a twist to release the halves. Strike the blade of the knife into the pit. While holding that half, twist the knife to remove the pit. Then use a spoon to easily scoop out the flesh.
• Honey crystallized? Heat it up in a pot of warm water. (Moving forward, store it in a cool place and avoid getting moisture in the container.)
• When cracking eggs: If a piece of shell goes rogue, forget using fingers to fish it out. Use the remaining piece of eggshell, which will attract the broken bits like a magnet.
• Limes can be tricky when it comes to extracting their juice. Try soaking the fruit in warm water or popping it in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds. (The heat will loosen the juicy bits.) Follow that with a sturdy roll on the counter, and you should have a juicy lime ready to squeeze over your dish.
• When it comes to lemons, avoids the seeds by juicing the fruit in your cupped fingers, which will act like a little colander. The juice will fall between your fingers while the seeds remain in your hand.
• Make tough winter squash easier to peel by roasting it for a few minutes first. This will soften the squash just enough for a knife to easily remove the skin.
• Planning to peel your potatoes? Cook them (even partially) first, dunk them in cold water and then use your hands to gently remove the skin in seconds.