12 Clever Healthy Cooking Hacks

We all want our lives to be as easy as possible when it comes to mealtimes. That's why fast food is so popular - it's ready to eat so it saves us cooking time and doesn't involve any washing up afterwards. But takeaways are definitely not the healthiest choice and the best thing to do is cook most of our meals from scratch at home.

As much as I love cooking and creating new dishes, I'm a busy gal and don't want to be slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end every day. So here are twelve food hacks I swear by to keep my healthy cooking as simple as possible:

1. Adding half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (AKA baking soda) to the water when making hard boiled eggs makes them so much easier to peel - the shell comes right off without any hassle.

2. Freeze herbs and olive oil in an ice cube tray for a quick and convenient way to flavour your meals.

3. Have an avocado that's not quite ready to eat yet? Put it in a brown paper bag with a banana to help it to ripen quicker.

4. Wash your blender by half filling it with warm water and a squirt of washing up liquid and running it for 30 seconds to a minute. Then just rinse with cold water.

5. Frozen bananas make a great creamy base for healthy ice cream and smoothies.

6. To peel garlic cloves quickly, put one or two on your cutting board, lay a chopping knife flat over them and give it a whack with your fist or the heel of your hand.

7. If you drop a little piece of eggshell into the bowl when cracking eggs, it's almost impossible to get out with your fingers. So simply scoop it out using the rest of the shell.

8. Does chopping onions make you cry? Try putting a metal teaspoon in your mouth while cutting them to prevent tears. This works for me about 90% of the time. I've also heard that soaking a peeled onion in ice water before chopping also helps.

9. Blend avocado in a food processor to use in place of butter or mayonnaise in vegan sandwiches and wraps.

10. When cooking pasta, place a wooden spoon across the top of the saucepan - this will prevent the water from boiling over.

11. Place a wet paper towel under your chopping board to prevent it from slipping.

12. Put cut potatoes in a bowl of cold water to save them turning brown before you want to cook them. A squeeze of lemon juice will stop cut up apples and pears from browning.

I'd love to hear your favourite cooking hacks - let me know them in the comments!

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