Everyone knows the importance of having enough fruit and veg in our diets. It takes work, of course, but if what’s stopping you is a little missing knowhow and the sheer time spent preparing nutritious meals, read on: it’s much less hassle with these handy food hacks. These nuggets of advice will set you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle — and save you time, effort, and money along the way.
1. Listen to your avocados
There are certain tests you can do in the store to ensure you’re bringing home a good avocado! First, make sure it has no dark blemishes on it. Then, you want to hold it up to your ear, and shake it very gently. If you hear a rattle inside, that means the pit has come away from the flesh: the fruit is too ripe. Squeeze the top — not the sides — and check to see if you leave a dent or not. If there’s a dent, that’s another sign it’s too far gone! Finally, flick the little stem off the fruit to see what color is underneath: if it’s green, you’re good to go.
2. Turn food scraps into delicacies
Don’t throw away all your vegetable scraps; they can be super useful. While chopping your veggies, gather up all the leftover pieces in a bag or container. Then, throw them into a pan with salt, water, and herbs of your choosing, and you’ve got all you need to make a delicious stock. And that’s not all. Cut up broccoli stalks and use them in soups or stir-frys; add cauliflower leaves to curries; freeze lemon peel and use it to make limoncello! Believe it or not, you can even use onion skins to make dyes. Simmer them in water for half an hour, add the cloth, and then leave it soaking for a few weeks. You should get a lovely brown color.
3. Keep fresh herbs fresh
You don’t need to keep continually buying expensive fresh herbs; neither do you need a fancy, expensive “storage pod” device to keep them fresh for longer! Instead, simply put your surplus herbs in a glass container — perhaps an old jam jar — filled with water, and cover the leafy bits with a bag. Then store them in the fridge until you need them: they should be perfectly fresh when you take them out.
4. Peel mangos with a glass
Do you cower at the thought of actually having to peel a mango? Have no fear. Getting the skin off the halved fruit is actually really easy when you know this handy hack. Simply get a large drinking glass or something similar, and use the side of it to slide the flesh out of the mango. You still have to be a little careful — since glass is involved — but it’s much easier than using a knife.