• From managing food waste to prepping more efficiently, these are our kickass kitchen hacks for this month.

    Kitchen hacks #1 -3

    How to make pineapple flowers

    Preheat the oven to 95ºC.

    Cut the ends off a large pineapple and carefully slice off the tough skin.

    Using the potato eye remover on a vegetable peeler, remove the brown eyes form the pineapple.

    Slice the pineapple into very thin discs using a mandoline or sharp knife. Pat the slices dry with a paper towel.

    Space the slices evenly on a wire rack placed in a baking tray. Dry out in the oven for 2-3 hours, turning a few times, until dehydrated and the edges start to crisp.

    Carefully place each slice of pineapple in a small muffin tin to mould into a flower shape. Allow to set, then use to decorate your favourite bakes.

     Mess-free popcorn

    Don’t feel like having to clean the oily pot after making popcorn over the stove? Then this hack is for you! Grab a brown paper back and throw in enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom (about 1/4 cup).

    Fold the top of the back a few times to close, then microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds or until the popping stops. Add seasoning to the bag and shake to distribute. This hack is effortless, saves on washing up and is also much cheaper than buying microwave popcorn from the shops.

    Keep bagged leafy green fresher for longer

    Store your leafy greens in an airtight container lined with paper towels, or pop open your bag of green and slip a piece of paper towel inside. The paper towel absorbs the moisture, which would otherwise cause your leaves to go slimy. Make sure to replace the paper towels daily so they don’t get too soggy.

    Image by Cats Coming off Unsplash

    Kitchen hacks #4 – 6

    6 Things to make using stale bread

    Fresh breadcrumbs

    Blitz stale bread in a food processor to fine crumbs. Fresh bread crumbs won’t last well, so are best used immediately or frozen for future use. Perfect tot use in stuffing or mince mixture for meatloaf, meatballs and burgers.

    Dried breadcrumbs

    Leave slices of bread at room temperature to dry out or dehydrate in the oven at 120ºC. Blitz in a food processor until fine. Dried breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container for frozen. They’re ideal for crumbing fish or chicken schnitzels.


    Tear or cut your bread into pieces and toss in enough olive oil until lightly coated, but not soggy. Season, then toast croutons in the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes, tossing twice, until golden and crisp.

    Panzanella salad

    Panzanella is a classic Italian tomato and bread salad. The bread acts as a vehicle to suck up all the salad dressing and delicious juices from all the tomatoes. To make a basic panzanella salad salt some chopped tomatoes to draw out excess moisture. Put together a basic vinaigrette using olive oil, red wine vinegar and other flavourings. Toss together drained tomatoes, dressing, torn ciabatta or sourdough bread and basil. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.

    French toast

    To make about 4 slices of French toast, whisk together 2 eggs and 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon to taste. Soak bread slices in the egg mixture and fry until golden. Serve with fresh fruit, honey nuts or crème fraiche. Bread and butter pudding is created in a similar way, although it is baked in a custard instead of fried.

    Crispy pasta topping

    Prepare some fresh breadcrumbs with rosemary and toast in a non-stick pan with oil. Once golden, stir through a clove of crushed garlic and salt to taste, then cook for another minute. Sprinkle the crispy topping over pasta for a crunchy finish.

    How to save cookies that have gone over to the dark side

    Sometimes using certain oven trays or oven settings can give cookies an unappetising dark or even burnt base, To fix this, carefully rub the base of your cookies against the fine side of a grater. Grate until the burnt layer is all shaved off. fixed!

     Effortlessly Peel a Kiwi

    No one has the time to peel a kiwi with a peeler or knife. Rather do it with a spoon! Slice off the top and bottom ends, then push a large spoon between the fruit and the skin. Carefully run the spoon around the fruit to separate it form the skin. The fruit will pop out easily. No mess, no fuss!

    Let us know if you tried out these clever kitchen hacks on Instagram @foodandhomesa!

    Cookies by Rai Vidanes
    Image by Rai Vidanes on Unsplash

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    Sjaan is a food stylist and recipe developer for Food & Home. She aims to create mouth-watering images and exciting How To videos on our Instagram, hoping to inspire people to try new recipes and have fun in the kitchen.