Ask any Mom where she feels like she spends most of her time and she’s most likely to say – the kitchen! It’s where we prepare our family’s morning meals to break the fast of a long night, where we lovingly pack lunches and where we prepare the last meal of the day for a tired family to gather around. While we love having the opportunity to cook and feed our family healthy, homemade meals, spending so much time in the kitchen can take a toll on our sanity! We all feel the same way here at My Little Moppet, so we decided to find ways to make things easier for Moms everywhere. Presenting – 30 Kitchen Hacks for busy Moms, which are guaranteed to save cooking time while keeping your kitchen clean and sparkling!
30 Kitchen Hacks for Busy Moms
1. Starting with one of the biggest problems – crying while slicing onions! Just keep onions in the fridge for half an hour before you need them and you can slice them without tears!
2. Put too much salt in your curry? Happens to the best of us! You can add any of these to absorb the excess salt – potatoes, bread or balls of wheat dough. Leave them in the curry for half an hour to one hour and then toss them out before serving.
3. Spinach tends to lose its color after boiling. Prevent this by putting the leaves in ice cold water for 5 min immediately after boiling.
4. If you don’t have ice cold water on hand, no problem. Just put in a pinch of baking soda while cooking the greens like spinach or peas, and the bright green color will stay put.
5. Need to cook rajma or chickpeas but forgot to soak them overnight? Just pour boiling water over them, cover with a lid and leave for an hour or two. They’ll be easy to cook as usual.
6. To get perfectly boiled eggs that don’t crack, add some salt in the boiling water. Then put them directly in cold water to avoid the yolks from discoloring.
7. It’s common to need more oil than you initially put when you’re stir frying. But instead of pouring it directly on the contents of the pan, pour it along the edges so that it heats up to the right temperature by the time it reaches the middle of the pan.
8. Get the most of lemons kept in the fridge by heating them a little before squeezing. Either put them in a bowl of warm water or microwave for a few seconds.
9. Cabbage can give out an unpleasant smell when cooking, so prevent it by adding a piece of bread to it.
10. When frying spices for your curry, add a tiny pinch of sugar for a more intense color.
11. Milk boiling over is such a headache to clean up! Prevent this from happening by placing a long wooden spoon across the mouth of the vessel used to boil milk.
12. Bitter gourd has incredible health benefits, but not everyone finds it palatable! Get rid of the bitterness by putting chopped bitter gourd pieces in salted water. Leave for 20 minutes, drain and cook as usual.
13. Got unpleasant garlic or fish smells left on your hands? Rubbing your hands on something made of stainless steel for a minute helps to get rid of the odour. If you can’t find anything, try rubbing your hands on your sink!
14. Forget cling film or aluminium foil – cover your bowl of food with a shower cap! Elastic shower caps can be washed and reused and if they’re transparent, you an also see what’s inside!
15. Before putting your green chillies in the fridge, remove their stems and wrap them in paper. They’ll last much longer.
16. If you need something to ripen quickly, put it in a paper bag with an apple. Apples emit ethylene which speeds up the ripening process.
17. You know how to make things ripen quickly, but how about slowing it down? Cover the stem of a bunch of bananas with foil to prevent them from ripening too fast.
18. To make your weekly groceries stay fresh, place paper towels or a thin soft cotton/muslin cloth at the bottom of your crisper drawer.
19. For soft foods like cheesecakes or cheese, try cutting with dental floss instead of a knife to get neat pieces.
20. For smoother slices of cake, use a knife dipped in hot water. Wipe the knife first and then cut. Repeat for every slice.
21. Gooey, fudgy brownies are yummy, but cutting them into neat squares can be a nightmare. Use a plastic knife instead of your metal ones and you’ll get neater slices with fewer crumbs.
22. Kids requesting for sandwiches in particular shapes? Use a pizza cutter instead of a knife for more evenly sealed edges.
23. Reheating leftover pizza or naan can make it go dry and tasteless. Retain its freshness by placing a cup of water along with the pizza slice in the microwave and then heat.
24. Clean, deodorize and unblock your kitchen drain by pouring some baking soda, followed by boiling water.Pour some baking soda down the drain prior to using the boiling water.
25. To keep your garbage can fresh, wash and dry it first. Then sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom of the can.
26. Got a wooden chopping board that needs cleaning? Spread a mixture of baking soda and vinegar all over the board. Leave it for 30 minutes and then scrub for a spanking new board.
27. If there are specific stains on your boards, cover it with a paste of salt, water and baking soda. Scrub with a brush and wipe dry.
28. Cleaning your blender can be tricky. Fill half the blender jar with warm water and a few drops of your dish wash liquid. Put on the lid and let it run for 10-15 seconds. Rinse well.
29. Use an old baby toothbrush to clean the hard to reach edges of your food processor, blender or other appliances. For smaller places like sippy cups, opt for cotton swabs.
30. Are your gorgeous steel appliances covered with fingerprints and marks? Put a little bit of olive oil on a paper napkin and wipe the appliance in large strokes.
In addition to this, here’s one more tip that’ll save you loads of time – prepare a meal plan and prep everything you need for the week in one go. Peel and chop veggies, clean and sort meat and fish in freezer containers, grate coconut, set curd or make paneer. Once you do this, all you have to do at mealtime is take out just what you need and get cooking. With our list of kitchen hacks for busy Moms mentioned above, you can cut your cooking and cleaning time too in half! So what are you going to do with all the extra free time? I think I’ll grab a good book and relax!