Daily Kitchen Hacks
After “cleaning up” my beauty and skincare routine, I have now turned my attention to the kitchen. My philosophy is to be as minimalistic as possible with multi-functional, good quality items that last. A key goal of mine when it comes to my kitchen hacks is sustainability, and that means producing minimal or ideally zero waste. And by investing in items that are reuse-able you are also saving yourself from continuously buying products that are used one and then tossed out. With all that in mind, here are my top six kitchen hacks.
FREEZE YOUR ORGANIC WASTE
I grew up in the country where we literally had a “chuck-it-bucket” that we threw all of our kitchen scraps and leftovers into. Once it was full, we walked outside and threw it into the field – composting at its finest! Living in the city, we don’t have the same luxury; however, a lot more condo buildings are incorporating organic waste systems. The unappealing thing about composting is that food scraps often smell and usually end up leaking through the bag. This is where your freezer comes into play. As soon I have some food scraps, I throw them into a biodegradable bag that I keep in the freezer. No smells, no leaking, no bugs, and no trail of garbage juice dripping on the floor all the way to the garbage disposal. Once your bag is full, then simply dispose of it as usual.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANING CONCENTRATES
With a minimalist approach to cleaning, I like to have only a few products that can do a lot, and I mean A LOT. Good ol’ white vinegar does the trick for almost all cleaning tasks in the kitchen and bathroom. You can use vinegar solutions for window cleaning, toilets, cabinets, and all-purpose cleaning. Here’s the simple formula: 1 part white vinegar, 4 parts water, 10-20 drops of essential oil (optional), and 1 tsp of all purpose organic cleaner. My favourite inspiration for natural cleaning DIY recipes and tips is Wellness Mama.
USE A LEMON PRESS
I couldn’t share my kitchen hacks with you without this item. After my blender and knives, my lemon press is my favourite and most used kitchen utensil that I own. I use lemons a lot – in the morning to have lemon water, in teas, and for salad dressings. The lemon press allows you to squeeze out every last drop of that citrus goodness, you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The best part is, you don’t have those annoying seeds falling into whatever you’re making. Don’t feel limited to just squeezing lemons by the way. It also works for limes (yes perfect for making guacamole) and oranges. Although, I would not recommend attempting to squeeze yourself a whole glass of o.j using this method.
USE A FRENCH PRESS (FOR MORE THAN COFFEE)
Okay, it’s actually a toss up between my lemon press and french press for third most used item. A french press is by far my preferred method for making coffee (lately I have been obsessed with having a bulletproof coffee in the morning). According to Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof, by brewing coffee with a metal filter (like a french press or espresso machine) it helps to maintain precious coffee oils that are potent neurological anti-inflammatory agents that protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage. I also use my french press to make loose leaf tea, especially when it’s more than just one cup. Lastly – and probably the most clever way to use the french press is to make nut milk! Yes, you can make almond milk without a cheesecloth or nut bag (because let’s be honest, they usually end up ripping, and no one wants to squeeze it like the utter of a cow to get the milk out). Also with the french press method, you get to keep your hands clean.
BEESWAX FOOD WRAPS
As I transition away from using any plastic in my kitchen, I swapped out saran wrap for Abeego, the washable and reusable beeswax wrap. The beeswax allows your food to “breathe” and therefore stay fresher longer. The variety pack offers you all shapes and sizes to fit around bowls, plates, and to wrap fruits and veggies. They are a MUST if you are looking to “green” your kitchen. We recently interviewed the founder Toni, on how Abeego is changing the game in sustainability.
USE SILICONE BAKING CUPS
One of my favourite kitchen hacks is silicone baking cups. These are not only great for baking, as these bad boys can withstand heat, they are also perfect for making frozen treats. These zero-waste cups are reusable. It means that you don’t have to throw out the paper wrapper each time you eat a muffin. Also you can throw them in the dishwasher – which is always a win in my books. I love to make homemade nut butter cups, layered fat bombs and paleo morning glory muffins in my multi-coloured baking cups. The possibilities are really endless with what you can make in these. Also as they come in various sizes too because everything tastes better when it’s miniature right?