Hey, we get it. Food can be difficult. Between the cooking, the clean up, and the endless parade of specialized utensils and procedures, it’s no wonder that so many of us just give up and crawl inside of a bucket of fast-food fried chicken. However, as with so many things in life, enjoying food doesn’t have to hard—as long as you know all of the tricks. Here are 10 food hacks that you can use to make eating just a little bit easier.
10 Food Hacks
1. Avoid mashing your banana by peeling it from the other end
For some reason, most of us grew up being taught to peel bananas from the stalk. Of course, this would often result in mangled fruit, and leave us with that unappetising little nub as our last bite. The better way to open up a banana is to flip it around. Open it from the end opposite the stalk by making a small incision with your thumbnail just below the tip. Peel back, removing the inedible nub in the process, and fold open the peel. You’ll have access to the delicious fruit without any of the hassle.
2. Cook bacon in a waffle iron
A great way to enjoy bacon without having to deal with the scrunched-up, withered husks that you get when you cook it in a frying pan is to put it in a waffle iron. Not only will it keep your bacon nice and flat, but it will also cook it much faster, thanks to the additional heat surface. Just be sure to place the waffle iron on a metal pan to catch any stray grease.
3. Use balloons to make chocolate bowls
Nice desserts should look nice. Good desserts should taste good. Amazing desserts should do both. By inflating a small balloon, dipping its rounded end into melted chocolate, and then allowing the chocolate to cool and harden before removing the balloon, you can create a perfectly edible bowl for whatever treats you decide to share (as long as you don’t fill it with anything hot).
4. Keep sliced apples from turning brown
There are few things tastier than a fresh apple. Of course, a few minutes after slicing one open, the rapidly-browning flesh starts to look anything but appetizing. Keep a sliced apple looking like new by using an elastic hair-tie to hold the pieces together until you’re ready to eat them.
5. Easily open tough-to-crack pistachios
Pistachios are like nature’s treasure chests. Sure, they are some of the most delicious snacks available, but getting through the outer shell can be nearly impossible—especially when the opening is too tiny to pry open with your fingers. You can use your teeth, assuming you don’t mind chipping them on the hard-as-steel shell. Or, you could use a discarded piece from another shell as a lever to force it open—it’s your choice.
6. Shuck a strawberry with a straw
Sometimes, nature likes to keep us on our toes. For example, the delicious strawberry is topped with a crown of bitter leaves that you probably don’t want anywhere near your mouth. You could try to rip or cut those leaves off, but in doing so you’ll likely end up removing about a third of the strawberry in the process. Instead, let the strawberry live up to its name, and shove a straw upward through the bottom of it. The green part should be forced out through the top, and you’ll be left with nothing but tasty fruit.
7. Use a fork to dip sandwich cookies in milk
Sandwich cookies are great. Sandwich cookies dipped in milk are greater. Of course, getting the cookie into the milk usually means getting a few fingers wet. You can save yourself the hassle of having to wipe off your hands (and the nastiness of finger-flavored milk), by spearing the cookie’s soft sandwich center with a fork before dipping it.
8. Use dental floss to cut soft breads/cakes
Take a knife to some soft bread or cake, and there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with a flattened mess. Instead, roll out a length of unused dental floss, and while pulling it tight, use it to slice into your treat. You’ll get a nice straight cut without smashing anything.
9. Eat stackable chips without making a mess
Those stackable chips that come in a tube tend to get a little messy; you basically have two options on how to get those chips out: You can dump them out (crumbs and all) into your hands/all over the table, or you can jam your entire fist down into the tube and hope that you’ll be able to retain the manual dexterity necessary to actually be able to grab something. Instead, take a third option: Just fold a piece of notebook paper in half lengthwise and slide it down into the tube. Now, turn the tube on its side and slide out the paper—the chips should slide easily out as well.
10. Separate unpopped popcorn kernels easily
If it weren’t for the danger of encountering an unpopped kernel, popcorn would be the perfect snack food. As it stands, however, what should be a carefree romp through fistfulls of buttery-salted goodness becomes a fear-filled misadventure as we carefully inspect every potential bite. Limit the likelihood of shattering a tooth, by making use of the unique design of the microwavable popcorn bag. widen the opening until it is only large enough to let unpopped kernels through. Then, turn the bag upside down (preferably over a waste bin) and shake it. The unpopped kernels should fall out, leaving you with nothing but perfectly soft and pillowy pieces of popcorn.