11 Brilliant Kitchen Hacks to Reduce Waste
Americans waste hundreds of pounds of food per household each year. A whopping 30-40% of the US food supply ends up in landfills each year! Why are we wasting so much food? A lot of it has to do with rot as a result of buying more than we need/can use. But, there are certain tricks you can employ to make sure even your most perishable food will stick around a bit longer. Here are 11 kitchen hacks to lessen food waste and make cooking a little bit easier.
Keep salad from becoming soggy. If you keep your greens in a plastic bag, simply blow into the bag and seal it very tightly. The carbon dioxide will keep your greens fresh for longer.
Have trouble keeping asparagus fresh? Just cut and inch off of the bottom of the stalks and store asparagus upright in a medium mason jar with an inch or two of water. Gently place a loose plastic bag over the top, using a twist tie to keep it form fitting to the jar. It will stay fresh for 2 weeks.
Get all of the juice out of a lemon with a pair of tongs. No need to waste any juice whatsoever! This also works for lemons, limes, and oranges. Thanks, Martha!
Sick of your halved avocados turning brown? Store them with a cut onion! The sulfur compounds from the onion may play a role in preserving and preventing oxidation. It will keep fresh for 1-2 days, which is a huge feat for anyone who eats a lot of avocados.
Tell the difference between a good egg and a bad egg without tasting it. The secret is that bad eggs will float in water, whereas really fresh eggs sink.
Stop your onions from sprouting or molding. Start storing them in a hole-punched paper bag to keep them fresh and firm for months. Just use a single-hole punch to punch 4 columns of holes in the top 3/4 of the bag. Then, place in your onions, shallots, or garlic, fold over and hold closed with a paper clip. Don’t forget to label!
Make your own reusable food wrap. Do you feel guilty every time you whip out plastic wrap to cover your food? No more! Take a few squares of 100% (organic is best) cotton fabric, and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. Sprinkle shaved beeswax over the fabric and bake in oven for 5-10 minutes, until it’s melted. Use a brush to smooth wax and immediately hang to dry.
Keep brown sugar from hardening. Apparently, the only thing that can save your sugar is… more sugar! Just toss a few marshmallows into the bag and close the bag tightly. Viola!
Keep you potatoes from budding. Store them with an apple. Why does this work? The ethlylene gas released by the apple stops the buds and preserves the potato. According to America’s Test Kitchen, potatoes stored this way stayed firm and bud-free after 8 weeks, while apple-less potatoes were shriveled and sprouted.
Save empty butter wrappers in the freezer. The small amount of butter that remains on them is perfect for greasing pans when baking.
What to do with the end of a jam jar? Instead of fruitlessly trying to scrap out the last remnants of jam, make a fruity vinaigrette. Just add oil, vinegar, and shake!
Stop wasting your money on food you’re going to throw out! Make the most of every food dollar by being smart about storing your food. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Do you have any great food-saving kitchen hacks? Share!