Kitchen tools that serve only one function have no place in my kitchen! Work smarter, not harder—get creative with the tools you’ve already got hanging around and save money you could otherwise spend on more delicious groceries! Try using these ten kitchen tools in the following innovative ways…
Garlic Press…for Ginger
If you love making Asian and Indian-inspired dishes, this hack will become your best friend! I use my garlic press not just for garlic, but for nubs of fresh ginger, too! If the ginger is quite fresh, it presses through with the same ease as garlic—and it saves so much time, rather than mincing tediously by hand.
Potato Masher…for Guacamole
Good for potatoes, squash…mashed cauliflower…and guacamole! Some prefer a more “chopped guac,” but for those who enjoy a smoother texture, a solid potato masher works wonders on avocadoes, eliminating the need to chop and dice.
Ice Cube Tray…for Iced Coffee or Bouillon or Pesto
As summer approaches, iced coffee becomes more appealing. If you make too much coffee in the morning, recycle it by pouring the remainder into an ice cube tray (ideally one designated for coffee ONLY) to freeze for not-so-watered-down cold coffee drinks.
Ice cube trays are also great for saving homemade vegetable stock or pesto to quickly toss in a given dish.
Vegetable Peeler/Cheese Slicer…for Making Zucchini or Squash Noodles
There is always a moment in the summer when the garden is overwhelmed with zucchini—time for zucchini bread, fritters, and noodles galore! Despite vegetable peelers being designed to remove “non-desirable” vegetable skin, they are also useful for creating light and thin noodle-like strands of zucchini, summer squash, or sweet potato. (Also, the thinner the vegetable, the faster it cooks!) Try this awesome zucchini recipe out!
Rolling Pin…for Tenderizing Meat & Crushing Nuts, Crackers, Cookies, etc.
If you already have a rolling pin, save the money you could spend on a mallet or tenderizer, and use a sturdy rolling pin instead. Just make sure to double bag meat, nuts, bread crumbs, graham crackers, or candies well before hammering on them. Covering the double-bagged goodness with a dish towel also provides a sound/protection barrier…
Ice Cream Scooper…for Melon Seeds
Though it’s arguably far more exciting to use an ice cream scooper for ice cream, it is also extra handy for efficiently scooping out the seeds of a fresh melon. It has a much better well than most spoons, and really catches those runaway seeds!
Slotted Spoon…for Separating Eggs
Most people have a preferred method for separating eggs, but if you’ve been intimidated to try separating eggs by those who use the eggshell flip-flop technique, this is a simple method to try out. Placing the slotted spoon (or a spoon with holes in it) over a bowl, gently crack the egg onto the spoon. The yolk will catch, and the white will run through. Voila!
Tongs…for Squeezing Citrus
Don’t have a citrus press handy? Or perhaps the acidic juice of citrus might irritate a cut on your finger? Reach for the tongs to juice a lemon, lime, or other citrus fruit with a little extra leverage.
Pizza Wheel…to Slice Herbs
Forget the hassle of the seven-blade herb shears! Slap some herbs on a cutting board and roll away with the (sharp!) pizza wheel instead. It’s more efficient and less tedious (herbs always get stuck in the shears for me!) and more fun, too!
Magic Bullet/Mini Blender…for Flours
Ever made your own flours? If so, you already know that making some flours in particular—think oat and flax—is quite simple and easy if you have a strong blender in your kitchen. Harder grains, such as rice, wheat, amaranth, and spelt, require a very strong blender. You can also read more about making your own flours at home here.