These informative food hacks will help you prevent waste in the kitchen.
Dried herbs in the microwave
This hack is perfect for using up herbs that would otherwise go off or get thrown away. Wash and pat the herbs dry, then arrange them in a single layer on a piece of a paper towel. Place in the microwave and heat for 20 seconds at a time. Take note that different herbs contain different amounts of water and some, such as sage, also contain essential oils so will require longer microwaving before they are fully dried out. Therefore, it’s best to microwave one kind of herb at a time. Once dried, crumble or chop them up into the desired sizes and place them in a labelled bag or container.
How to prevent slimy mushrooms
Like herbs, mushrooms are mostly water too and are able to soak up moisture from the air around them. To prevent your mushrooms from going slimy, place them, unwashed, in an open-ended brown paper bag. The paper bag is perfect for absorbing any excess moisture given off by the mushrooms, and the open bag lets them breathe. Try to use mushrooms as soon as possible after buying them.
How to store avocado and prevent them from going brown
So you’ve used half an avocado and are ready to store it for a sneaky guacamole snack later on, but you’re worried it will become brown, right? Fear not – although avocados will brown to some extent, a trick to keep them greener for longer is by using the un-pitted half first and leaving the remaining half with the pit still connected to the flesh. This conceals the flesh from the air. Brush the remaining exposed flesh with some lemon juice and wrap tightly in cling wrap.
How to prevent soggy rice
It’s important to remove any extra starch from the rice grains before cooking, otherwise your rice will become mushy and stick together. Place the uncooked rice grains in a fine-mesh sieve and run under cold water until the stream turns clear. Shake off and place in a pot to continue cooking.
Bringing stale bread back to life
This hack goes against our initial instincts, but hear us out; the solution to stale bread is to run it under water. Preheat your oven to 160C. Hold your loaf steady as you run a tap over the outside for a few seconds to lightly soak the surface, turning to coat the bottom of the bread too. Pop the loaf in the oven for 5–10 minutes, checking regularly, and you’ll find a deliciously crisp, revived loaf ready for slicing.
How to revive limp vegetables
If you’re looking to make a deliciously fresh salad, but find your veggies to be sub-par, a simple trick to freshen up vegetables is to place them in a bowl of ice water. Add a handful of ice to a suitably sized bowl and fill midway with water. Add your veggies and let them sit for 10–20 minutes.
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