Face it, we all aren’t masters in the kitchen. And often the best lessons we learn are those that have been passed on by our parents and grandparents. Today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer we’re going to talk about kitchen hacks that can save you money. Some of these I’ve known about for eons, some I recently found out. Like for example I’ve always cut open my used teabags and coffee grounds to sprinkle around my plants. However not all plants (especially seedlings) like it so definitely look it up first. Freezing stock as cubes are a given for me. Now when it came to wine, that’s one thing I never did as well, I don’t drink it and really don’t like cooking with it. I just don’t care for the flavor. So freezing it as cubes is perfect for me to enrich a sauce.
Make strawberries last longer by packing them in sugar
Thoroughly wash the berries but don’t hull them until after they have been washed. It’s important to do this after washing so the strawberries don’t fill with water. Place a layer of strawberries in a rigid freezer-proof container with a lid. Sprinkle with a heaping Tbl of granulate sugar.. Top with another layer of strawberries and sprinkle with the same amount of sugar. Continue the layers to the top of the container. Don’t tip or shake the container as the sugar will fall to the bottom. Remove the lid and take as many strawberries as you need from the pack. They should separate easily when frozen as the sugar will help keep them apart. scatter over a plate and leave to thaw for about 30 minutes.
Keep onions, garlic, and shallots in ventilated paper bags
Alliums, such as onions, garlic, and shallots, need to breathe in order to stay their freshest. Punch holes into a paper bag to store them, and they’ll be perfect months from now.
Tea for your plants
It’s really good to break open tea bags and place the tea leaves in your soil – they’re excellent for the growth and health of plants.
Wrap cheese loosely in waxed paper before putting it back in the plastic packaging, and only partially seal the plastic. This prevents ammonia and bacteria from being trapped and keeps your cheese from absorbing chemicals and odors from the packaging.
Hot today, Ice tomorrow – coffee that is
Coffee is fuel, so there’s absolutely no reason you should waste a single drop. Pour extra into ice cube trays for a ready-made way to kick off the next morning
Freeze bananas to make ice-cream
If you freeze a banana until solid, then whiz it up in a blender or food processor, it will turn into a natural, creamy ice cream with no artificial ingredients. This is because bananas have more sugar than water so when blended they create a thick consistency, similar to that of ice cream. This is the perfect way to use up any bananas that might be nearing the end of their ‘Best Before’ date. Additionally, make sure to peel them before freezing, so they are easier to blend.
Remove Fat from Soups
Fat floating on the surface of stews and soups isn’t only unappealing, it’s bad for your health. For an easy way to scoop it up, wrap some ice cubes in a paper towel and skim it along the surface of the soup or stew. The ice cubes solidify the fat so it can be easily scooped up with a spoon.
Stock it up
If you don’t use all the stock in the can, don’t toss it. Pour it into ice cube trays in 1-2 Tbl increments (whatever your tray fits) to use on the fly. When they’re frozen, toss them into a freezer baggie for easier storage.
Keep wooden chopping boards looking new
It’s important that you never soak a wooden chopping board in water – you’ll find that they will crack and warp. You also need to oil you board, which nourishes the wood and helps prevent cracking. Top of my list are products that are lightly scented with citrus.
Freeze leftover chili and soups by lining the bottoms of the bowls you eat from with plastic wrap and pouring the chili in. Once it’s frozen solid, pull it out of the bowls, and store it in a freezer bag in individual servings — it will fit right back in your bowl.
Bring melted butter back to solid form.
Revive over-softened butter by giving it an ice bath. Place the butter in a small bowl, and place the small bowl in a larger one filled with a few handfuls of ice and some cold water.
Freeze leftover wine
No need to pour the quarter of the bottle you just couldn’t finish down the drain. Freezing it leaves you with perfectly measured cubes to use later in a wine reduction sauce
Save time making breakfast in the morning
Keep all the ingredients you want for smoothies in a food bag, store it in the freezer, so it is ready for use every morning, saving you time and making the ingredients last longer.
Absorb odors in the refrigerator
Try a used tea bag. Once the tea leaves have gotten rid of all their flavor and become porous, they absorb other flavors and smells. Tea absorbs odors just like it would absorb water. Also if you put the tea bag at the bottom of a bin it can help to prevent odors and water from building up at the bottom because it will still absorb.