Smart Cooking Shortcuts

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I like to cook. It’s a creative activity for me, and cooking for myself and my family lets me know that we’re getting good food. But even though I like to cook, I don’t like extra work, so I’m always looking for shortcuts to make the work a little easier- especially on busy days when I don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table. Here are some pretty smart cooking shortcuts that will help you with prep and cleanup:


You can make a big batch of your own broth and freeze it in smaller containers, or make it really easy and buy some good quality broth. Use it in soups, stews, rice, and lots of other recipes to give a rich flavor that tastes like it cooked for hours.

Slow cooker:

A slow cooker is a busy person’s best friend. Fill it up with ingredients, set it, and let it work. In a few hours you’ll have a delicious, cozy meal.

Frozen vegetables:

Frozen vegetables are a great shortcut ingredient for many reasons. First of all, they’re ready to use- no peeling or chopping. Second, they’re always in season. And contrary to what you might think, freezing helps keep the nutrients fresh,

Apple cutter:

Use an apple cutter to make quick potato wedges.

Peeling garlic:

Let’s be honest- fresh garlic is way better than garlic powder or the kind in a jar, but it’s a pain to peel. Not with this cool shortcut: Heat a head of garlic in the microwave for 20 seconds and the skin just falls off.

Egg slicer:

Use it to slice mushrooms or kiwis.

Fresh herbs:

Easily cut fresh herbs with a pizza slicer or with clean kitchen scissors.

Quick pancakes:

Mix the dry ingredients in a zip top bag at night. In the morning just add the wet ingredients and you’re good to go.


Prep individual smoothies ahead of time by putting the fruits and vegetable for each smoothie in its own zip bag and freezing.

Baking sheets: 

Who wants to wash a baking sheet? You won’t have to if you line it with foil before using. Just lift the foil, throw it out, and enjoy your clean baking sheet.


Save time when you cook soup, stew, and sauce by grating tomatoes instead of chopping.

Zip top bags:

Do all your marinating in zip top bags, rather than bowls or pans, and there’s no washing.

Immersion blender:

My immersion blender might actually be my favorite kitchen gadget. It’s so much more convenient than a regular blender or food processor because you do all the work right in the pot or bowl. Try it for blending creamy soups and dressings.

Pretty smart- huh? With these tricks you can get your cooking- and cleanup- done much faster so you can enjoy healthy meals with your family!

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