Kitchen Hacks: Work Smarter, Not Harder

kitchen with island and chairs

Over time, we all develop habits and routines in the kitchen. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize what we’re doing because we’ve always done it. Then, we observe someone else do it another way…a more efficient way…and our minds are blown! Suddenly, we feel revitalized as our recipe now takes a fraction of the time or effort. We’ve observed kitchen hacks!

For those of you who are new to the kitchen or those of us who have paced many pathways from cupboard to stovetop to refrigerator to sink to trash can, here are a few hacks that may help save time and effort. When you save time in the kitchen, you create more time for fellowship with your families and guests!

Freezer storage

One of my favorite kitchen hacks is to wrap baked goods or meat portions into single-serve packs by first wrapping in parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil, and then putting all the packs in a labeled Ziplock bag to store in the freezer. Then, when it is time to use a pack, pull one out to thaw overnight and you can use the parchment paper it is wrapped in to reheat in the oven! This saves you the trouble of cutting off another piece, and it is so convenient. Use this strategy when baking muffins like these grain-free, gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Muffins or mini pancakes like these egg-free, gluten-free Quinoa Flour Pancakes.

Bake the bacon

Instead of managing bacon on the stovetop, roast it! Set your oven to 400°F, line a stainless steel cookie sheet with parchment paper, lay out the bacon in a single layer, and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on desired doneness and thickness of the slices. 

Reserve the fat

When frying (or roasting) bacon make sure to save the residual fat in a small glass container. It not only saves money to reuse the fat, but it also gives wonderful flavor to sautéed vegetables!

Double the recipe

When you’re making a “winner” recipe you or your family enjoy, double it.  Whether you are into meal prepping or not, it is worth your time and effort to double any dishes that take a long time to cook. 

Make the most of your chicken

Another of my favorite kitchen hacks is to make the most of your chicken. When you roast or “Instant Pot” a whole, I implore you to use the leftover bones and skin to make bone broth. Bone broth is such a nutritional powerhouse for everyone, but especially those of us with digestive disease.

To make the most basic bone broth, all you need are chicken bones and skin + filtered water + a splash (1-2 Tbsp) apple cider vinegar + 1-2 Tbsp high-quality salt (like Redmond’s Sea Salt). In the Instant Pot, add all ingredients plus water to the fill line, set to manual at 3 hours and 30 minutes, and allow to naturally release. The whole process takes about 5 hours, so I often set it in the morning and ladle it into glass jars to cool so I can refrigerate it around dinner time.

Mash the bananas right

When a recipe calls for mashed bananas, take the time to mash them on a small plate before starting in on your recipe. You’ll get a better puree for more a more consistent recipe. I used to try to get by with mashing in the bowl I was going to use, but a plate works much better and really isn’t that much more to clean.

Recommended Posts