We all have them, leftovers. They come in all shapes, sizes, textures and expiration dates. With so many leftovers, it can be hard to figure out the best way to make them all last. Don’t know where to start? No problem! Here are 5 hacks to make your leftovers last.
1. Frozen Broth Cubes
Do you have extra soup or broth leftover from your last cooking extravaganza but don’t know what to do with it? Try this trick out. Take any excess broth you have and carefully pour it into an ice tray. Carefully place in your freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours. You are left with perfectly chilled broth cubes that are ready to rock anytime. When you’re ready to use them, just add them to the stove.This is a great way to keep your broth for several months. And even better, they are pre-measured for you the next time you need them! This hack works for any broth or liquids. Although, it does work best for liquids that have a smooth texture. Storing chunky soup for this method would not work. Yet if you’re looking for a pre-measured professional storing tip, try this hack out the next time you have some extra broth.
2. Adding Fresh Ingredients
Have some leftovers that you’re tired of eating? No problem! Take any leftovers and add some life back into them by adding some fresh ingredients. This will level up the taste of your leftovers and make it something you want to eat. This is a hack I personally use quite often. Sometimes it can be hard to want to eat our tired leftovers, especially when we want to save money or don’t want to waste food. Specifically, this hack works great with pasta leftovers. For instance, I made some spaghetti the other night that by day three I was absolutely sick of. Yet when I added fresh grated parmesan, capers, and a little extra garlic paste I was left with a brand new dish. This hack is great for motivating your tastebuds and using all your leftovers in a timely fashion.
3. Rotisserie Chicken Hack
We all have been there, having picked the best parts off our chickens. And now we are left with small scraps of white meat and skin left. But have we really used all of it? No! But we can with this simply easy hack. This is a great way to make some chicken broth from scratch. First, take a large pot filled with water and set to a low simmer. We don’t want to overcook our chicken here since it’s already cooked! Carefully, place your rotisserie chicken into the simmering water. Occasionally stir it. We are going to reduce this chicken, getting all the decadent flavor and fats out and into the water. Don’t be alarmed if you see a white film forming over the top of the bubbling mixture. That’s just the excess chicken fat coming to the surface. Carefully scrape the excess fat off the top with a large spoon or other utensil. We will want to simmer this for at least 6 hours, but the longer it simmers the better the flavor. Also note that you might need to add additional water while the chicken is simmering. We don’t want the water level to get too low. In addition, you can add any ingredients you would like to this recipe. I personally prefer a classic combo of diced white onion, carrots and celery stalks. You will also notice that meat will begin to float around to the top. That is perfect! You can either save that meat and add it once you are done, or if you want a completely smooth broth, discard entirely. After the 6 hours are up, strain in a fine strainer. This will help catch all the excess fat and chicken bones. Shake out and toss all of it or pick out the desired meat. And you are left with a beautiful golden broth. But wait, we aren’t done yet! Return your broth to the pot and set on low. Add your veggies and cook for another hour on low until soft. Serve and enjoy.
4. Saving Expiring Eggs
Are your eggs about to expire? No problem! With a simple hack you can make them a great snack and keep them from expiring at a rapid rate. When we buy a dozen eggs, it can be daunting and downright impossible to finish them all before their expiration date. It can be even more frustrating to those who don’t want to waste their eggs. This hack is perfect for you. When your eggs are nearing their expiration date, hard boil them! Yes, you heard right, by hard boiling your eggs you are cooking the raw insides of your eggs while also making them last for 2 weeks longer! And the best part? They make for a perfect snack!
5. Freezing Meats And Cheeses
This hack is rather well known but not everyone practices it. This hack is great for locking in moisture of your food when you have an excessive amount of leftovers. I personally love freezing my chicken breasts. The only thing you have to be careful about with this trick is making sure the meat is completely devoid of oxygen before you stick it in the freezer. To do this, I prefer Ziploc bags and pressing all the air out of the bag before wrapping it gently around itself and putting it neatly in my freezer. Also note, that meat does not last forever in the freezer. It buys you about 3 to 4 months. But when you start reaching that six month marker, it’s time to kiss those leftovers goodbye. Another great thing to freeze is cheese, yes, cheese. If you’re like me and shop at Costco but have no way to eat everything at once, freezing cheese is a great way to make it last for months. If you’re looking to add life to your leftovers, this hack is perfect for buying you time.