10 Simple Cooking Hacks Everyone Should Know to make healthy cooking easy, fun and enjoyable! These food hacks will help save time and effort in the kitchen, and hopefully inspire you next time you’re meal prepping!
Today I’m sharing 10 simple cooking hacks that everyone should know to make healthy eating easy, fun and enjoyable. Consider this a part 2 to my baking hacks that got a ton of love and attention from you HealthNuts! Now I’m back to blow your mind with a cooking series and I couldn’t be more excited to share them!
Before we get cooking, I first want to give a huge shout out to NaturaMarket for sponsoring and collaborating with me on this blog post. Thanks to them, I was able to utilize some of these fun, unique and delicious products for today’s everyday cooking hacks. If you haven’t already heard of them, NaturaMarket is an online retailer that makes healthy eating effortless. Their website offers a unique food shopping experience by categorizing all of your nutritional needs and preferences. Whether it be keto, paleo, Whole30, vegan, AIP or gluten-free – they’ve done the hard work for you by carefully sorting their products into easy to browse categories.
As a fellow Canadian, I also love NaturaMarket because they carry all of those luxurious American health food products that we don’t have access to here (IYKYK). Gone are the days where I am scrolling on Instagram and FOMO’ing over all the foods that you can get in the states because now I can get them to my door via NaturaMarket! To make things even more desirable, they offer FREE shipping on orders over $49 so you can stock up on pantry staples and have fun discovering and trying some new things!
Now let’s get into these life-changing cooking hacks – shall we?!
Now I know everyone is used to cracking an egg on the edge of a bowl when they’re preparing a dish, but did you know that the best way to do it is actually on a hard flat surface, such as your countertops. This gives the egg a smoother and more even break, and you will end up with fewer shells in your dish as a result!
Of course, I took the opportunity to bake one of my favourite banana bread recipes to demonstrate this hack, while also adding some of Lily’s low-sugar chocolate chips from my NaturaMarket haul. They’re sweetened with stevia and make for the perfect addition to this banana bread. Yum!
Raise your hand if you often find yourself wrestling with parchment paper when you’re cooking or baking. Well, my next hack puts this issue to rest by getting your parchment paper to stick to your baking sheet so that it doesn’t move around while you’re pouring in your batter.
All you have to do is scoop a small dollop of coconut oil (I like this one by Nutiva), onto a piece of paper towel or your hand and grease up your baking sheet BEFORE placing your parchment paper inside. The coconut oil will help the parchment paper stick and keep it in place so that you don’t need an extra pair of hands to pour your batter in. I’ve been using this hack for years and I swear it works every single time. Once you try it – you’ll never go back!
You HealthNuts know I love my avocados (#healthnutfam🥑🥑🥑) so this list of hacks wouldn’t be complete without it! Prepare to be amazed as I show you not one, but two new and improved methods to opening an avocado that doesn’t require stabbing the pit with a knife – and potentially losing a finger in the process haha.
Now that you have this new and fancy way to open an avocado safely, you’re ready to make some toast!
I know I’m not alone in feeling like peeling garlic is the stinkiest and most time-consuming task in the kitchen. But since not having garlic in a recipe is not an option when you’re Portuguese like me (unless it’s a dessert of course) I have a solution to make things a little bit easier.
I have recently discovered the old-trick of putting garlic cloves in a jar and then giving it a good shake. If you put some serious muscle and work into it, the peels should fall right off the cloves within 20-30 seconds. This is a great hack that I love doing when I want to peel a bunch of cloves at once (side note: great meal prep hack!). But if you only need to peel one or two cloves for a recipe that you’re making, simply give the clove a good whack using the side of your knife and the skin will come right off. Then, for easy mincing, just give it an extra smash and chop it up nice and fine – sans garlic press!
