Healthy Kitchen Hacks #47

*What to Do with Corn Cobs* *Regrow Lettuce From Stems* *Easy Way to Peel and Devein Shrimp* *Creative and Quick Way to Make Quesadillas* *Make a Better-For-You Cake**

Healthy Kitchen Hacks #47: What to Do with Corn Cobs, Regrow Lettuce from Stems, Naked Cake, Easy Way to Peel and Devein Shrimp, Waffle Quesadillas

Another week and another round of Healthy Kitchen Hacks! Here are the shortcuts and “ahas” that I’ve tried in my kitchen in the past few weeks that I’m giving a thumbs up to – let me know if you’d try any of these – or if you’ve already had, what were the results?

1) What to Do With Corn Cobs
via @EdiblePhilly

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -What to Do with Corn Cobs

In this day and age of reducing food waste and using the whole plant and animal, I love the idea of doing something with our corn cobs, which typically go in the compost pile. The answer? Make corn stock!

I saw this hack in the Summer issue of Edible Philly where you throw your used corn cobs in a pot, cover with salted water and simmer for an hour. I tried it in my slow cooker (on low for 6 hours.) The result was a thin broth that tasted like fresh corn. I’ve frozen it for now and thinking about using it to make corn chowder, for cooking rice or risotto or cooking polenta.

2) Regrow Lettuce From Stem (Black Thumb Friendly!)
via Janel @Eat Well With Janel

I saw my pal and dietitian colleague Janel, post this on her Instagram page a few months ago.

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Regrow Lettuce From Stem

I was intrigued and it seems so basic that even a non-gardener like myself could handle. I cut the stem of store-bough Romaine lettuce about 2 inches from the end of three heads. Then I put them in about 1 inch of water, which I changed almost every day and kept the pan by a sunny window.

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Regrow Lettuce From Stem

9 days later:

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Regrow Lettuce From Stem

I couldn’t believe it – it totally worked! Now, the fail came when I had my husband plant them – they wilted and died. Upon more research, the “regrowth” only happens that one time in the water and then the plant goes to seed. But I still think it’s a worthy hack to try from time to time to get more lettuce out of your old stems because it’s so easy to do. This would also be a great project for the kids!

Regrow lettuce from the stems + 4 more #healthykitchenhacks via @tspbasil Click To Tweet

3) Easy Way to Peel and Devein Shrimp

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -Easy Way to Peel and Devein Shrimp

The next time you need to peel and devein shrimp, reach for your kitchen shears. I’ve always done this prep work with my hands but that meant peeling the shrimp and then removing the vein with a knife. Kitchen shears make this process more manageable as I learned from this The Kitchn post. Cut through the shell and then remove the vein also using the shears.

To get even more use out of your kitchen shears, check out EA @The Spicy RD’s article: Kitchen Shears Can Do More Than You Think in the recent issue of Food & Nutrition magazine.

4) Creative and Quick Way to Make Quesadillas
via Colleen @Souffle Bombay

Healthy Kitchen Hacks -Waffle Quesadillas

Quesadillas are already a pretty quick meal to throw together. Plus they’re easy to make healthier by using corn or whole grain tortillas and loading up on the veggies for the stuffing. Then I saw Colleen’s Easy Chicken + Cheese Quesadillas Cooked in a Waffle Iron and knew I had to try out the concept.

My daughter and I made ham, cheese and tomato and caprese quesadillas on whole wheat tortillas with my stovetop Belgium waffle iron. They were such a cinch to make – especially if you’re making a batch. Mia loved the novelty behind them and now I have another no-brainer dinner option – waffle quesadillas – to add to our routine recipe rotation. #Score!

5) Make a Better-For-You Cake
via @CookingLight

Healthy Kitchen Hacks - Naked Cake

Let’s end with cake, shall we? I saw this concept for “Naked Cake” in the August issue of Cooking Light and thought “brilliant.” Apparently, this style is becoming a trend for wedding cakes as it creates a less formal and more homemade appearing cake while slashing calories and upping the nutrition factor.

This Naked Cake concept is a hack specifically frosted cakes and layered cakes. Frost the top of the cake layers but not the sides. Then, top each layer with fresh seasonal fruit.

Take this better-for-you cake concept a step further and use Regan’s easy to make Greek Yogurt Frosting previously featured here on HKH.


Would you try any of these hacks? Do you have any healthy kitchen or healthy living shortcuts to share? Shoot us an email (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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