Tips & Tricks

Don’t store all kinds of fruit and vegetables together

Some types of fruits like apples and peaches emit the gas ethylene, which accelerates the ripening process. Hence adjacent fruit become old and rot faster. Note: you can use this effect positively. For e.g. you can place an apple next to an unripe kiwi.

Lemons – all-rounder in the kitchen
  • Its juice gives a fresh flavour to your dish.
  • A few drops of lemon juice help retain the whiteness of white coloured vegetables while cooking.
  • Place squeezed halves in the refrigerator to get rid of unpleasant odours.
  • Lemon peels can replace rinse-aids in the dishwasher.
Honey as trusted home remedy
  • Mix honey with chopped onion, cover and allow to steep two hours. A little of it taken at regular intervals through the day, reduces cold symptoms and fights bacteria.
  • With naturally obtained and cold-spun honey, wounds heal faster. The reason being the antibacterial plant substances in honey.
Seasoning cleverly

Who would want to bite on cloves, juniper berries or bay leaves? Place the spices in a spice ball or a tea-infuser. In this way, they can be removed easily and quickly after cooking.

Cloves help against toothache

Essential oils of cloves get rid of toothaches – at least for a while. Bite a clove at the affected area in the mouth and keep it there at least a minute.

Seasoned salt – home-made
  • Herbs, e.g. thyme, chop finely, allow to dry, crush, mix with coarse salt, fill in a screw-cap glass and let it steep four weeks. Basil, rosemary and sage are equally suitable.
  • Dry roast spices like coriander or cardamom and dried chilli peppers lightly for a more intensive aroma and then mix with the salt. After everything is well drawn together, fill into a spice grinder.
How herbs can stay fresh in the refrigerator

Immediately after buying, place herbs in a plastic bag with a few drops of water, inflate, knot it up and store in refrigerator.

Onions optimal for the medicine chest

Onions are a terrific home-remedy for various complaints.

  • A halved onion pressed on an insect bite, reduces itch and pain.
  • Cut small so that the essential oils are released, then wrap in a cotton cloth and warm up. Used as compress for earaches, it offers immediate relief.
How cut flowers can stay fresh

Blooms stay fresh longer in well cleaned vases. A little vinegar, powdered charcoal or aspirin in the water has a disinfecting effect and further increases the longevity. Copper coins in the water also help: the precious metal fights bacteria and thereby decay.

Cleaning narrow vases

In narrow vases, it is often difficult to remove scum. Add water, a few drops of detergent and two to three spoons of rice. Shake the vase vigorously, thereby the scum is scrubbed and washed. Rinse with warm, clear water and let it drain.

Perfect vinaigrette

For a fine creamy consistency, firstly mix vinegar, mustard, spices, perhaps a finely diced onion and a little warm stock. In this way, salt and flavours can combine with the vinegar-mustard mix. Next, add the oil drop by drop, then in a thin stream and under constant stirring.

Make it colourful

Select fruit and vegetables in different colours for your meal. In this way, you easily provide yourself with a wide palette of different valuable ingredients like bioactive vegetable substances. They strengthen your immune system and protect against viruses and free radicals.

Help against fruit flies

Make several holes in the lid of a cleaned jam jar. Pour in vinegar water and unscrew the prepared lid. This draws flies; they get into jar but do not come out and your fruit bowl is spared.

Cider vinegar eases sunburn

Cider vinegar has a cooling and healing effect: dip cotton ball in cider vinegar and dab affected areas with it.

Small scratches on glass surfaces disappear with toothpaste

Do a test first with your kind e.g., on an empty jam jar. If it works, place a little toothpaste on a lint-free cloth and polish the affected spots on the table or cupboard. Wipe with clear water.

Vinegar for freshness
  • Wipe refrigerator with vinegar water and unwanted bacteria don’t stand a chance.
  • A little vinegar essence in washing water frees fibres of calcium deposit and they shine like new.
  • Half a cup of vinegar essence in the soft rinse chamber of the washing machine softens fabric without chemicals and prevents calcification of the machine.
Soda (natron) as rediscovered cleaning material
  • Soak heavily soiled laundry in a solution of 1 tablespoon soda and 5 litres water, it dissolves fat and grass stains.
  • For badly soiled surfaces in the kitchen, for e.g. chimney hood : dissolve 2 tablespoons soda in 5 litres warm water, rub surfaces with it, allow to take effect and wipe with clean water.

Note: Not all material can tolerate soda, hence do a test on a hidden spot first. Soda (natron) comes in a similar packing as baking powder which you can also use likewise.

Things stacked together do not separate?

Be it glasses, vases, mugs or pots – stacked atop each other to save space, at times they refuse to come apart. Place the bottom vessel in a bowl of warm to hot water. Pour cold water into the top one and they will come apart.

Seasoning with chilli peppers
  • While cleaning and chopping, wear gloves. On contact, the essential oils could aggravate the mucous membranes and burn unpleasantly.
  • Whoever likes it particularly spicy, uses the core too as most of the spicy capsaicin is found here.
Peeling onions

Small onions, pearl onions and garlic can be peeled more easily if they are placed for a short while in hot water prior to cutting. Then just take out, chill and press out of skin.

The panacea - cinnamon

Ingredients of cinnamon can have a positive effect on the blood sugar as well as blood fat level and also reduce blood pressure. Choose, whenever possible, cinnamon from Sri Lanka as it contains less coumarin than the cheaper Cassia-cinnamon. In larger quantities, coumarin causes for e.g. headaches and vomiting.

Roasting meat perfectly

Meat should always be of room temperature for preparation. Therefore, remove from refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before the preparation, depending on size. Cold meat would cool the pan base, delay the start of browning and thereby dry out.

Thickening sauce with egg yolk

Egg yolk enables easy thickening and gives a pleasant full-bodied taste to the sauce. Whisk egg yolk with a little sauce and stir into the remaining sauce. Take care that the sauce does not boil, as the egg yolk would otherwise coagulate.

Horseradish as spicy medicine

Horseradish has more Vitamin C than oranges and lemons. The high mustard oil content gives pungency, stimulates blood circulation and has a disinfecting effect. Hence horseradish is regarded as a natural antibiotic in naturopathy.

Caraway seeds for digestion

Caraway seeds make several dishes, for e.g. those with cabbage or onions, more easily digestible. But many do not like the flavour. Ground caraway seeds can be spread more finely and one doesn't have to bite on unpleasant grains.

Homemade vanilla sugar

Usually only the pulp of a vanilla bean is used. But there is a lot of flavour left still in the remaining vanilla bean! Simply place in the sugar jar and allow to steep approx. 2 weeks.

The right oil for deep-frying

Cold-pressed olive oil is not suitable for deep-frying and frying. For deep-frying use only oils that do not smoke even at 200°C, e.g. refined olive oil or peanut oil.

Freshness test for yeast and baking powder

How you can check if yeast and baking powder are still active: place a small corner of the yeast in warm water. If it climbs to the surface immediately, it is fresh. Or stir a little yeast in warm water.  Within a short time, it must form bubbles. Add a small quantity of the baking powder to vinegar or warm water. Small bubbles must immediately emerge.