There’s nothing worse than stepping away from the stove for two seconds, only to find your pot overflowing with water and making a huge mess. Next time you’re boiling something in a pot; whether it be soup, sauce or gluten-free brown rice pasta (this brand is seriously one of the best I’ve tried!), take a wooden spoon and lay it right on top of the middle of the pot. This is such an easy hack to prevent your pot from overflowing and it works every time!
Speaking of pasta, my next tip is how to take your sauce to the next level. I love this pasta sauce by Rao’s as it is the most authentic tasting jarred pasta sauce that almost takes you right to Italy with every bite. After adding the sauce to a pan and bringing your noodles to a boil, a hack I like to do is reserve some of that pasta water or what the chefs call “liquid gold” in the kitchen. Simply ladle some out before draining your noodles and set them aside.
Once you’ve rinsed your noodles with cold water to prevent them from overcooking and getting too sticky if they are gluten-free (bonus hack!) toss them in the sauce and give it a good mix. Once everything is evenly coated, this is when you’ll take that reserved pasta water and pour it right into the sauce. Not only will this help thicken up the sauce because of its starchy content, but it also helps to extend your sauce. So if you’re feeling like you need a little bit more sauce, add in that pasta water and I promise it won’t dilute it! It will bring the entire dish together so well and taste as if you ordered it right from a restaurant.
Since pretty much every plant-based or dairy-free dish calls for soaked cashews overnight, this is the perfect hack for when you’re short on time or simply forget the process altogether (like myself haha). All you have to do is place raw cashews in a mason jar and cover them with boiling water. Let them sit for approximately 5-10 minutes, then drain them and give them a quick rinse. From there, they will be soft enough to blend into whatever it is your making.
Try using this hack in my delicious Brussels Sprouts Carbonara or my Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream Frosting.
This next cooking hack is brought to you by my beloved grandparents who taught me well in the kitchen! We love potatoes in the HealthNut home, and whenever we’re preparing them we always have a large bowl of cold water on the side. Why? After peeling and chopping your potatoes, submerging them in this bowl of cold water will prevent them from going brown.
If you’ve ever peeled a large batch of potatoes at once, you’ll know that they start to brown very quickly. Then, by the time you’re ready to cook them, they develop this grey-ish tinge that no potato lover enjoys. Storing them in this bowl of cold water will slow down this oxidation process while keeping them nice and fresh by the time you’re ready to enjoy!
If you love meat, but cutting it feels like a slippery and messy process – this cooking hack is for you! The trick to having success while cutting your meat is to keep it in the freezer 30-60 minutes before you’re ready to prepare it. Even if you’re thawing it in the fridge, take them out a little bit early while they’re still frozen inside. This frozen texture keeps the meat firm and makes it easier to cut through while getting the slices or shapes that you’re looking for – like homemade chicken fingers!
Speaking of homemade chicken fingers, have you ever thought about using your favourite crackers as bread crumbs for the coating? I know…life-changing right?! I love these Mary’s Gone Crackers from Naturamarket because they’re healthy, gluten-free and have an amazing texture! I’ve actually been eating them for years and they are still a staple in my pantry to this day. When I’m not using them as a plow for my hummus haha, they work perfectly for this bread crumb hack.
All you have to do is throw your crackers in a food processor, process them up for about 30 seconds, and finish it off with any additional seasonings you desire! It’s a perfect consistency and great for when you run out of breadcrumbs, looking for a healthier alternative or simply want to try something fun and different. I highly recommend trying it out!
There you have it, my 10 super simple but MUST KNOW cooking hacks! They are things I’ve learned and adapted growing up, and honestly, I swear by each and every one of them. Do you have any cooking hacks that you swear by? I love to know in the comments below so we can all learn together in our cooking journey!
A huge thank you to Natura Market for sponsoring and collaborating with me on this blog post and playing a big role in my healthy lifestyle! I love supporting Canadian brands that are making an effort to provide a variety of nutrient-dense products in the most effective, convenient and delicious ways possible. Make sure to check out the Natura Market website here and stock up on some of the delicious products that they carry!