We’re always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen to save a little time when preparing food, and today we’re having a friendly competition to test out a few time-saving kitchen hacks.
There are many ways to perk up a bland rice routine, from adding a few pinches of saffron to steeping rice in beer to enhance its nutty qualities.
One method to boost the flavor of plain rice without upping the calorie count is to throw a few orange skin peels into a boiling pot of rice or a rice cooker.
Another good use for orange peels (or any citrus): Toss them in the garbage disposal to clean, de-stinkify it.
This might be a-peeling to some 😉
GREAT! Now how do I get water to boil in 10 seconds? This works with tomatoes and potatoes, but you need to score them first.
I actually like peeling them by hand, nothing fancy. It leaves your fingers slightly sticky—a strange stickiness that adheres to the papery coating of garlic but not the clove itself. So if you sequence your cooking so prepping garlic comes right after peeling tomatillos, you’re golden.
Have you ever blanched and peeled tomatoes and then thought: “What can I do with those tomato skins?” No? Me either. But luckily for us, Gabrielle Hamilton did.
Source: Tomato Skin Salt
Organic produce, if not from your own garden… 😉
Warning: You may wish you had a time machine after reading this post. Because what you’ll discover is that, for years, you’ve been missing out on a ridiculously tasty treat — baked vegetable peels.
When prepping potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other root vegetables, it’s common practice to first wash and then remove the outer layer of skin. But the next time you ready these ingredients for a recipe, throw out old habits instead of the scraps. And then set those peels aside to bake into a crunchy, chip-like snack to enjoy between meals or while making the meal.
This doesn’t work for me – I don’t peel vegetables. I just wash, prepare/cook, and consume. There’s nutritional value in the outer skin of vegetables, and it’s more effort to peel (besides mess)…
I have Fridays off, and on my first Friday back at university you’d have found me with first the first cold I’d experienced in over two years, and after a trip to Waitrose (In London the time when so many things in store are reduced is on a Friday morning) spending the afternoon in the kitchen. The reason my afternoon cooking and my cold were related, because my irritation at how much my food shop had cost combined with my still sore throat lead to the discovery of my new personal cold medicine; Fresh Ginger Peel & Lemongrass Tea.
Not just tea, make ginger ale!
Not to be confused with redheads… 😉
I remember ginger as something I was told to avoid while on blood thinners. But research consistently says consuming ginger is not a concern while on warfarin/coumadin. There’s 0.1 mcg of vitamin K in 100 grams/3.5 ounces of raw ginger – there’s so little, it’s basically non-existent. I love ginger, as an ingredient in a recipe or various forms of candy: covered in sugar, or chocolate…
There’s numerous health benefits, to the point that hospitals stock ginger ale for sore throats and to soothe stomach aches. I’d never heard of ginger being used for motion and sea sickness, but apparently ginger is good for reducing dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating. Here’s some other things ginger is known for:
- protection against colorectal cancer
- Ovarian cancer cell death
- boosting the immune system
Tips for ginger:
- Freeze it to make it last longer, and easier to peel or grate. But hard to cut…
- Putting powdered ginger into a recipe that calls for fresh ginger is not recommended and vice versa.
- A nugget of ginger can be used for flavouring (IE: in a soup), but removed before serving
- You could peel & grate the ginger before freezing, but this bypasses two major benefits:
- Ginger grates really easily and finely when frozen, and even obviates the need to peel
- You don’t create a lot of surface area for oxidization when you do it this way, which means it actually tastes fresh
Zest is the colourful part; peel and rind are the same thing. Peel/rind is both the colour and the white pith.
Zest appears as an ingredient in recipes for adding the flavour of the fruit. When eating citrus, don’t let things go to waste – use a grater and do the whole thing. You can store the zest in airtight bags in the freezer. Being so small, thawing takes no time if you want to use zest in dressing, soup, sauce, sorbet, etc.
However there is a caveat for those of us on medications. Citrus zest has been found to have furanocoumarins, the class of chemical compound that can play havoc with your medication (known as The Grapefruit Effect).
- Microwave the garlic for 10 seconds
- Shake it in a container