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.
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ) or share in COMMENTS below and we’ll try them out.