For awhile now, we've been collecting tips, hints, tricks, and interesting
uses for things sent to us by fellow low carbers, or that we've discovered
ourselves. So it's time once again to share some of them with you here. I hope you
can find some useful ones!
Most of us low carbers use a lot of cream! To speed the process of
whipping cream, chill the mixing bowl and beaters
in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes beforehand.
Hey — now that you're not using potatoes anymore, here's a use for that
potato peeler. Use it to create cheese peels for garnishing salads, soups
Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor. Fire up a skillet (high temperature)
and spread pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc. over its surface.
Stir constantly. When the nuts start to turn brown, remove from the heat and
reserve for use in all your favorite dishes! Keep a constant eye on them during
the process — nuts can turn from brown to black in seconds.
Nuts can also be toasted in the oven (or a toaster oven). Spread on a cookie
sheet, then bake at 400°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts
occasionally while roasting. Broken pieces will toast faster than whole
Sharpening Scissors and Kitchen Shears:
Ever been working on a project or trying to cut vegetables when you realize
your scissors has become too dull to do a good job?
simple (and quick) way to sharpen shears is to simply
cut a piece of steel wool (like an SOS or Brillo Pad), or use a
Scotch-Brite pad. They both work great.
Flavorful Ice Cubes:
When ice cubes melt, they water down your drink. Prevent dilution by making
flavored ice cubes from diet drinks, sugarfree Kool Aid or Crystal Light,
or even DaVinci Sugarfree Syrups!
A New Use for Paper Plates:
Consider keeping a package of cheap paper plates in the drawer under your
microwave (or a nearby cabinet if you have no drawer.) They fit very nicely over
nearly any size bowl or plate to prevent splatters. Since they are so handy,
you'll remember to use them, and save yourself messy cleanup later. (Especially
if you're the one who'd be doing the cleanup, but not always the one using the
These work much better than wax paper, paper towels, or Saran Wrap, and
you can keep several sizes of paper plates at the ready for when you're using
extra small or extra large bowls.
Almonds are less bitter without their skin, which is why some recipes
really require blanched almonds.
But if you only have the skin-on kind, you can blanch your own in a pinch.
Here's how: First, place the almonds in a saucepan, add just enough
water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the
water reaches a boil, drain the almonds, then cool them by running
under cold water. To peel, just pinch them — they will pop right out
of their skins.
Boiling makes the almonds soggy, so before using, toast at 325° for
10 minutes to recrisp. If you're making almond flour/meal for low carb
baking, starting with blanched almonds will result in a finer, more delicate
Removing Onion & Garlic Odors from Containers:
To deodorize a plastic storage container in which onions or garlic were
stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the
container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.
Super Fast Meatloaf:
Need to get dinner on the table quicker? If meatloaf is on your menu, remember
that it will cook faster if you make it in small rounded loaves or even in
muffin cups. This can also make for a really attractive serving display.
Long Lasting Celery:
Want to be able to store your celery sticks longer? I used to be frustrated
at how quickly celery would get brown or soft in its original grocery store
packaging. Here's the answer:
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator. It will keep for
weeks... Alternatively, when you purchase your celery, slip a couple of
small plastic bags over both ends. While it's in your fridge, it will stay
fresher and crisper much longer.
Make a Sweet and Sour Cutting Board:
A lot of herbs and vegetables give off pungent smells and oils
that can adulterate other foods. So I confine them to only one
side of my cutting board. The other side I use for slicing fruit
or anything else that might be affected by strong odors.
To keep them straight, I simply mark the end of my cutting board
within delible ink.
Remember, though, that after chopping garlic or onions, you can
run a lemon quarter over both the knife blade and the cutting board
to remove the odor.
When I began low carbing, I learned to love crustless pizzas made on
cookie sheets (a layer of cheese at the base for my "crust".) But
the downfall is that I often get cheese or oil spill-overs. Here's a
If something spills over in your oven, first sprinkle it with salt and
remove with a metal spatula, then wipe with a damp sponge.
How to Know if an Egg is Bad:
You can judge the freshness of an egg by placing it in cool, salted water
about an inch deeper than the egg is long. As an egg ages, the air cell expands.
So, depending on how the egg lies in the water, you can tell whether the
egg is fresh enough to eat on its own, or if it is old enough that,
because of the taste, you should use it only for baking, or if it is
best to just discard it.
Here's the basic guide, but one little warning — You can't tell the age of
a frozen egg by floating it. Even a fresh egg will float if it's frozen.
Onions & Green Peppers:
- Lies on its side: Very fresh. Enjoy.
- Lays at an angle: 4-7 days later. Still perfectly fine to eat.
- Stands up on one end: 10-16 days after freshest point. Best used for
baking but still fine for blending with other ingredients.
- Floats on top of water: Egg is spoiled. Discard.
You can buy frozen chopped onion or green peppers for a quick recipe
shortcut, or since they freeze so well, chop a whole bunch at once and
freeze them in single servings.
I do this for use in pizza, sauces, even Denver omelets!