Healthy Kitchen Hacks #11

Healthy Kitchen Hacks is a weekly series on Teaspoon of Spice. We share fellow bloggers’ and our own favorite cooking shortcuts, kitchen tricks and “aha” ideas for making healthy meals a snap.

#HealthyKitchenHacks: Easy Way to Caramelize Onions, Thaw Frozen Meat in 20 Minutes,  Alternate Uses for Egg Slicer, Homemade Whole Wheat Bisquick Mix, No Flip Oven Pancakes  via teaspsoonofspice.com

It’s Wednesday and time for another edition of #HealthyKitchenHacks. Today I’m sharing hacks for some of my ultimate favorites. Caramelized onions are a fave as pizza and soup toppers. An eggs slicer is a (maybe surprising) kitchen tool favorite. And biscuits and pancakes are super fun to make with my kids. Happy hacking!

1) Super Easy Way to Caramelize Onions
Via Robin @RobinsBite

#HealthyKitchenHacks: Crock Pot Caramelized Onions

Sweet-savory, ultra-flavorful caramelized onions add instant slow-cooked flavor to any soup, pasta sauce, scrambled eggs or even buttered toast. But, they generally take over 30 minutes to make with near-constant stirring. This caramelized onion trick from Robin is totally hands-off. Just set ’em and forget ’em in the slow cooker. (She suggests setting on LOW; I found 4 hours on HIGH works too.)

2) Cool Uses For An Egg Slicer

HealthyKitchenHacks: Cool uses for egg slicer

I have previously professed my love for the best-dollar-store-find: the egg slicer. It’s the only way my youngest two will eat nutrition-packed hardboiled eggs – because they can do the slicing themselves.

Egg slicers have no sharp edges and are great for kid (and moms) to slice all sorts of produce. And I find, if kids help with the food prep, they are much more likely to taste it. Use an egg slicer for slicing: mushrooms, bananas, kiwi, strawberries, pitted peaches, cooked peeled sweet potatoes – and lots more of which I haven’t thought yet.

3) Thaw Frozen Meat in 20 Minutes – Safely!
Via Harold McGee on SplendidTable

#HealthyKitchenHacks: Thaw meat in hot water safely

Ever since a college food safety class, I’ve been a bit obsessive about thawing meat safely. So I was skeptical when I heard about a new way to defrost beyond the refrigerator, microwave or an ice-cold water bath. But as food scientist Harold McGee explains, because smaller cuts of meat (not entire chickens) thaw so quickly in water above 100°F, hot water is an acceptable method of defrosting. Get all the tips on safely defrosting meat here.

I placed a liquid measuring cup filled with hot water on top of the meat to keep it submerged; my 8-ounce steak thawed in 19 minutes.

4) Homemade Whole Wheat Baking Mix like Bisquick®
Via Stephie @StephieCooks

#HealthyKitchenHacks: Whole Wheat Bisquick

I love the idea of having homemade baking mix on hand for quick-to-make biscuits, dumplings, casserole-topping and pancakes (see below!) This mix from Stephie produces deliciously buttery biscuits and Lemon Bars. I mixed up her homemade Bisquick recipe with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.

5) No-Flip Oven Pancakes
Via Tiffany @StuffParentsNeed

#HealthyKitchenHacks: No-Flip Oven Pancakes

In true ‘hack’ fashion, Tiffany’s brilliant no flip pancakes recipe truly saves time – and literally removes you from the kitchen. No more standing over the hot pancake griddle. Instead, just pour your favorite pancake batter into a rimmed baking pan (half sheet pan,) spread out and bake. The GIANT pancake emerges from the oven buttery, fluffy and ready-to-be-cut.

In my house, the square-cut cakes didn’t go over so hot. But Tiffany’s idea to cut cookie cutters was a popular as, well…hotcakes!

Would you try any of these hacks? Any healthy kitchen or healthy living shortcuts to share? Shoot us an email (ddaly@teaspooncomm.com or sball@teaspooncomm.com ) or share below and we’ll try them out.

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We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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