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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!