Wednesday, January 6, 2016

20 Great and Helpful Kitchen Tips

From My InBox:

Throughout my life, I have learned quit a few kitchen tricks that have saved me a lot of money and time. I think these 21 tricks are the best amongst them, and some of them might change your kitchen
experience forever.

1. Wrap celery and broccoli in aluminum foil
Wrapping celery and broccoli in aluminum foil and keeping it as airtight as possible can preserve them for up to a month. The reason is that fresh celery/broccoli has the right  amount of moisture inside, and by keeping it in the airtight foil, it keeps it fresh and crisp for longer.

2. Fix stale chips and crackers in the microwave

Don't throw away stale chips or crackers. Instead – put them in the microwave, but be sure to consume them quickly after, since the staling process accelerates once they cool down.

3. Turn a finished jar of spreadable chocolate into hot coco

That "empty" jar of Nutella is not really empty, is it? Those leftover bits of delicious chocolaty goodness can be turned into amazing chocolate milk with ease – simply pour hot milk into the spent jar, close the lid and give it a good shake until the residue all mixes with the milk, then
pour in a glass and enjoy!

4. Store pineapples upside-down

Ever bought a fresh pineapple and cut it up, only to discover that the  top is deliciously sweet, but the bottom is very tart? This happens because naturally, the ripening process begins at the top of the
pineapple and slowly moves down. To get the pineapple to ripen faster and be fully sweet, cut off the leafy part and store it upside down, the sugars will travel from the old top to the "new" top and hasten the ripening, leaving you with a sweet and delicious pineapple quickly.

5.Store apples with potatoes

Apples produce Ethylene gas, which is effective at preventing the potatoes from sprouting.

6. Keep onions and garlic in ventilated paper bags

Keeping onions and garlic cloves in ventilated bag will keep them fresh and free of mold for 2-3 months longer.

7. Store lettuce with a paper towel

When it comes to lettuce, as opposed to the celery, moisture is the  enemy. Keeping it in a sealed bag with a paper towel will keep moisture away from lettuce, leaving it crisp and delicious.

8. Store natural nut spread upside down

The common way to store natural nut spread leads to the natural oils in  the nuts to float upwards, leaving the bottom hard and drier. By flipping the container for a couple of days, you help the oils return to the whole of the spread, making stirring much easier and helping you avoid that terrible, hard bottom layer.

9. Avoid empty spaces in the fridge

Every time you open the fridge door, you let the cool air inside seep out, while allowing the warmer room temperature to get in. This forces the fridge to work harder to restore the temperature and can lead to fungus and bacteria to propagate faster (the cold temperature slows this process down considerably). If your fridge isn't full, keep a few containers full of water in the empty spaces. Water cools down slower than air, helping maintain the surrounding ambient temperature down.

10. Turn leftover mayo into salad dressing

Every time you finish a jar of mayo, don't throw it away. The leftover mayo in the jar that you can't be bothered to scrape out can be turned into fantastic salad dressing: pour in some olive oil, vinegar, and add your choice of herbs, then shake it until the residue is all mixed with the liquids, leaving you with an easy, delicious and free dressing.

11. Before you squeeze citrus, microwave it for 15 seconds

It might sound weird, but warm fruit releases juice more easily than a cold one.

12. Wrap banana crowns in cling-film

Bananas release Ethylene gas, similarly to apples. The only problem with that, is that it hastens ripening and then – rotting. Once harvested, this process begins and cannot be stopped. You can, however, slow it down by wrapping the crowns in cling-film, minimizing the amount of ethylene released. (For even better results, separate all the bananas from the bunch and wrap each crown individually)

13. Fertilize potted plants with spent coffee grounds

Used coffee grounds are still rich in nutrients, making them wonderful fertilizer for potted plants, and their acidity also helps to keep snails and slugs away. You can sprinkle the grounds on the soil, mix it in the first 2 inches or brew it a-little, and pour the concoction into the flower-pot.

14. Use huggers to preserve cut fruits and veggies

Cut vegetables and fruit rot faster due to the exposure to air. Use the huggers to keep them fresh for longer.

15. Make ready-for-use herbal butter

Chop fresh herbs and place them in an ice tray, then fill with melted butter or oil. This will prevent the herbs from spoiling and give you individual portions of your choice of herb-butter! YUM!

16. Regrow leftovers

The bottom of various green leafy veggies can be regrown. Celery, green onions, lettuce and more can be regrown from the leftover bottoms, using a small container and keeping them watered.

17. Leftover cheese wrappers can be used for storage

Cut the first part of the cheese along with the wrapper, remove the cheese and use the wrapper to seal the rest of the cheese. No more dry ends on your cheese!

18. Get all the mango while keeping your hands clean

Cut the mango in halves, grab a glass and use it as a scooper to separate the flesh from the skin. No more wasting mango or getting your hands sticky!

19. Keep your avocado with an onion

The sulfur in the onion fumes will prevent the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown. A splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice will work similarly.

20. Make leftover pizza crispy again

There are 2 ways to get that leftover pizza crispy again: Put it in a skillet and let the oil in the crust return it into crispy goodness. Alternatively, put it in the microwave with a glass of water. While it's not as efficient, it's faster…

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