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These food hacks will change your cooking forever


Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. With just a few simple tricks you can save time, money and hassle. From getting the most out of leftover pizza to pimping your mac ‘n’ cheese and making the perfect pancakes, these handy hacks might just change how you cook and eat forever.



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Invest in a banana hanger to stop your fruit from getting bruised and going bad too quickly. As long as it’s located somewhere that allows for free movement of air around the bananas, this handy contraption will slow down the ripening process. Keep your bunch away from other fruit too – bananas give off gases that cause produce to spoil faster.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Revive leftover, dried-out pizza by microwaving it with a mug of water. As the water evaporates, moisture fills the microwave, rehydrating the dry crust and giving you a gooey, cheesy pizza slice once more.



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If you’re having a hard time with cold butter, use a grater to soften the perfect amount to put on toast or bread. It’ll make the butter easier to spread, without destroying your loaf in the process. This method is even used by chefs to make perfect buttery pastry.



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You might already use the juices from roasted meat in your gravy, but don’t forget about veggies. Add the nutrient-rich water from boiled veg and any run-off from a roasting tin as well. It’ll make for a flavorful gravy packed with vitamins.



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If you’re planning on eating raw kale in a salad, massage the greens beforehand. It may sound odd but it’ll tenderize the hardy leaves. First, remove the stem and add a glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt to the leaves. Then gently knead the kale with your hands until the leaves start to wilt a little. Be careful not to overwork the greens as they’ll become mushy.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over bread that’s a few days old, then stick it in a preheated hot oven for a few minutes. It’ll bring your stale loaf back to life. This trick works best on whole, unsliced loaves like baguettes, sourdough or ciabatta.



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Want to know the secret for making cut herbs last? Keep them upright in about 5cm (2 inches) of water as you would a bunch of flowers. Shelter them from direct sunlight and change the water regularly. They’re bound to stay fresher for longer.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Get more juice from a lemon by microwaving it on high for around 20 seconds. It’ll be warmer and softer than straight from the fridge, making the citrus fruit easier to squeeze. It’s a must-try hack if you’re making lemonade too.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


When rustling up tomato sauce or salsa, discarding tough tomato skins is a must. Here’s how: score an X at the stem of each tomato, drop in boiling water for 15–20 seconds, remove and put straight into iced water until cool enough to handle. Then easily pull away the skin in strips.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


If last night’s chicken stew or chili has stained your storage container and hot soapy water just won’t shift it, reach for the baking soda. Wipe the inside with a smooth water-and-soda paste and allow it to sit for a few hours. This should get rid of any stubborn marks for good.



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Mangoes can be a pesky fruit to prep, but there’s a speedy way to do it without fuss or waste. Cut the mango in half (on each side of the stone), slice a grid pattern into each half, then invert the fruit. You’ll be left with mango cubes popped up as pictured – simply slice them off and enjoy.



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If you’re an umami lover, don’t just put salt on your favorite movie snack. Blend soy sauce with melted butter and pour onto plain popcorn for a super savory treat.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


When we think of bacon, most of us imagine it sizzling away in a frying pan – but there are quicker ways to cook your favorite breakfast meat. One method is to use a microwave. Lay a paper towel on a plate and put strips of bacon, not touching, on top. Then, cover this with another paper towel and cook on high for around three minutes. Transfer the bacon to another paper towel for a few moments to absorb some grease and allow to cool before eating.



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If you’re cooking on a budget, lentils are a great way to make your meals go further. Bulk out meat sauces, soups and salads with the legume for a filling dish. They’re also a great source of fiber and protein. A winner all round.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Waffle irons aren’t just for waffles. Use them to cook omelets, quesadillas and – best of all – hash browns. Grease the waffle iron first and ensure any raw ingredients, such as whisked egg or grated potato, are cooked through.



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Cooking an omelet in a mug might not look like the real deal, but it’s quick and simple. Whisk an egg, two egg whites, seasoning and some grated cheese or chopped ham. Pour the mixture into a greased mug and microwave it on high for one minute. Stir, then cook again on high for another minute.



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There’s a simple way to keep your green vegetables green: blanching. Cook vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes (depending on the variety) then plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This stops the vegetables overcooking so they’ll retain their crispy texture and color. It also seals in flavor and vitamins, and removes bitterness from certain varieties.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Rather than drain pasta in a colander, lift it from the pot and mix it into the sauce on a low heat. While the flavors are mingling, add a ladle or so of the pasta water. It will give the sauce a rich, silky texture.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


No one likes a soggy sandwich. Reduce the amount of liquid seeping out from ingredients such as sliced tomato or cucumber by placing them between two pieces of paper towel for five minutes. This will soak up any excess moisture before they’re added to sandwiches. It’s also a good idea to spread butter, cheese or mayo onto the bread first – this acts as a barrier against soggier ingredients.



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Fancy a barista-style coffee in the comfort of your own home? For perfect froth, fill a jar halfway with milk, screw on the lid and shake. Once foamy, remove the lid and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Your froth should double in size and provide the perfect topping for your coffee.



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Ever wondered why your potatoes aren’t lasting very long? Start by storing them in a separate place to your onions. Both potatoes and onions release moisture and gases that will cause the other to spoil faster, so it’s best to keep them apart.



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Not only are egg muffins an ideal breakfast, snack or lunchbox treat, they can be made with ingredients you need to use up such as leftover herbs or a solitary slice of ham. Chop up ham, red pepper, onion or mushrooms, lightly fry then place a spoonful into a greased or lined muffin tin. Mix eggs with a little milk, pour over the mix and bake for around 20 minutes in a hot oven until golden and cooked through.



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You won’t get potatoes that are perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle just by cooking them in a microwave – but you can use one to save time. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and microwave them on high for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer to a preheated hot oven to crisp up the skin for 10–20 minutes.



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Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Most coffee beans react best to hot water that’s not boiling (although some argue that boiled and slightly cooled water helps deal with hard water and other impurities). Boiling water poured straight over your coffee scorches the grounds, and will result in a mediocre brew. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Prevent skin from shrinking and pulling away from meat by scoring it before you cook. Scoring meat and fish also allows marinades to be better absorbed and speeds up the cooking process.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


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