Do you want to eat a whole food plant based diet but feel overwhelmed? Especially when it comes to plant based cooking? Take a deep breath and know this - the gang at MamaSezz has your back! These plant based cooking hacks will have you prepping healthy and easy vegan food in no time...and save you hours in the process.
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No more beet-stained hands
Look like Lady Macbeth after a beet roasting session? If your hands are stained with beet juice use a salt scrub (salt and water) before using soap. Presto — you have your pigment back.
Clean your blender in minutes
Ever put off trying out a blender recipe because you fear the cleanup? This hack is life changing. After rinsing the blender, fill with warm water and a dash of dish soap. Blend for an additional minute and then rinse out the soap. You’re welcome.
Quickly wash mushrooms
Don’t have time to soak your mushrooms? No worries. Wipe the dirt off of mushrooms with a damp paper towel or cloth for a quick and easy cleanup that doesn’t dry them out.
Wash your veggies the right way
Pesticides, dirt and bacteria don't stand a chance. HERE are the best veggie and fruit washing practices.
Clean a burnt pan
Boil water in your burnt pan, with a tablespoon of salt. Let boil for 5 minutes, and then let sit until cool.
Snap your asparagus
Put that knife down! Instead of cutting the bottom of your asparagus stems, snap the asparagus using your hands. The stem will snap in the perfect spot to get rid of the tough white portion at the bottom.
Freeze your veggies the right wayDid you know there is a right and wrong way to freeze veggies to make them last? Try THIS method next time.
Roast your potatoes without oil
You don’t need oil for crispy delicious roasted potatoes! Preheat oven to 400. Slice potatoes into cubes or French fry shapes. Blanch them in boiling water until they begin to soften. Pat dry and place on a nonstick sheet pan (using parchment paper or a mat), and bake until crispy, flipping them over at least once. Use your favorite no-salt seasonings after cooking.
Say goodbye to bitter eggplant
Is your eggplant too bitter? We’ve got a solution! Slice your eggplant and rest on paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit until beads of water begin to appear on the surfaces of the eggplant. Pat dry and repeat on the other side. Proceed to cook your eggplant without the bitter flavor!
You can also say goodbye to bitter tempeh
Tempeh can be an awesome replacement for meat, so long as it’s prepared right. To avoid a bitter taste, cook your tempeh in about half a cup of water. Wait for moisture to cook off and taste tempeh. If it is still bitter, repeat this process until the bitterness is gone.
Crush and peel garlic super fast
Garlic is your new best friend now that you’re plant-based — it’s such a quick and easy way to add flavor to your savory dishes. To break off cloves from the head, place garlic on a hard surface and use the heel of your hand to firmly hit the head at the base. To peel garlic place cloves on a cutting board and press into the board using the flat part of a knife and the heel of your hand. Once the garlic begins to crush, the peel will come off easily.
Pit and peel an avocado like a boss
Use a sharp knife to slice the avocado from stem to base, around the pit. Place a hand on either side of the cut and twist the halves in opposite directions. Use the knife to firmly tap into the pit until it sticks, and then twist the knife until the pit becomes free. Slice the halves in half and peel away the skin with your fingers.
Keep suffering through underripe avocados? Get Your Guide to Picking the Perfect Avocado in our Heartbeet Journal to chose a perfect one every time!
Cut that tough squash
Intimidated by that tough squash? Don’t be! Here’s our foolproof method for cutting big squashes: pierce the skin of your acorn or spaghetti squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Let sit until cool and then use a sharp knife to slice through the squash. Use a rubber mallet to gently guide the knife through if the squash remains tough.
Put that leftover tomato paste to good use
Tired of wasting tomato paste? Scoop 1 Tablespoon of paste at a time and freeze it in an ice cute tray. Once frozen, crack the paste out and place them in a freezer baggie for later use. Say goodbye to that moldy half-used can in the back of your fridge! This works for sauces, creams, and dressings, too.
Speaking of kitchen tools…here's what you really need
You may hear that going whole food plant-based means you need to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment. We say...not so much. We’ve rounded up the plant-based kitchen tools you actually need here (good news is you probably have most of these already).
Slice button mushrooms and/or baby Bellas with an egg slicer
Who says you have to get rid of old kitchen gadgets? Use an egg slicer to cut baby Bella and white button mushrooms.
