Certain meal prep hacks can save you time and money. For example, you can make your tomatoes last longer by storing them stem-side down, and you can easily pit cherries using a beer bottle and a chopstick.
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Paleo or plant-based, keto or carb loading, we can all agree on one thing: Meal prep makes a whole lot of sense.
It frees up precious time, saves money, and makes it way easier to stay on top of your nutrition. If you’ve already delved into our ultimate guide to meal prep for beginners and you want to make your life even easier, today you’re in luck.
25 Genius Meal Prep Hacks
We’ve put together 25 genius meal prep hacks for supercharging your nutrition and taking your diet to the next level. They’re absolute game-changers, each and every one of them.
Let’s take a look…
1. Keep your tomatoes longer
Most people don’t realize that storing your tomatoes stem side down helps to prevent air from entering and moisture from exiting the scar where the vine used to be. This slows down the ripening process.
Keeping them at room at room temperature can also help, as the fridge tends to have a higher moisture content.
2. Stop bananas from over-ripening
If you’re more of a green banana kind of person, good news! Simply separate each one from the bunch and wrap the stems with plastic wrap or foil to keep the ethylene gas from releasing.
3. Help brown sugar from hardening
To keep your sugar soft, add some orange peels or a thick slice of apple in a storage container (along with the sugar of course). If it’s already hardened, you can microwave the sugar next to a small cup of water, about 6 oz for 1–2 minutes.
4. Check for rotten eggs
Pro tip – if a raw egg sinks in a bowl of water, it’s good, but if it floats, it’s near the end of its rope. This is because the longer eggs have been kept, the liquid inside begins to evaporate so the air pocket inside grows.
5. Pit cherries faster
Place a cherry on top of your beer bottle and use a chopstick or skewer to push the seed into the bottle. A great excuse to have a beverage before you make that cherry topped cheesecake…
6. Peel ginger faster
Ginger is always a fiddly one, but not many people realize you can simply use a metal grapefruit spoon to scrape away the skin. It’s much easier to get into those nooks and crannies.
7. Speedy citrus peeling
Turns out there’s more than one way to skin an orange.
The rolling method: Simply roll your chosen citrus fruit gently over countertop to help loosen the pith from flesh, and enjoy easy-peeling.
The microwave method: Use a fork to poke a couple of holes in the skin, then microwave it for a minute. Let it cool for 20-30 seconds and then start peeling.
8. Fast hard-boiled eggs peeling
Add 1 tablespoon baking soda or 2 oz vinegar to the pan when boiling your eggs. Both help separate the egg white from the shell when cooking.
9. Even faster egg peeling
This technique works well if you don’t mind your eggs looking like a hot mess… Simply place your eggs in a lidded container with couple tablespoons of water, and shake for 30 sec to 1 minute. Your egg shells will crack and loosen from the egg with vigorous shaking. It’s not pretty but gets the job done.
10. Remove stem from strawberries
Use a trusty straw and press from the bottom of strawberry until it breaks the hull (white part) and removes the stem/leaves. So satisfying.
11. De-seed your pomegranate
Start by cutting a shallow cone in the flower end of your pomegranate. Then simply score along the ridge lines, peel apart, and pull the middle pith out. Simple!
12. De-kernel corn faster
Placing the pointy end of your corn into the middle of a bundt cake pan, slice downwards with a knife using an angular motion to keep from cutting the core.
13. Grate soft cheese easier
Freeze soft cheeses such as fontina, mozzarella, gruyere for 30 mins before grating to get the perfect pizza coverage.
14. Cut onions without crying
There are a couple of options available if you’re trying not to sob your heart out while you slice your onions:
Option 1 (freezing method): Freeze those onions for 1 – 2 hours before cutting. This only works however if you’re cooking the onions that same day, otherwise when they thaw, they will be mushy.
Option 2 (bread method): Alternatively, if you don’t mind looking a bit daft, you can cut your onions with a slice of bread in your mouth, partially sticking out. Bread helps absorb irritating gases before they reach your eyes.
15. Decrystallize your honey
Place your honey container in hot water for 5 – 10 mins to get rid of any pesky crystallization.
16. Microwave food without drying it out
To prevent your meals from drying out when you reheat them in the microwave, simply place a cup of water in the microwave along with the item to add moisture to the air. This works great with muffins, pizza, brownies, bagels, and baguettes.
17. Prep your peppers faster
Here’s how to prep your peppers like your name is Gordon Ramsey:
- Cut off the top and bottom.
- Cut a slit into one side.
- Place your pepper on its side and roll the knife through pith and seeds.
18. Replace lost lids with a balloon
Lost a jar lid? No problemo. Use a balloon instead! Inflate a standard balloon to size and place it over the container. Press down and release air to tighten around the opening, and hey presto, you have yourself a makeshift lid.
19. Chop cherry tomatoes quicker
This one is an absolute lifesaver… Instead of chopping every tomato one by one, place them all between 2 plates and carefully run your knife through the middle of the opening.
20. Know your male vs female bell peppers
Fact of the day: male bell peppers have 3 “butts” and are best for cooking, whereas female peppers have 4 “butts” and are sweet to eat raw.
21. Remove fishy odors
If you’ve been cutting fish and can’t seem to shake the smell, try using toothpaste to clean your hands. Sounds strange, but works surprisingly well!
22. Separate yolks from whites
Two ways to separate your yolks like a pro:
Option 1 (the funnel method): Place a funnel over a cup, crack your egg into it and let the whites drain down.
Option 2 (the bottle method): Crack your egg onto a plate. Then take an empty plastic water bottle, squeeze the air out, place over the yolk and suck it up.
23. Keep your avocado from browning
Two easy ways to protect those sacred avocados:
Option 1: Chop an onion, line the bed of your container with the pieces, then place the avo skin side down on top of the onions. Seal it up, and the gases from the onion can prevent the avo from browning.
Option 2: Baste your avo with lemon juice and the citric acid in the liquid will help keep browning at bay.
24. Label your prep
If you’re a smart cookie and you prep food ahead of time, be sure to label your containers with a marker – the type of meal if it’s not a clear container, and most importantly, when you made it. Food poisoning is never fun!
25. Make your own spray oil
Mix one parts oil with five parts water, add to a squirt bottle and you have your very own cooking spray.
Share your meal prep hacks!
So there we have it:
25 genius food prep hacks that will save you time and generally make your life easier in the kitchen.
Have a hack of your own that we didn’t mention above? Let us know in the comments section below!