Certain fruits, including apples, pears, avocados and bananas, quickly turn brown as their cut sides oxidize. Using lemon mixed with salt water is the common way to stop this, but pineapple juice does a better job overall. The fruit doesn't need to be soaked in it, because all you need to do is dip it in quickly.
Adding fresh herbs to season your food is a great way to add some flavor to an ordinary dish. Using dried herbs, like basil or oregano, is acceptable if a dish is complex and has many flavors. However, your dish will be improved by fresh herbs because of their fresher and stronger flavor overall. Growing your own herb garden is one way to make sure that fresh herbs are always available.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. Using a slow cooking method is sometimes suggested, but the results are less nutritious and don't taste as good. These speed-cooking techniques usually produce vegetables that are more nutritious overall. So in summary, cook your vegetables for the shortest amount of time possible.
You should consider replacing your spices about twice a year. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you purchase a specific spice, knowing that you probably won't use it all, split it with someone.
When preparing meals at home, you must use sharp knives for best results. Knives are actually more dangerous when they get dull, because they get harder to control. If you are putting too much pressure onto the knife due to its dullness, the likelihood of having an accident is increased.
Do you have a difficult time deciding how long you should grill your meat? The best way to be sure that your meat has cooked fully is to test it with a digital meat thermometer near the center of the thickest part of the meat. If the meat you are cooking is thicker than 4cm, close the grill door halfway to reduce the time it takes to grill.
Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Take a large bunch of this fresh herb and place it in a glass. Fill the glass with water till the stems are covered. Put the basil on your counter and it will remain fresh for up to seven days! If you pay close attention and frequently change the water in the glass, you are likely to see basil roots starting to grow. All you need to do is keep the roots of the basil trimmed regularly and you will have fresh basil ready for use for quite some time.
Whenever you are cooking a recipe that calls for garlic, seek out the freshest possible garlic available. Fresh garlic tastes much sweeter than does garlic that is not fresh. You will want to look for the following characteristics; firm skin, and no bruises or shriveling.
A great tip for using cooking oil is to ensure you pour it onto the sides of the pan, rather than directly in the pan's center, so that it will be sufficiently heated upon reaching the food. Having the oil at the right temperature when you cook with it will make the flavors pop.
A cool, dark storage area will preserve your herbs freshness for the longest period of time. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Ground spices, when stored correctly, can retain flavor for up to a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors.
If you enjoy using fresh herbs, consider bunching them together and cutting them with scissors while preparing your next meal. This chopping method produces lighter, fluffier herbs that are drier than conventionally cut herbs.
Mold these ideas into your own methods and meals and feel free to experiment whenever possible. You should be able to prepare foods that your family and you thoroughly enjoy eating. Cooking will not only provide you with the nutrients you need to survive, but it can also allow you to find a relaxing way to express yourself. Your kitchen should be the place your family goes for some good home cookin'.