Healthy Kitchen Hacks #4

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: Take The Bite Out of Raw Onions, DIY Microwave Popcorn, Homemade Taco Seasoning, Make Hard Boiled Eggs in Your Oven & How to Easily Cut Quesadillas

For the past week, I’ve been in the kitchen testing and retesting – and now I (Serena) have some fun Healthy Kitchen Hacks to share. In case you missed Deanna’s first posts:

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #1
Healthy Kitchen Hacks #2
Healthy Kitchen Hacks #3

Here are the Healthy Kitchen Hacks I’ve tried and actually work:

1) How to Take the Bite Out of Raw Onions
via Stephanie @RecipeRenovator

Make onions less strong

How easy is this: Soak onions in ice water for 15 minutes? Actually for yellow cooking onions, I found it took about 20 minutes for the bite to dissipate. But it worked. For you food science junkies, the reason is pretty simple; according to food scientist, Harold McGee in this New York Times article, the ‘aged sulfur’ in the onions is washed away by water. Now I can add crunchy onions to any salad or taco without worrying about getting ‘bit.’

2) How to Make Hardboiled Eggs in the Oven
via Regan @HealthyAperature

how to hardboil eggs in the oven

At first, I was skeptical. I mean, how hard is it to boil water with a few eggs thrown gently placed in? But the thing is, you gotta watch that pot to make sure you turn it off the second the eggs come to a rolling boil. Which I usually miss resulting in green rings around my eggs. Not so with this nifty trick on how to ‘Hardboil’ Eggs in the Oven.

3) Healthy Homemade Microwave Popcorn
via Daniel @SeriousEats

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

The hardest part about this trick for me was finding a paper bag! I didn’t have any brown paper lunch sacks, so I recycled a small supermarket brown bag. These super simple step-by-step instructions are excellent; although I will say I didn’t have the patience for the somewhat complicated bag closure system. I just used clear tape and it worked great. And to spice up your popcorn, check out How to Make Healthy Flavored Popcorn + Ranch Dressing Popcorn

4) Lower-Sodium Homemade Taco Seasoning
via Katie @MomToMomNutrition

Low-sodium Taco Seasoning

Boy, did this make some yummy tacos! Katie uses spices I always have on hand to make a lower-sodium version of packaged taco seasoning. Bonus: This recipe has just enough kick of spice for adults – but isn’t too spicy for kids. And it’s easily adaptable. I don’t really care for onion powder, so I left it out. I also appreciated Katie’s tip to use a bit of flour for a saucier version. (The mix makes enough for about 2 pounds of meat.)

5) How to Quickly Cut Quesadillas

Uses for kitchen shears

Confession: I don’t own a pizza cutter. I use kitchen shears for cutting pizza – and quesadillas. To me it’s easier – so easy that my 7-year-old is the model for this photo. My kids use shears to snip scallions, bread for bread pudding and even cooked chicken for salad/sandwiches. And unlike your best knives, shears can go in the dishwasher. No kitchen shears? Use clean craft/paper scissors; wash by hand.

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


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.

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by!

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