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10 Kitchen Life-Hacks for Every Active Lifestyle
Ever feel like your sanity is the price you pay for eating right? Before discovering kitchen life-hacks, I did too. In fact, some nights after a long day at work, I could feel my tummy growling for some spinach pasta with fresh homemade basil pesto, or one of my famous strawberry-mango smoothies. But hours of prep, cook, and clean time later, I was growling for different reasons.
Even on the days I found enough energy to cook the healthy meals I’d planned, I somehow always ended up with the same old sky-high grocery bill I hadn’t. Only to find, of course, a farmer’s market worth of fruits and veggies wilting in the back of my messy refrigerator when I got home!
In the perfect world, healthy eating would be just as easy (if not easier) than hasty eating. It’s not that we don’t want to eat healthy. It’s that, no matter where we are in our lives, we don’t always have enough of the extra space, money, or time that healthy cooking requires.
But who says we can’t cheat a little? Today I’m revealing the go-to tricks, tips, and shortcuts I depend on every day to keep my balanced nutritional diet a daily priority. So whether you’re a college grad with limited cash, a corporate climber with microwave-mania, or a super mom with a super messy pantry, listen up!
These 10 cost effective, time efficient, stress-reducing kitchen life-hacks will transform nutritious cooking from headache to sweet escape faster than you can say strawberry-mango smoothie.
1. To all the office junkies out there: did you know that those trusty desk supplies can serve double-duty on the home front? Use magazine racks to store plastic wrap/aluminum foil, decorate an old tissue box for a cute plastic grocery bag dispenser, repurpose your file holder to store cutting boards and baking sheets, and maximize fridge space with stackable locker shelves.
2. When you’re on a budget, the last thing you want to do is toss out food! To avoid wasting, try reserving a box in your fridge labeled “Eat Me!” for foods with upcoming expiration dates.
3. Does your active lifestyle leave no time for a nutritious breakfast? Try pre-packaging “smoothie kits” the weekend before: toss together the fresh ingredients into sandwich bags, label them with prep instructions, and stick them in the freezer. In the morning, simply throw one in the blender—you’ll be good to go!
4. Halving grapes or cherry tomatoes is time consuming. Instead, sandwich them between two container lids—cut in between with a knife—and cut out an extra 10 minutes of meal prep.
5. To minimize dish duty, try slicing softer foods—like watermelon, avocado, and goat cheese—with dental floss instead of a knife.
6. An apple a day keeps the sprouts away; prevent potatoes from budding by storing them along with an apple.
7. For a cost-effective alternative to store bought lunchbox ice packs, freeze wet sponges in sandwich bags overnight.
8. No time to juice a lemon for your recipe? No problem. Skip the juicer by drilling a hole in the skin of the fruit and squeezing. Now why didn’t I think of that before!
9. Grilling fish is easy. Cleaning up afterwards is not. To avoid scrubbing pesky residue, try grilling fish on a bed of lemon slices. Not only will you skip the mess—you’ll have guests skipping back for seconds!
10. If you’re on the fence about fading greens, puree and freeze them in ice cube trays to use for future recipes. For instant single-serve meals, try freezing trays with nutritious sauces like tomato and pesto. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
What life-hacks help make healthy eating easier for you? Share your favorites!
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