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Simply place an egg in question in a cup of water: rotten eggs float, and fresh ones sink!
Don’t have a suitable knife handy, but cake cutting cannot wait? Worry not – simply grab some dental floss and cut away. Also suitable for cheese, Swiss rolls and other soft foods.
If your champagne has gone flat in the bottle, try this: drop in a couple of raisins, and the natural sugars will restore the fizz.
No need to cut a lemon in half if all you need is a few drops of juice. A better approach is to puncture the lemon with a metal skewer and squeeze out as much as needed whilst preserving the fruit.
A great way to preserve the freshness of herbs is storing them in the freezer in entire bunches, rinsed and sealed in plastic. They defrost quickly in a pan, and frozen herbs are also very easy to chop.
Bugs hate bay leaves, so slip a couple into your storage containers! Great for pasta, flour, rice and more.
Simply wrap your mushrooms in paper towels before refrigerating to prevent the formation of yucky slime.
If otherwise fresh muffins have started to go a bit stale, try this: sprinkle with water, place in a paper bag and revive in the hot oven for up to 10 seconds. Moisture and softness restored!
Hate dry cheese? Who doesn’t! Fortunately, it’s an easy fix: just spread some butter or margarine on the cut sides to preserve moisture. This hack is ideal for hard wax-sealed cheeses.
Veggies such as carrots, celery and radishes can lose their crunch over time, but it’s easy to tackle: just place them in a bowl of icy water and add a slice of raw potato. Magic!
Don’t separate a bunch of bananas until you plan to consume them, as they spoil much slower as a bunch.
Never combine crispy and chewy cookies in the same container – otherwise, the moisture from the chewy ones will kill the crunch.
A few grains of rice in your salt shaker will prevent the salt from hardening, as the rice will absorb any condensation.
Butter can be stored in the freezer for up to six months – just pop it in an airtight container to avoid flavour absorbance from other foods.
To prolong the life of your cottage cheese or sour cream, store the containers upside down in the fridge. This way, the created vacuum suppresses bacterial growth.
Honey doesn’t spoil, so no need to get rid of your crystallised jar! Simply revive the honey by microwaving on medium heat, checking on it every 30 seconds, until the product is clear.
Stop leftover pasta from getting dry by refrigerating it in a sealed plastic bag. Before serving, revive it by placing the pasta in boiling water for a few seconds. Nice and soft!
Did you know you can freeze cheese to preserve it? Wrap the original packaging tightly in cling wrap and freeze. Before serving, cheese can be defrosted in the fridge – this can take up to a day. The trick is ideal for high-fat, soft cheese varieties.
To stop brown sugar from hardening, simply keep it in the freezer! If your sugar has hardened already, seal it in a bag with a slice of fresh bread or an apple. Alternatively, microwave on high for up to 30 seconds.
Over-salting a soup accidentally can be extremely frustrating – however, you don’t need to discard the hard work. Instead, add wedges of an apple of raw potato and simmer for 10 minutes to absorb the salt, then discard the pieces. Still a bit salty? A spoonful of sugar and/or a dash of apple cider vinegar can help. If nothing else works, the last resort can be diluting your creation with low-salt broth or just water.
Soup a bit too fatty? Fret not and pop it right in the fridge for about 30 mins, then skim the excess fat off and reheat. If you’re a bit pressed in time, simply add a few ice cubes and discard when the grease sticks to them. Another option is tossing in a big lettuce leaf that absorbs excess oil – discard when it goes limp.
Rinse the inside of the pan with cold water, leaving about a tablespoon of water in the pan. This forms a protective layer between milk and pan – voila
Roll the citrus fruits back and forth on a cutting board before juicing – this mobilises extra fluid, making juicing more efficient.
After bringing the water to boil, lower the heat to rapid simmer. Add the eggs and start the timer – for one or two eggs, 5 minutes is just right for a runny yolk, and 7 minutes will give you a firmer yet spoonable yolk.
Almost any fruit can be ripened overnight by spending a few hours in a paper bag with an apple. The secret is the ethylene gas apples release, boosting ripening of other fruits.
