We’ll be honest: being healthy is a time commitment. After a long day of work, the thought of planning and preparing a meal can be exhausting. Like anything else, it’s important to manage time in the kitchen so you can maximize time doing other things you love! Thank goodness for cooking hacks, which can significantly cut down your prep time. Now you can make that kale and pomegranate salad without taking an hour to deseed the pomegranate, or cook pasta without waiting for a giant pot of water to boil.
Here are 7 of our favorite cooking hacks that’ll save you major kitchen time:
1. Deseeding a pomegranate
Pomegranates can be super messy and complicated to deseed, so we recommend you try this method. Cut the pomegranate into quarters (don’t pierce the fruit all the way through, though) and submerge it into a large bowl of water, then pull apart. Separate the seeds from the skin, and watch the skin float to the top of the bowl. After all the seeds are out, fish out the skin that has floated to the top, pour the seeds into a colander and drain, suggests Saveur. If you’re having trouble getting the seeds out, you can also hit the back of the quartered pomegranate with a wooden spoon.
2. Cooking pasta
Use a frying pan instead of a large pot to boil water for your pasta. Simply fill the pan with noodles, cover with cold water and turn up your burner to medium-high heat, according to this Buzzfeed video. In 15 minutes, you’ll have cooked pasta without the need to strain. If you have a Spiralizer, you can ditch the pasta altogether and opt for a quick veggie noodle dish.
3. Pitting and cutting an avocado
No longer will you have to carefully cut around the pit of the avocado and waste some of the fruit in the process. Instead, cut around the length of the avocado and twist it open. Next, tap the pit with the knife to remove it. You can also slice the avocado in the skin and scoop it out with a spoon (check out this YouTube video for more). It’s the perfect hack for those avocado-based breakfast wraps like this one from our Integrative Nutrition recipe archive.
4. Peeling garlic
To easily remove garlic peels, first break apart the bulb into cloves by hitting the top of it with the heel of your hand. Next, place the cloves in a metal or ceramic bowl, cover with a lid and shake for 15 seconds, instructs wikiHow. The shaking will cause the garlic to hit the sides of the bowl and peel.
5. Separating egg yolks from whites
For this trick, all you’ll need is an empty bottle. Crack the egg into a pan, and then squeeze the air out of the bottle. Place the mouth of the flattened bottle up to the egg yolk and release to suck the yolk into the bottle. Voila! Separated in seconds.
6. Peeling ginger
Instead of using a peeler, cut the nubs off the ginger with a knife. Then hold the ginger in your hand and use the tip of an upside-down spoon to get under the skin and peel it easily, says The Kitchn.
7. Adding herbs
Make an ice cube tray full of herb mixtures, suggests Lifehack. Simply cut up the desired herbs, cover with olive oil and freeze. Next time you need them for a recipe, they’ll be ready to go. Bonus: Your herbs won’t go bad before your next meal.
At Integrative Nutrition, we stress the importance of primary food in overall health, or aspects of life that nourish you off the plate like your relationships, career and spiritual practice. While nutrition is important, it’s best to find balance by making time for other things you love. With these simple life hacks, you’ll now have more time to enjoy life outside of the kitchen!
What are your favorite cooking hacks? Share them in the comments.