Tip Tuesday, no. 1

May 8, 2012 · 7 comments

Welcome to the inaugural edition of my new blog series: Tip Tuesday (not to be confused with Tipsy Tuesday, which *should* be a blog series sometime in the future).

Why the new series? Well, let’s see. (Any given) Monday came and went, and I faced one of the following conundrums:

  1. I had absolutely nothing to write about.
  2. I had plenty to write about, but no photos to go along with.
  3. I had an entire post written, but deleted it in a fit of dramatic self-loathing because it was boring, pretentious, redundant, or all of the above.

Tip Tuesday solves the no-post problem, and creates a purposeful arena to briefly share some of my favorite kitchen tricks. I have at least five of them, and I’m sharing two today, so that means I can use this series for roughly three more Tuesdays.

We’ll see if I can come up with a few more, just enough to make it worth this shabby introduction.


Tip #1: Freeze those bananas (alt title: Tell me something I don’t already know, Katy)

Got a pile of over-ripe bananas creating a cozy b&b for your rapidly-reproducing family of fruit flies? Don’t change your afternoon plans in order to whip out a half-dozen loaves of banana bread. Just peel them, cut in half cross-wise, and pop them in a quart-sized freezer bag. When it’s smoothie time, grab a frozen banana instead of a fresh one — it will add thickness and chill to your smoothie, and you’ll never have to starve a smoothie craving because you’re out of bananas.

Tip #2: Freeze the skins of your juiced citrus for future zesting.

Need the juice of a half-lemon for a recipe, but no zest? Rinse off the leftover peel, dry it quickly with a towel, and pop it in a freezer bag kept for this purpose. When you need lemon, lime, or orange zest for a recipe, you can reach for a peel and zest it frozen (it’s actually easier to zest this way). If thick frost has accumulated on the peel, just give it a quick rinse under water first. You can do this with any citrus — I mostly freeze oranges, since that’s a fruit we rarely have on-hand. (Note: this isn’t ideal for zest used as garnish — but in any cooked recipe it works great.)

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Hadeel May 8, 2012 at 8:47 am

Love tip #2! I probably will start doing so myself. Thank you!

Normal Food For Normal People May 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

We love freezing bananas – for smoothies or for snacking. Of course the overly browned ones can always be used for breads!

Julia H. May 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Good idea about the zest. As far as bananas, I put the whole thing, peel and all, in the freezer and don’t even bother with bags. Do you know of any reason I shouldn’t do it this way?

katy May 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Julia, no — that’s a great way to freeze them. I just peel and cut them ahead of time so I can quickly grab a half for a smoothie — you’d have to let them thaw before peeling, right (great for baking, not so much for a smoothie).

Julia H. May 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Correct, I do thaw them. I have just used them for baking, but you are right, an excellent use for them is in smoothies. Thanks for the useful tips today!

Ima @ KyndFamilyFarm May 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

We have a PLETHORA of peeled, cut n frozen nanners at.all.times! Great advice. Smoothies make a meal at least once a day for our jumbo size crew so having the bananas all ready to go makes life sooooooooo much easier! We hit up the discount produce rack that our local corporate grocery store offers weekly and we generally score huge amounts for next to nothing and they are perfectly ripe… since they aren’t green most folks seem to think they are “bad” LOL

katy May 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

Ima — I used to do that too! Back before my obsessive smoothie days, I bought up all the organic discounted (overripe) bananas at our food co-op — and then mashed/froze in ice cube trays for baby food. Unfortunately, since we moved to Indiana, I’ve not found a grocer who discounts those brown bananas : /

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