Plastic food containers are porous, which results in retaining odours even after washing. To absorb the smells, store them with newspaper balls inside – don’t forget to rinse before using again.
The correct process is the following: separate the legs, then the drumsticks from the thighs; separate the wings; place the body back side up and cut along each side of the spine to rid of the backbone; and finally, cut the breast in half.
Roll cold mash into balls, dip in beaten eggs, cover in bread crumbs and cook in your preferred way.
Made more rice than could possibly be eaten? The situation calls for a pudding: add butter, cinnamon, sugar and milk and boil. Alternatively, make fried rice with egg, soy sauce and veggies. Finally, why not make some pilaf by tossing the rice with shaved almonds and raisins? Yum.
If you have brewed strong leftover coffee, simply freeze it into ice cubes and add these to iced coffees to make a strong beverage!
Sprinkle the burned bottom with some baking soda, add 5-6 tablespoons of salt and enough water to cover, and then let it stand overnight. In the morning, the charred remains will be easy to remove with a spatula.
To prevent cooked steak from drying out, put it on top of tin foil immediately after cooking, wrap it in foil and let sit for about 5 minutes to let the juices settle. Keep in mind the steak is still cooking when wrapped, so take it off the pan a dash earlier if your preferred consistency.
No need to throw out produce prematurely! Simply wrap your vegetables in dry paper towels and pack into resealable plastic bags. This prevents oxygen from getting in, prolonging the shelf life. Also, don’t wash the veggies before you are planning to use them. Finally, avoid overstocking your drawers with veggies, as this can cause restricted air flow and uneven temperature pockets.
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add potatoes. Boil until tender but still quite firm. Drain and return dry on the stove over low for 1 to 2 minutes. Add butter, cheese (Parmesan works best), spring onions, cream cheese, and garlic; season to taste. Mash until smooth, serve and enjoy.
Simply mix raw garlic with any form of fat, such as oil or butter. Alternatively, enjoy it in guacamole. After eating, consume natural breath fresheners such as parsley, mint or raw coffee beans. Other ways of getting rid of garlic breath include eating an apple, drinking some milk, or enjoying a cup of green or cinnamon tea
Boil eggs in salted water. When cooked, drain and run cold water over the eggs until cooled down. Crack a little and let sit in cold water for about 10 minutes. Enjoy easy peeling!
First, cut the fruit in half. After that, simply spoon out the tiny red jewels and enjoy – that’s all! Eat them raw or add as a condiment to any sweet or savoury dishes.
All you need to do is wash off any dirt and give the root a good scrub – no need to peel, although some people do prefer it. Simply grate the turmeric or smash it (the latter is easy with pestle and mortar, or even a garlic press).
Sift 1-2 tsp matcha into a cup with a small sifter. Add 2oz hot water, ideally just under the boil. Whisk vigorously until the beverage is nice and frothy – and enjoy straight from the bowl!
Peel the fruit from top to bottom. Using the Y-shaped peeler, work your way around the mango, getting rid of the peel. Find the tallest line of the fruit, slice in half avoiding the pit, and cut around it. Slice the cut halves and enjoy the refreshing mango!
The best tip is to use a cold-water bath – submerge tightly sealed frozen chicken in a container of cold water, place in the sink and slowly run cold water over the bowl so it never goes empty.
Homemade cookies get stale much faster than store-bought ones sans the additives and preservatives, but there is a hack to prevent it: just throw a slice of fresh bread into your cookie container.
Left with a loaf of stale bread and no time to get a new one? Simply run it through some water and put in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, wrap in a damp towel and pop in the oven. So fresh and crunchy!
Hi, I am Jen!
I am really excited you found your way to this kitchen hacks, food tips and tricks category page. Let me introduce myself. I am a researcher, nutritionist, writer and editor here at Food How and I also love cooking. I started this blog to inform, encourage, inspire and engage all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet and nutrition. Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you will find some interesting cooking tips and useful food hacks here to improve your cooking, nutrition, diet and well-being.
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