With the current pandemic restrictions, you might be buying takeaways, cooking or baking up a storm at home, or loading up on snacks, non-perishable food items and microwavable meals more often. But, given how the situation is constantly changing – along with our moods and minds – a number of food-related issues could arise. We could have been too greedy or too kiasu, and bought too much of everything (think packets of instant noodles and cartons of eggs) to stock up at home; our taste buds or cravings might change, leading to a gagging dislike of whatever the flavour-of-the-week was yesterday; or you may suddenly decide you no longer want to be the MasterChef of your household because you feel all cooked-out yourself.
Whichhh, can all lead to bad things such as food wastage and storage hassles. Too much of takeaways become “throwaways”; good fruits and veges go bad; or you are so sian of what’s in your pantry, you just had to get them into the bin and out of your sight. Instead of letting food go to waste or stressing over how to store them, why not try some simple hacks to save or salvage expiring food items, change up how your daily comfort food or drinks taste, or just to make it more fun to eat in, especially if you are stuck with too much stock, or troubled by how to prep, clean up after meals and keep food edible for yourself and the fam. Start with these 8 tips to make eating in great again.
Ice Cubed Coffee
Caffeine lovers, this trick’s for you. Can’t finish up that big mug of coffee or just want to make your everyday cuppa more interesting? Pour that brew into ice cube trays and freeze it. Then take the coffee cubes out of the fridge and add them to a fresh new cup the next day for an extra “shot” of icey kopi gao – you can also add milk to blend for your very own iced latte.
Water Your Bread
Have days-old loaves of sourdough, baguette or ciabatta (or any kind of large and crusty breads) that have gone tough? Soften them back to life by sprinkling some tablespoons of water over them before sticking them into a preheated oven for a few minutes. The breads will come out all warm and toasty, and also, chewy again.
Butter Up Your Kopi
Got too much unsalted butter leftover from your baking days? Use it for a neat little old-school trick (which gained lots of prominence a few years back with hipsters as butter or bulletproof coffee) to make your morning kopi just that little more tasty. Add a slice of unsalted or grass-fed butter (ghee works, too) to your cup of hot black coffee, stir, and drink up. Or, for more flavoured fun, you can add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil along with your small slice of butter to the hot coffee, and mix it all up in a blender for 20 to 30 seconds to create a foamy latte.
Fresh Bananas, Not Bad Bananas
Riddle: Why are bananas the baddest bruisers around? Answer: Because they become bad in days and bruise easily. Lame joke aside, there are a few ways as to how you can keep them from ripening too quickly. Hang them up (buy a banana hanger if you need to) to keep air moving around them, and also hang them away from other fruits (the ethylene gas produced by bananas as well as other fruits speeds up the ripening process), or separate each banana from the bunch and wrap the stems in plastic wrap (to block the ethylene gas released from the stems). Either way, you can keep the bananas from ripening faster than you can peel them.
Chill Down Your Sticky Plastic Wrap
We all have had those irritating moments where we wrestle with the plastic wrap for our leftover food. Chill both you and the plastic wrap down by storing the roll in the fridge for a while; the temporary cold can help reduce its stickiness, making it easier for you to use when you need to.
Good Egg Or Bad Egg?
Sooo, you hoarded lots of eggs and now you fear some of them might have become expired. While some of us can sniff out bad eggs (as in the food, not people) with our nifty noses, short of cracking one open, we can’t really tell for certain if an egg has gone bad. If you really want to sort out and save the fresher ones, gently place the uncooked eggs in a bowl of water. If an egg sinks to the bottom, it’s one to keep; if it floats, then maybe its time to let it go. The reason: the liquid inside an egg evaporates through its porous shell over time, leaving a gas bubble inside. So, the better one floats, the older it is.
When Life Hands You Too Many Lemons, Microwave Them
You and your little ones are tired of eating citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and even lemons by the slices, just to get your daily dose of vitamin C? Pop them into the microwave for 20 seconds on high heat. There’s a perfectly good reason why: The fruits will be warmer and softer, making them easier to squeeze for more juice, enough to make that nice big jug of cold and refreshing orangeade, lemonade or citrus-fruit drink!
Container Stains, Begone!
Oh the horror! Your beloved limited edition Tupperware collection’s dirtied by the frequent use of storing leftover food such as homecooked stews, sauces or soups, and the stains are hard to scrub out. Don’t despair: Blend some baking soda with water into a paste, wipe the insides of the containers with it and let it sit for a few hours, then wash out the containers with warm water. Your precious Tupperware should be a-okay again (till you next keep chicken curry in them).
Featured image: Shutterstock