Cooking Tips That Helped Me

1.  If you cut the crusts of your kid’s bread like I do for my daughter, don’t throw them away.  Place them in the freezer so you can use them for bread crumbs later.

2. If a recipe calls for the juice of a lemon/lime/orange, don’t discard the rinds.  Store them in the freezer in case you have a recipe that calls for the zest.

3.  Squeeze lemon or pineapple juice on potatoes, avocados and apples to prevent browning.

4.  When you wash produce, line the containers with paper towels.  It will help absorb moisture and they will keep longer.

5.  Store your oils inside a closed cabinet.  When they are exposed to light they go rancid quicker.

6.  Don’t store apples and bananas next to each other.  The apples give off a gas that makes the bananas brown faster.

7.  To keep cauliflower white during cooking, add a small amount of milk to the water.

8.  If you don’t want onions to sting your eyes during slicing, peel the skin off and then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

9.  When juicing a lemon or lime, roll it on the counter using your palm and some pressure.  This will help to release some more juice.

10.  Store all whole grain flours in the fridge.  They will go rancid faster in the cabinet.

11.  When a recipe calls for minced garlic, don’t bother with your knife.  Slide it along a microplane.  So much faster and more efficient.

12.  To get the smell off your hands after handling garlic, rub your hands along stainless steel for a few seconds.

13.  When I make a batch of cookies or muffins, I take a few that I want out and freeze the rest.  That way I never feel like I have to eat them all.  Baked goods freeze very well.

14.  When making any kind of sauce, do a big batch and then freeze the extra in ice trays so you will have them for later.  This also works for broths.

15.  If you are making muffins, pancakes, waffles…etc, double the batch and freeze one.  Then you will have quick breakfast options.

16.  Save your veggie scraps.  I keep mine in a bag in the freezer.  You can use them to make your own broth.

17.  Try to set aside a couple hours on the weekend for cooking.  Freeze most of what you make.  You can have all your meals planned for the week so you don’t need to worry about cooking much during the work week.

18.  Love your crock pot.  This is my go to appliance for easy cooking.  You can turn it on in the morning and it will be done by dinnertime.

19.  To cut down on prep time, have your food processor do the work.  That way, you are not spending forever mincing or dicing vegetables.

20.  If you have a rice cooker, you can also do just about any other grain in there as well.  I have used mine for lentils, quinoa and bulgur.  We have also used it as a steamer.

21.  Save your celery, onion, garlic, lettuce and asparagus ends.  Did you know they can re-grow themselves?  You will never have to buy them again!

22 thoughts to “Cooking Tips That Helped Me”

  1. One great tip I have learned is whenever I need only part of a vegetable I go ahead and chop the entire thing. Then I only use what I need and I put the rest into a ziplock in the freezer. Anytime I have veggies that are threatening to go bad I do the same. Then whenever I am making omelets, stews, or sauteing veggies for stir fry or pasta, I already have veggies chopped and just throw them in frozen and cook until they are tender. Saves times and produce. Another great tip I learned was to soak all berries in a bath of vinegar water. I do this as soon as I get home. It kills bacteria on the fruit surface and will keep them from spoiling and growing mold so quick. I do a quarter cup of vinegar in a mixing bowl of water and let the berries sit for about 3-5 minutes. Then I drain and let them air dry a hour before putting them in a clean bowl in the fridge.
      1. Does the vinegar water effect the taste at all? I guess not or you wouldn't do it, right? I cut the stems off strawberries and stand them cut side down in cold water on a plate in room temperature to perk them up if they look a bit less than ripe and beautiful. Doesn't make them taste better, but it does make older looking berries fresh and bright.
  2. Great tips! I've never seen a Microplane -- looks cool! Really nice blog! I passed on your blog to a reader of another blog who was looking for healthy ginger bread! I have a post with some kitchen tips too! Here it is ;) I'm not as strict as you are about GMOs, but I admire your dedication to your cause! Thank you for all of your efforts, as well as your helpful blog!
    1. You are welcome! I am glad you are enjoying it! I should have some healthy gingerbread donuts up in the next few days. I will check out your tips too. I am always eager to learn and share with fellow bloggers. :)
  3. I don't microplane garlic (no patience). Cut off ends, peel, and then smash with the broad side of your knife, couple of quick chops and you are done. I have a bad tendency to microplane my fingers so I avoid it, especially with small items.
  4. I have an Aroma Rice cooker also. I am able to cook white rice perfectly, but have yet to make great brown rice. I either get it too mushy or to hard. Have you been able to find a good way to gauge the portions of water and rice that you use for a perfect brown rice? I would love to utilize my cooker for brown rice and not have to cook it on the stove top.
    1. With the brown basmati or jasmine rice in rice cooker I use 2 cups water/1 cup rice. :) same for quinoa and it works great!
  5. I noticed many of your recipes call for coconut butter / coconut manna. The three brands that I am able to get near me are all solid at room temperature, all as firm or firmer than my cocunut oil is at room temp. Considering this should I be cutting down the amount of coconut manna a recipe Los for and replacing a portion with coconut oil? I use trader joes coconut oil in the jar, and the coconut butter brands I have tried are "let's do... Organic" which is super hard and comes in a green box, but is super affordable, "aunt patty's" and "nutiva" both which come in jars. The almond coconut fudge i made was good but not quite as melt in your mouth as people describe yours. Also, trader joes now sells cans of coconut cream next to the cans of coconut milk, so that's a bonus!
    1. Coconut butter and coconut oil are very different and cannot always be used interchangeably in recipes. Coconut butter is solid at room temp, but it should be soft enough to scoop out.
      1. The lets do organic brand coconut butter is rock hard at room temperature. I literally had to put it on the chopping board and chop it up to use it. I guess I will try to stick to other brands and just cut with solid coconut oil to make them softer. Maybe I should look for liquid coconut oil?
  6. Hi! Great tips! I am a new vegan (6 days now woohoo!) and a new blogger, not to mention, a new chef! Not really, I'm pretty bad at cooking, but being a vegan just for 6 days has forced me to learn a few things. It seems like everything but salads are completely processed and full of milk/meat products. I learned to use my crockpot to make a potato leek soup, veggie soup, and some stuffed peppers the other day. I appreciate all your tips, and look forward to minimizing waste and lots of cooking ahead.

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