7 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Transform How You Cook

Cook faster, easier, and cheaper meals with these smart tips from Chef Julia Collin Davison of America's Test Kitchen.

7 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Transform How You Cook

Cooking doesn’t have to be backbreaking, complicated, or expensive. With the right know-how, you can save time and money in the kitchen and make meals faster, easier, and cheaper. Follow these smart tips from seasoned chef Julia Collin Davison, the executive food editor of America’s Test Kitchen.

Reprinted from KITCHEN HACKS: HOW CLEVER COOKS GET THINGS DONE Copyright © 2015 by America’s Test Kitchen. Published by Cook’s Illustrated.


Use Your Oven to Ripen Fruit

Want fresh fruit fast? Skip the brown-bag trick and ripen fruit such as bananas by popping them into the oven on a baking tray at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Once done, peel and enjoy as a snack dessert topping, or whip up a batch of homemade banana bread.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

Keep Reading Show less