* HOW TO COOK A PUMPKIN WHOLE * HOW TO ROAST RAW SUNFLOWER SEEDS * HEALTHY KITCHEN STAPLES * HOW TO CLEAN UP STUCK ON DOUGH * CAN YOU SUBSTITUTE GREEN TOMATOES FOR TOMATILLOS *
Fall is in full swing, so I had to mention *pumpkin*. But chances are you may be surprised at this shortcut to cooking with pumpkin. It’s a true #HealthyKitchenHacks in the sense of ‘ease and fun.’
Deanna and I are both doing the nesting/storing-food-for-the-winter thing – as she noted in her most recent #Hacks post. I’m getting my pantry stocked and trying to stay inspired to use up the last nature’s bounty – green tomatoes for me – and kolrabi for Deanna.
So as you ready your kitchen for the change of season, here’s a little inspiration…
1. How to Use Green Cherry Tomatoes
via Janice @Meal Makeover Moms
Got green cherry tomatoes galore? I do. Anyone who has a cherry tomato plant usually has little green guys this time of year. They also pop up in CSA’s. So here are two ways to use green cherry tomatoes:
- Ripen on the counter – it will take a while – but in a few weeks they will be red. And while not ‘vine-ripened’ they will taste better than store-bought varieties. Ripen in a paper bag with an apple or banana for faster ripening.
- Use as tomatillos – as in this awesome Fiery Tomatillo Salsa. In recipes where tomatillos are heated/cooked, green cherry tomatoes can be a good swap because their seeds are small like tomatillo seeds. (If used raw, green tomatoes could be too acidic.) Janice’s salsa uses tomatillos – but thanks to her encouragement – I tried her recipe with green tomatoes (and roasted red bell peppers instead of fiery chilies!) My kids couldn’t stop eating it.
Serve with Lime Salt Homemade Tortilla Chips
2. How to Cook a Pumpkin Whole
Yes, you really can throw an entire pumpkin into your oven, close the door and bake; the pumpkin will not explode! This post remains one of our more popular fall-time recipes. Maybe – with Halloween coming – cooks feel a bit like Hansel & Gretel when they shoved the witch in the oven and closed the oven! Or maybe, it’s because the melty, cheesy goodness of savory bread pudding cooked inside the pumpkin is just so comforting.
3. Quick Way to Clean Stuck-On Dough Off Counters
I spent the weekend testing four different variations on a dinner roll recipe; so I used this #hack over and over again. And with holiday bread and cookie baking season close at hand, you may too.
Instead of using a wet cloth to try to scour off stuck-on dough – which usually makes a soggy mess – let the dough dry on the counter. Then use a flat-edged metal or silicone spatula/scraper to scrap off the crusty dough. After removing most of the mess, a quick wipe with a damp cloth is all that is needed.
Try out after making No-Knead Whole Wheat Refrigerator Rolls.
4. How to Stock a Healthy Pantry
via Dixya @FoodHealthPleasure
Having a well-stocked pantry is the true definition of a #HealthyKitchenHack . It’s a shortcut, it’s a time-saver. And it keeps dinner on the healthy side – not to mention breakfast and lunch. Eating from your own healthfully-stocked pantry is also more budget-friendly than eating out. Check out Dixya’s Top 5 Healthy Kitchen Staples – which are in my pantry too – however her shelves are probably more neatly stacked than mine! (:
With a simply-stocked pantry, you could make: Slow Cooker Mushroom Bolognese
5. How to Roast Fresh Sunflower Seeds
via @Big Red Kitchen and Elise @Simply Recipes
Ever bought one of those big sunflower heads at the farmers market and when you tasted them, wondered, “Why don’t these taste like packaged sunflower seeds?” I’ll sheepishly admit I thought they would! When the kids and I tasted our first sunflower seeds it was a BIG disappointment after watching our beautiful sunflowers grow tall all summer. Instead they tasted, well, raw. I learned sunflowers must first be roasted and salted. So, here are two ways for:
How to roast raw sunflower seed so they taste like store-bought:
- Saute in a skillet via Big Red Kitchen – Quicker way.
- Roast in the oven via SimplyRecipes – Takes a bit longer, but tastes more traditional.
Make up a batch of Sunflower Seed Apple MuffinsTop 5 Healthy Pantry Staples + 4 more #HealthyKitchenHacks via @tspcurry Click To Tweet