It’s no secret that we love cooking, baking and, well, let’s face it, eating. Sometimes we get so caught up in making the perfect final product, we don’t stop to think about how we’re prepping the food. Sure, momma might have taught you one way to cut your fruits and veggies, but times they are a changin’ and we’ve got some new techniques for prepping and eating some of your favorite foods. Check out our list below for some new and improved techniques!
1. Lemon Juice
Who doesn’t love a little fresh squeezed lemon juice on a salad, side dish, or maybe even some fish? A little citrus flavor goes a long way in a lot of dishes! However, it can be annoying to have to cut up lemon wedges and hassle with squeezing the juice by hand only to inevitably end up with some juice in your eye. Not to mention trying to avoid getting the seeds in your food. What if there was a better way? For this nifty food hack, you’ll just need the top of a spray bottle. First, roll the lemon on a hard surface to squeeze some of the juice and soften it up. Then, cut a small section off of the top of the lemon, and insert the spray bottle top. Viola! You have your very own fresh squeezed lemon juice!
Garlic is a staple in a ton of our favorite recipes. While you can use minced garlic from a jar, or even garlic flakes or garlic salt in a few cases, there’s just nothing quite like fresh garlic in a recipe, especially if you’re looking to saute garlic and butter. However, sometimes getting the cloves cleaned up and ready to dice can be such a hassle! Lucky for you, there are a few methods for easy cleaning so you can get right to dicing. First, if you’re just using a few garlic cloves, take the flat part of a knife and place it on top of the garlic clove. Rock the knife back and forth. This will cause the skin around the clove to crack, and you can easily peel it away. The second method is more useful if you’re using a lot of garlic. Start by hitting the head of garlic on the counter to break the individual cloves apart. Then, stick the cloves in a large container with a lid. Shake the container for a few minutes, and then open the container to see the garlic cloves separated from the skins!
Cutting onions can be a bit of a chore. Not only do you need to worry about your eyes watering, but sometimes getting the most out of the onion can be tricky – especially if you’re aiming for a finely diced onion. This trick makes it a breeze! Start by peeling the onion and chopping it in half. Hold one end of the first half and make 4-5 vertical slits. Then, turn the onion and start slicing. You’ll get a perfectly diced onion every time!
4. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are great on salads, in pasta, and a ton of other dishes. They can be a pain to have to cut each on in half individually, however. Lucky for you, we have a genius solution for cutting multiple tomatoes, therefore saving you time when prepping your meal. Grab two Tupperware lids, and place a handful of tomatoes on one before placing the second lid on top. Press the top lid down slightly to hold the tomatoes in place, but don’t press down too hard and squish the tomatoes! With the tomatoes secure between the two lids, take a knife and slice through the middle of the tomatoes.
Don’t waste any part of the strawberry but lopping off the top half just to get rid of the green leaves! Instead, try this genius hack that works like a charm every time. Simply take a straw and insert it through the bottom of the strawberry and poke it out through the top. This will remove the stem and leaves, leaving you with all the best parts of the strawberry! As they say, waste not, want not.
Kiwis are delicious and tart – the perfect little addition to many salads, desserts, and fruit-based dishes. However, when using a kiwi, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the fruit! Instead of chopping off the ends and cutting around the fuzzy outside, try this little trick. Chop off one end of the kiwi and insert a spoon around the edges. Dig a little deeper, continuing to move the spoon in a spiral motion. When you reach the other end of the kiwi, simply scoop out the remainder of the fruit!
If you love avocados as much as we do, then you’ll go crazy over this food prep hack. Avocados are so delicious, but they can be so frustrating to cut up! The most aggravating part of the process is undoubtedly trying to remove the pit. The avocado is so slippery, the task of pit removal seems almost impossible. To make it easy, simply cut the avocado in half like you normally would and twist to reveal the pit on one of the halves. Then, take the knife and wedge it into the center of the pit. Twist, and pop the pit out. Once you try this method, you’ll never go back!
8. Sandwich Cookies
While we love making our own cookies and desserts, there’s just something about Oreos and other store-bought sandwich style cookies that call to us. Maybe it’s nostalgia for a childhood favorite or the fact that these cookies are easy to pick up and snack on. Either way, they’re here to stay. While the general population may be split on whether to dunk or not to dunk, we know that these cookies are best served with a glass of milk. If you enjoy dunking your cookies, you’ll be all too familiar with the dilemma of getting your fingers into the milk, or not dunking your cookie all the way. Instead, place a fork in the cream center of the cookie and dunk the whole thing in milk. Talk about a game changer!
9. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a wonderfully colorful, not to mention tasty addition to many dishes. You can stick them in scrambled eggs, casseroles, and any number of other savory dishes. However, sometimes trying to cut around the seeds and getting those nice even slices (or diced pieces) can be a challenge. Try this method next time you’re using a bell pepper: start by cutting off both ends of the pepper. Then, take your knife and cut around the inside to remove the center and the seeds. Next, make a slit in the side and roll out the pepper. Cut the long strip into multiple, smaller pieces and stack them on top of each other. From there, cut the stack into slices, and then if necessary, dice the slices for smaller pieces.
Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein. They are great to eat plain, or made into deviled eggs, among other dishes. Boling the egg isn’t hard, but removing the shell can be quite a nuisance. Try this method next time – boil your eggs like normal. Then, remove from heat and place the eggs directly into a bowl of ice cold water. Let them sit for a few minutes, then crack the outer shell. It will immediately fall away! You can also try this method with potatoes – boil them with the skin on, place them in cold water, and easily peel the skin right off.
Watch the video below for even more food hacks!