10 Kitchen Hacks for a Better Summer

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READING TIME: 4 min.

As summer quickly approaches, I want to be outside with my family.  For us, spending time outdoors together is food for our souls. I also need us to be able to fuel our bodies for the longer days ahead. But I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for hours a day making all the meals and snacks. Here are a few time-saving kitchen hacks that have gotten me out of the kitchen and with my family without sacrificing our nutrition!

kitchen hacks

Kitchen Hacks to Get You Out of the Kitchen

1.  Got cold butter?

We love baking healthy treats, but nine times out of ten the butter is cold and we need it to be soft. Here are two hacks to try!

    • Cut your butter in 1-inch cubes and leave it out on the counter while you organize your kiddo(s) and your ingredients (or for 20 minutes).
    • Place your butter in a quart-size Ziplock baggie. Then take your rolling pin and pound it out! Keep pounding and rolling the butter until it is completely flat. Open the bag and scoop out what you need.

2.  Need a healthy breakfast or lunch in a hurry?

Smoothie bags to the rescue! To make them, place your fruit and veggie ingredients into freezer-safe bags and freeze. Take out a bag the next morning, dump the contents into your blender, add your liquid, protein powder, and blend. Viola! A tasty and nutritious meal in minutes!

3.  Peanut butter keeps separating?

If you don’t need it right away, place the sealed jar upside down for the next 12-24 hours. This allows the oil to rise to the top (which is actually the bottom of the jar) and you’ll spend half the time stirring it back together.

4.  No time to prep strawberries?

Have your kiddo(s) hull them with a straw! Give your kiddo(s) a typical size straw (make sure it’s not silicone). Have them push the straw up into the bottom of the strawberry and watch the green top pop right off! Your kids will love this chore while you move on to the next one!

5.  Need fresh herbs?

Don’t throw away the ones you chopped for last week’s dinner! Place them in an ice cube tray with enough olive oil or water to cover them. Then pop them into the freezer. Once frozen, place them in a freezer-safe bag and defrost a cube or two as you need them.

6.  Craving an afternoon iced coffee, but no time to stop at the coffee shop?

Make an extra cup (or 2!) of coffee in the morning and pour it into ice cube trays. Pop them into the freezer. Once frozen, store them in a freezer-safe bag. The next time you crave a cold brew, brew a cup of coffee and pour over a few coffee ice cubes. Fresh cold brew in minutes instead of hours plus, you save a few dollars!

{Read More: 5 Ways to Prepare for Summer}

7.  Hate peeling garlic? Here’s a couple of tricks to save you time and frustration!

    • Place your garlic in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 7 seconds then peel away.
    • Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your butcher knife.

8.  Looking for some inexpensive and quick-cooking veggie options?

Look no further than your grocer’s freezer aisle. Frozen veggies are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness so all the nutrients and flavors are intact. You’ll save time and money swapping out fresh for frozen and won’t have to worry about what’s in-season.

9.  Kiddo(s) want grapes for lunch?

Cut them in half in no time by placing your grapes on a flat plate or lid. Then top them with another flat plate or lid. Press down on the top lid with one hand while using your other hand to slice your knife through the opening between the lids.

10.  Need to save even more time in the kitchen?

Try meal prepping a few things on the weekend. Start simple by hard boiling eggs or chopping up some veggies for snacks and recipes. As you gain more experience and time permits, you can prep parts of your lunches and/or dinners for the upcoming week giving yourself the gifts of less stress and more time.

With summer fast approaching, spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family by giving one or two of these kitchen hacks a try. You may even find your stress levels decrease a little – what’s not to love about that?!

Do you have a favorite, time-saving kitchen hack?!

 

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Kirsten was born and raised in Chicago, IL and is married her high school sweetheart, Ryan. Her family relocated to Dallas, TX when their first daughter Kaelyn (October 2012) was 18 months. After their second daughter Alanna was born (October 2014), Kirsten became a Certified Group Fitness Instructor and taught bootcamp-style classes to local moms with strolled-aged kiddos. Their third daughter Nora (April 2017) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 18 months. While struggling to manage her daughter’s T1D, Kirsten went down the rabbit-hole of nutrition and became a Certified Health Coach. She opened her private coaching practice in April of 2020 where she currently provides health and nutrition support to local mompreneurs. You can find her playing with her girls outside, trying a new workout, or on Instagram @nourishbykirsten.

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