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Six Hacks for Preparing Fruits and Vegetables

We’re always looking for ways to do things more efficiently. Hence our love of shortcuts, more popularly known as “hacks,” for saving time and energy. Driving somewhere? There’s a hack to save you time on the commute. Cleaning? Do it in half the time. We have hacks for so many important aspects of our life… why wouldn’t we want to include them in the kitchen, too? Preparing meals can be a seriously time consuming job, whether you’re making a large meal for your family or simply cooking for yourself. Check out these six hacks for different fruits and vegetables that are guaranteed to cut back on your prep time.

Peeling Peaches

The key to getting the skin off of a peach in no time is to blanch it. First, you’ll need a pot to boil water and a bowl of ice water.  Score an “x” somewhere on the peach, making sure to cut the skin but not too deeply into the flesh, then submerge fully into rapidly boiling water. When the skin around the “x” begins to loosen, remove the peaches and place them into the bowl of ice water. When the peaches are cool enough to touch, remove them from the ice water and the skin will peel right off!

Deseeding Pomegranates

Those pomegranate seeds can be tricky to remove, so the fastest way to get them out is to cut the pomegranate in half, hold one half over a bowl with the flesh facing your hand, grab a wooden spoon and hit the outer skin with it. The seeds will fall right into the bowl.

Peeling Garlic

This hack is key to know, since garlic is so widely used when cooking. Peeling garlic should only take ten seconds of your time so grab a head of garlic and two bowls (or something similar that you can shake the garlic in without making a mess). First, place the head of garlic on the counter and hit it with the palm of your hand. This will open up the garlic and separate the bulbs. Then, place everything into your shaking contraption of choice and shake the bulb for 5 seconds. The garlic will be perfectly peeled and ready for cooking!

Hulling Strawberries

Ever get sick of cutting the leaves off the perfect strawberry and losing half of the fruit with it? Grab a straw, start at the bottom of the strawberry, and push all the way through. This will take the top of the strawberry off without losing any of the good stuff, the fruit itself.

Peeling Carrots

Did you know that a peeler typically has two blades? Now you do. To peel a carrot in the quickest way possible, hold it at an angle and peel downwards. Without lifting the peeler, slightly rotate the carrot and pull the peeler upwards. This back and forth motion is made possible thanks to that awesome double blade. This hack might take a little bit of practice but once you master it, you’ll never go back to your old ways. Just make sure to check that your peeler does indeed have a double blade.

Peeling Potatoes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means large amounts of mashed potatoes. Peeling potatoes can seem like the most time consuming task, so the best way to approach this burden is the same way as the peaches mentioned above: blanching. You’ll need a pot for boiling water and a bowl of ice water.  No need to mark an “x”, just submerge the potatoes fully into boiling water. Boil until the potatoes are cooked through, then remove them and place them into the bowl of ice water. When they are cool enough to touch, take them out and the skin will come off with ease. No peeler necessary!

Which hack will you use for your meal prep? Any others to add? Share your best fruit and vegetable hacks with us below!

References:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/the-ultimate-kitchen-hack-peeling-almost-everything-quickly.html
http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-blanch-vegetables/

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