Food hacks have got to be the most fun and possibly the most useful form of life hacks making Internet rounds these days. Even when they don’t work out quite as well as we’d hope, they’re always fun to try. What makes food hacks really exciting is that they can lead to healthier eating habits and even innovation.
The recent Food Hackathon + Forum in San Francisco brings together tech, entrepreneurs and food innovators to brainstorm new ways to approach food on a global scale. According to Doritos heir and organizer Tim West, “Food Hackathon unites designers, developers, and entrepreneurs for a world class hackathon competition, to build networks, cross pollinate ideas, and create new products and tools to innovate and improve the food ecosystem.”
You can do your small part and make your life a little easier by trying out these 15 amazing food hacks that you won’t believe you ever lived without.
1. DIY $5 Brick Oven
Have you always wished you had a brick oven but don’t have the money or the space? It’s surprisingly cheap and easy to make a delicious brick oven pizza right in your own kitchen. Just head over to your local building supply store to get a few unglazed tiles and follow Instructables easy steps.
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2. The Perfect Hardboiled Egg
Hardboiled eggs are a super easy, super nutritious snack on the go but if you don’t get the texture right they can be a disaster for picky eaters. Of all food hacks, this one really will change your life. Instead of adding eggs to boiling water, put the eggs and cold water in the pan before heating. As soon as the water boils turn off the heat and let the eggs continue cooking in the hot water. How long depends on whether you’re going for soft or hardboiled.
3. Popsicle Drip Catcher
No more sticky hands and stained clothes! Just spear a foil cupcake wrapper on your popsicle stick and you’ve got a mess-free treat. Genius!
4. Cashew Cream Cheese
If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant and thought you’d never be able to have another bagel with cream cheese, you’re in luck! The amazing cashew is good for you and it makes a delicious and creamy milk or cheese substitute. Just soak them in water overnight and throw them in the blender for the perfect dairy substitute. Try this recipe for Garlic Herb Avocado Cream Cheese for starters.
5. Hershey’s Kiss Trick
This is one of those food hacks makes life easier but it also makes gorging yourself on chocolate easier…. You can open a Hershey’s Kiss in one easy motion by holding the side of the Kiss between your thumb and index finger, then just pull the little paper ribbon. How did we not think of this sooner?
6. Keep Ice Cream Soft with a Ziploc
This is another one of those game changing food hacks, brought to us by the geniuses at Ziploc. Store your ice cream in a plastic freezer bag and you’ll never have bent spoons again.
7. Fresh Asparagus
One of the biggest challenges of eating healthy is keeping your produce fresh so you’re not throwing out half the fruits and veggies you buy each week. This easy tip keeps asparagus fresh for up to two weeks. Cut bottom ends off of the stalks and put them in a jar with 1-2 inches of water. Cover the tops with a plastic bag and you’ll never waste asparagus again.
8. No Mess Pancakes
Be eco-friendly and save yourself extra clean up by using an empty squeeze bottle as a pancake batter dispenser. Not only can use save the extra batter for tomorrow, you can easily craft your pancakes into fun shapes for the kids. And the best part is that you won’t drip sticky batter all over the kitchen.
9. Hyperdecant Wine
Nathan Myhrvoid of Modernist Cuisine, suggests that putting your wine in a blender on the highest setting for 30-60 seconds, or hyperdecanting it, will improve the flavor. It’s especially effective on red wines.
10. Freeze Grapes to Chill Wine
While we’re on the subject of wine… It’s hard to imagine now, but in just a few weeks spring will be here bringing warm weather and a desire for perfectly chilled wine. Keep it cool without watering it down by using frozen grapes instead of ice cubes.
You will wonder how you ever lived without these adorable devices. Foodhuggers come in different shapes and sizes—there’s even an avocado one! They slip over the cut end of fruits, like lemons or apples, and veggies, like peppers or cucumbers, so they stay fresh, moist and brightly colored for days.
12. Fresh Fries
Never eat stale or soggy fries again! Order them with no salt and you’re almost guaranteed to get a fresh batch. You can always add salt later and it’s an excellent way to control your sodium intake.
13. Boxed Cake Mix + Soda Water
Vegans can indulge in a delicious cake from the box too. Substitute soda water for the butter and eggs for a perfectly fluffy and moist dessert.
14. Baked Eggs
If you’re cooking hardboiled eggs in bulk—Easter’s right around the corner!—consider baking them. Pop them in the oven for 30 minutes at 320 degrees, then immediately put them in a bowl of ice water. You’ll get delicious, creamy hardboiled eggs.
15. Frito Pie
A Frito pie is the perfect meal-on-the-go for kids and adults. You can go for the traditional chili/taco fillings or get creative and try Frito pie pizzas or taco salads.