5 Kitchen Hacks You Can’t Live Without April 3, 2019

by Mimi Morley Learn

After what seems like a long gloomy winter, spring is finally just around the corner! With Daylight Savings bringing us that extra hour of sunlight every day, those long summer nights seem tantalizingly close. So here are some tips and tricks to help keep time and energy spent in the kitchen to a minimum this summer!

1. Batch cook

We know everyone says it, but honestly, this is the easiest way to keep your time spent in the kitchen to a minimum! Batch cooking is a great way to ensure you always have healthy, varied and exciting dinners right on hand, even when you don’t have hours to spend cooking. All you need are a few Tupperware boxes, some space in your freezer and a little bit of time! This doesn’t need to be a daunting task – although we all have those super organised friends who set aside a whole day to fill their freezer, we recommend just breaking it down into manageable sessions, or just cooking slightly more than you need and freezing any leftovers!

Need some good ideas? Here are some easy to freeze recipes:

Remember to freeze them in portions!

2. Preheat your oven before you start cooking

Sounds obvious, right? But when you’re hungry, the idea of waiting for your oven to heat up is often a test of wills even for the most seasoned of home cooks! While your food will also look and taste better if you put start it off in a hot oven, it will also save you time. After work, why not turn your oven on as soon as you walk through the door, that way, by the time you’re ready to start cooking, you won’t have to wait for your oven to heat up first! Failing to preheat your oven will throw off your overall cooking time too, so this is also great practice for food safety!

3. Stop that stirring!

Sometimes, practising a little patience will actually make the overall process a lot quicker! Resisting the temptation to needlessly stir, is one of these practises. When you are waiting for something to boil, the worst thing you can do is pick up your wooden spoon and give the contents of the pan a stir. Speed up your pasta cooking for good!

4. Don’t overcrowd your pan

When trying to brown meat or veg, over crowing your pan will only slow you down! Although the temptation will always be to fry things all in one go, by filling a pan to the brim, you are only lowering the overall temperature. Instead, we recommend frying in batches. This will ultimately make the process a lot quicker, as well as reduce the chances of pieces of meat sticking to the bottom of the pan and becoming soggy!

5. Freeze fresh ingredients

How often do you really use the whole bunch of coriander for a Friday night curry for two? Instead of letting the leftover bunch fester away at the back of your fridge, chop it all up, pop it in a zip-lock bag and give it a freeze, ready to be used for your next cooking adventure! This process can be followed to help cut prep time for lots of exciting but high effort ingredients. See our suggestions below for other ways to help you cut chopping time as well as reduce your food waste!

TIP: Everything needs to be clean and dry before freezing!

Chilli: Freeze chillies whole, wrapped in cling film or in a Tupperware box, then grate your desired quantity straight into your dish! Alternatively, grate or chop up your chilli first and portion it into ice cube trays before freezing.

Ginger: Peel, grate or finely chop your ginger, then follow the same method as for chillies above!

Onion: Peel and chop raw onion then pop it in a freezer bag. Making sauces and soups has never been so easy!

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