As someone who seriously advocates for woman equality, the strength of females, and eradicating gender roles… I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen. Way more than Adam does.
A couple weeks ago I even said to him “even though you live here and we share everything… this is MY kitchen. MINE.” He did not look too impressed.
It definitely has to do with my love of eating, but I love the kitchen almost as much as I love the gym.
After spending many years packing my lunch every day, creating new recipes, and finding alternatives for meat products, I’ve picked up a few simple kitchen hacks along the way. They’re both convenient for cooking, and beneficial for helping you stick with healthy habits.
I also found that some of these tips really help to reduce food waste, and as you may know, i’m a stickler for the environment and waste reduction.
7 Simple Kitchen Hacks
How to Keep Cilantro & Other Herbs Fresh
I used to buy cilantro, use it once in a recipe, and then keep it in the fridge for a few days. The next time I took it out, it was wilted, wet, and emitted this awful smell – threw it straight into the bin.
INSTEAD, what you should do is this: Take the cilantro out of the bag, and wash it. Fill a masor jar halfway with water, and stick the stems in. Let the herb dry for a bit, and then cover it with a small plastic bulk bag. Keep it in your fridge, and it stays fresh for 1-2 weeks! Whenever you want to use it, it’s clean and ready to eat.
Peel Squash Without Having a Stroke
If you guys checked out my butternut squash pasta recipe, you may have seen this AMAZING kitchen hack that I always use now. Peeling butternut squash is so hard. There’s a reason I used to only buy a couple each year. Now, you can do it sooo much quicker and without the threat of stabbing yourself with the peeling knife.
First, stab that disagreeable squash several times with a fork or knife. Then place it in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.
Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes. The bottom of the squash may be a little soft and mushy, but for the most part it will still be quite firm. Once cooled, the peel will be MUCH softer, and the process will go much quicker. You’re WELCOME!
Freeze Leftover Pizza Sauce
Pita pizzas are a regular in the Cheng/Brown household, so having pizza sauce on hand is an absolute necessity. I cannot stand to throw away even a tablespoon of the stuff, so instead I freeze it in ice cube trays! I fill each one up as much as I can, and then freeze it overnight. Then I pop them all out, and place them into a separate container in the freezer.
It makes for some interesting cocktails, but as long as you remember to rinse off the tray, you’ll be fine 😉
Store Bulk Items in Mason Jars
Really, I decided to do this because the mason jars just looked sooo much hipper than Ziploc containers. But I also realized there were quite a few benefits to keeping them stored this way! The mason jar seals off the food from the air, so that your bulk items stay fresher for longer. No gross bacteria entering here.
It also prevents any smells or spills, which reduces the chance that any mice or bugs may want to enter your household.
Keep a Water Bottle in the Fridge
FACT: Cold water is wayy more delicious than room temperature water. And nothing shows that you listened to your Girl Guide leaders than being prepared with a cold, delicious, fresh bottle of water. In a reusable water bottle, obviously.
It’s funny because this idea actually stemed from me hating how ugly our water bottles looked around our apartment. We had plants, hand sprayed copper book stands, white frames, and then… a black water bottle with a giant Nike symbol on it. It just couldn’t do. So instead I filled up all our bottles and shoved em in the fridge and haven’t looked back.
Boil Several Eggs for a Quick & Healthy Snack
Fact: I stole this idea from Adam.
Fact #2: I also steal his boiled eggs.
They’re just so damn convenient! At the beginning of every week, he boils 12 eggs and keeps them in the fridge. On his way to work he’ll grab a couple as they are the perfect snack for when he gets hungry at work.
There have been times at home I just need a small bite, and an apple just doesn’t fill the craving. I slyly sneak my hand into his egg container (lol), and grab one. This method has stopped me several times from running to the convenience store and buying a bag of chips. #thankyouadamforkeepingmefit
Freeze Vegetable Scraps to Make Veggie Broth
I got this idea after watching Sam from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken’s Youtube video, and I LOVELOVELOVE it. Such a great way to use something that would otherwise be thrown into the bin. The video is super easy to follow and you get a tooon of broth from it.
Anyway, these 7 hacks I do allllll the time, and I love that I feel like i’m making a difference to the environment and my grocery bill. Even the smallest changes add up quickly! Do you have any kitchen hacks? Share them below!