Kitchen Food Hacks
From cosy family dinners to a perfectly organised pantry, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house for many of us! We’ve rounded up our favourite kitchen hacks to help you save time, effort and space in the kitchen. So many of you have shared your favourite kitchen food hacks over in our Facebook Group, and we love seeing all of your tips and tricks, so keep them coming!
Keep your recipe book open
No more juggling an open recipe book while stirring or chopping! If you have a trouser coat hanger, you can clamp open the page and hang it from a cupboard handle, like Eva Campbell!
Perfectly shaped wedges
Psst… a straw works for hulling strawberries too! Push it through the bottom and watch the stem pop right off!
Use your slow cooker as a double boiler
By using your slow cooker instead of the oven, you can save energy while slowly melting different toppings inside ramekins or jars. It’s a handy way of melting different types of chocolate or peanut butter at once for drizzling on Banana and Chocolate Pancakes or puddings.
Keep your grill clean
Alice Stephens shared their tip to wrap food in baking parchment/greaseproof paper before grilling in a grill like a Ninja Foodi or George Foreman. Not only does this protect the non-stick coating, but it also means you don’t have to spend ages scrubbing off the burnt bits!
We think this would keep our BBQ Chicken Steaks succulent, without the mess.
Keep fruit fresher for longer
Separate bananas from each other and away from the fruit bowl: they release gases that speed up ripening.
Another tip is to store tomatoes stem down to slow down ripening. See more tips on how to reduce food waste in our article here.
If you need to use up your tomatoes, toss them into a fresh salsa like in our Halloumi Cous Cous Burgers with Salsa recipe!
Save space in small kitchens
We love to batch cook so we always have a slimming friendly dinner on hand, but sometimes it can be hard to find room in a small freezer! Stacking up tupperware can lead to a lot of dead space, so you could do what Gemma Haymonds does and freeze your meals in reusable freezer bags (Azon link).
By freezing them flat, you can stack them on top of each other to make the most of your freezer space!
Dinner for one
Lara Grace Brummitt shared this great tip about freezing in individual portions: an ice cube tray makes the perfect size for pizza sauces or spreading on wraps.
Once they’re frozen you can pop the cubes out and store in a bag to save space. They’re the perfect single size portion to defrost and serve for a simple, speedy meal!
You’re not limited to sauces either, Claire Flagg freezes fresh herbs while they’re still at their best. Don’t forget to label the bags so you know what the contents are!
For more freezer tips, see our list of foods you didn’t know you could freeze.
Make the most of citrus fruit
Get more juice from lemons and limes by microwaving for 7-10 seconds and rolling in your palms before squeezing. You get all of the citrusy flavour for less effort!
You can use the lemon juice in our Creamy Lemon Chicken for a zesty, rich dinner.
Stop a bubbling pan
Some essential kitchen tools can be used in surprising ways! Did you know that placing a wooden spoon across a pan of boiling water will stop it bubbling over?
Spray more than just pans
If you’re tired of sticky, hard to clean cheese graters, simply spray a little cooking spray on your grater before you start. It’s SO much easier to clean and safer than trying to use your fingers to get the bits of cheese out!
Sprinkly the cheese on top of a Smoked Haddock and Cheese Gratin:
Swap the spoon for a scoop
The sharp edge of an ice cream soup is ideal for cutting into butternut squash, melons or pumpkins. It saves your fingers and you don’t need anywhere near as much force to scoop out the seeds. Now a warming side of Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Mash is even easier.
No more slippery chopping board
For a chopping board that’s sliding all over the counter top, you don’t need to buy a fancy new one, just pop a folded teatowel underneath – no more sliding! You can now chop up all the bits for a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese easily and safely.
Fishing out eggshell is time-consuming, but it’s easily fixed! If eggshell goes into the bowl when you are breaking eggs, you can use one of the halves of eggshell to fish it out again.
An empty plastic bottle is all you need to easily separate egg whites from yolks: crack the egg in a bowl, hold the neck of the bottle above the yolk and squeeze the bottle. The air pressure sucks the yolk inside!
If you accidentally drop an egg while cooking, pour a little table salt to soak it up for easy clean up.
Try these egg-cellent hacks while making up some indulgent Banana Cream Pudding:
Use the oven even when it’s turned off
You can use your oven as a proving drawer when it is turned off. Just add a tray of hot water at the bottom and shut the door. It saves space and no fancy equipment needed!
Spice up your spice rack
To save space in a small kitchen or if you want a convenient way of having your favourite spices on hand, try using magnetic spice jars like these ones.
They can be attached to anything metal and keeps your shelves and cupboards free. You can find versions that can be written on with chalk so they’re reusable and the twist off lid means they’re easy to refill.
We love how handy it is to have all your favourite spices within easy reach on the side of the fridge! If you need some spice inspiration, we have a list of cheap and easy spice blends to get you started.
What’s your favourite kitchen hack? We can’t wait to see all of your tips over in our Facebook Group, where we have nearly 1m members ready to motivate, support and inspire you on your slimming journey!