The #LifeHacks trend has been doing the rounds on social media, so here’s our take on it, with handy food tips and revolutionary shortcuts that can make your life a little easier.
Whether it’s how to organise those loose wires behind your desk, or even finding the quickest way to fold a t-shirt, #LifeHacks is the trend that just keeps on giving. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some hacks of our very own: #FoodHacks, if you will…
Super juicy burgers
This one comes from the former host of American MasterChef, Graham Elliot, and it really does work. His idea is simple – to prevent your homemade burgers from drying out on the grill, just add ice. Yes, ice is the secret ingredient! Graham suggests placing an ice cube in the centre of each of your patties before cooking. When it comes to heating them up, the ice will keep your meat juicy and terrifically tender.
Beat your fear of spice
If spicy food isn’t usually your thing, here’s a tip that might just see you finally enjoying the fiery curries you’ve always avoided. Put simply, your coolant is key. It’s a commonly known fact, but some people still make this mistake: never drink water to cool your mouth! Capsaicin, the active component in hot peppers, is not water-soluble, which means water won’t work, and will only leave you feeling bloated should you drink too much. Instead, opt for a fatty drink like milk or some yoghurt. These fats break down that pesky capsaicin, and will leave your mouth feeling fresh. We recommend trying a mango lassi next time you sit down for an Indian meal. They’re delicious and will cool your mouth wonderfully.
End your stale cake woes
There’s nothing worse than baking the perfect cake, only to find it stale less than a day or two later – if you can go that long without finishing it, that is! So what to do when you’ve taken a slice? Well, this one may sound a little odd, but trust us – it really works. When you’ve had a piece of cake, simply take a slice of bread, grab some cocktail sticks, and fix the bread to the exposed section of cake using these. The bread may go stale, but the cake beneath will remain moist and delicious for longer. Starch content will go stale in low temperature/moisture conditions, but due to the bread’s high water activity (moisture) count, the cake will absorb the moisture it requires from the bread to prevent it from going stale.
It is also best to use white bread, as it won’t transfer its flavour to your cake!
Easily cut small fruits
If your recipe calls for sliced grapes or cherry tomatoes, slicing each one individually can grow a little tedious. The solution? Two plastic container lids. That’s right, all you need to do is sandwich a handful of the fruit between two lids, press lightly to hold everything in place and simply slice across in between both lids. When you take out your fruit, you’ll find you’ve perfectly sliced every piece in an instant.
Lightning speed ripening
Avocado seems to be the darling of the Instagram world, and has taken social media by storm. It does have one drawback, though – when they’re not ripe, they seem to take an age before they’re edible. So try this handy tip if you’re in a hurry for your avocado fix: Preheat your oven to 100C, and wrap your avocado in foil. Once the oven is up to temperature, pop it in there for 10 to 30 minutes and check every five minutes. Depending on how unripe your avocado was, it should have softened within this time, and will be ready to eat. Of course, you won’t get all the same tasty benefits as you would if you were to let it ripen naturally for a day or two, but this is definitely a quick cheat method to enjoy your avocado in no time at all!