Make dairy-free dishes creamy
Worried your whole food plant-based diet means creamy dishes are a thing of the past? Don’t you believe this for a minute! Check out our 5 Favorite Ways to Make Dairy-Free Dishes Creamy in the MamaSezz Heartbeet Journal.
Freeze your bananas
Frozen bananas are a plant-based eater's secret weapon. Why? Because they make vegan ice cream, guys, that’s why! To freeze your bananas, peel the fruit and break up into 1 to 2 inch long pieces then place in an air-tight plastic bag. Breaking instead of slicing will prevent clumping thanks to smooth edges!
Bake without eggs
One word: chia. Live it, learn it, love it. Grab 1 Tablespoon ground chia seed (or flax seed) mixed with 2.5 tablespoons warm water. Let sit for 5-8 minutes until absorbed. You can also try a ¼ cup of applesauce or 1 banana mashed as a replacement for 1 egg. Get more egg-free baking tips here.
Chill bottled drinks faster
Wrap your bottle with a damp paper towel, and set in freezer for 10 minutes. Check frequently if it's a fizzy drink to ensure it doesn't explode! (Don't forget about it in there)
Roasting beets without oil or tinfoil
Speaking of beets, you don’t need oil or tinfoil to roast these healthy root veggies. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the leaves close to the tip of the beet. Rinse dirt off your beet but keep the skin intact. Place beets on a parchment paper-lined sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes. They’re done when a knife slides easily into the middle of the vegetable. Test at 45 minutes and keep roasting for 5-10 minute intervals if not done. Let them cool for 20 minutes then use a paper towel and/or your hands to rub the skin away.
Cook corn in the husk in the microwave
Leave your corn in the husk and microwave on high for 3 minutes per 2 cobs. Easy peasy weeknight trick.
Ultimate plant based cooking hack: F.A.S.S.
When in doubt, think F.A.S.S.
What’s it mean? Fat, Acid, Salt, Sweet.
When something’s not quite tasting right with your whole food plant-based dish, chances are it’s missing one of these. Read more about plant-based sources of F.A.S.S. here to make every dish delish.
Pour veggie broth into your ice cube tray, and drop fresh herbs, spices, and minced garlic into each section. Freeze, crack free and keep in a plastic baggie in the freezer. Melt these, and use them as flavor starters for any savory recipe!
When you're just starting out it's easy to get overwhelmed in the kitchen especially if all the plant based cooking blogs you're browsing seem to only share recipes with 20+ different ingredients, half of which you've never heard of before. Our advice: master making easy vegan food first. Then if you feel compelled, move on to the more complicated recipes later (or don't! - whatever floats your plant based boat!).
Need some easy plant based recipes to get your started? Here are some of our go-to's:
We don’t blame you — there’s a whole wonderful world out there! Get whole food plant-based meals delivered by MamaSezz, ready to heat and eat...so you can live your fabulous plant-fueled life.
Changing your diet can be challenging! The good news is with these 19 whole food plant based cooking hacks you’re sure to up your meal prep game, in half the time.
- Make vegan dishes creamy with cashew cream, pureed white beans, avocado, and Mama’s Mac Sauce
- Snap your asparagus instead of using a knife
- Stop soaking mushrooms and use a damp paper towel to wash the dirt off instead
- Crush and peel garlic super fast using just your hand and the flat side of your knife
- Pit and peel avocado by slicing the fruit from steam to base around the pit, twisting the pieces away from each other
- Roast potatoes without oil by blanching them first then placing on nonstick parchment paper
- Microwave your big squash before slicing it in half
- Avoid bitter eggplant by salting slices before baking
- Cook tempeh in water to get rid of bitter taste
- Freeze your bananas for delicious and creamy smoothies and vegan ice cream
- Use a salt scrub to clean beet-stained hands
- Use parchment paper to roast beets without oil
- Clean your messy blender by blending water and soap
- Grill corn in the husk...in the microwave
- Bake with chia seeds and water in place of eggs
- Use an old egg slicer to slice mushrooms
- Don’t run out and buy a hundred new kitchen gadgets -- use what you have!
- Make sure each plant-based dish has a Fat, Acid, Salt, or Sweet
- Bonus: Get plant-based meals delivered from MamaSezz. We'll do the cooking. You live your life!
By Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies