New Uses for That Kitchen Staple

Have you noticed how often a kitchen staple can serve more than one purpose? For instance, plastic bags, coffee filters, or baking parchment have lots of uses. Another staple I have in mind, the vegetable peeler, is also a good example of this. Just look at all the things this handy kitchen tool can be used for:

You probably knew the pointed end of your peeler is actually designed to remove potato eyes. But had you ever thought of using it to remove the stems and leaves on strawberries? Using this tool instead of a knife means you don't accidentally cut off and waste any of your precious fruit, which is so easy to do with a knife. Hulling strawberries is SO much easier with the vegetable peeler!

Oh, this is good! When you use a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices of onion you can speed through this process — hopefully before your eyes start to well up. Start with an onion half and shave off as much as your recipe calls for. This is a quick, less muss approach to onion work.

And here’s an easier and safer way to remove the super spicy seeds in a jalapeño or Serrano chili. Just slice off the top, then work a vegetable peeler around the middle.

More and more people are ditching those chemical-laden liquid soaps and going back to washing up with good ‘ol bar soap. But there’s always the issue of that slippery bar escaping your grip. One clever bar soap-user discovered a way to fix that issue forever. She shaves her bars, using that handy vegetable peeler. The shavings go in an attractive container that sits beside her sink. When time to wash up, she grabs a shaving of her bar soap and scrubs. No more gummy spots on the sink edge or in the soap dish, either. In fact, no more need for a soap dish!

If you avoid celery, because you hate those annoying strings that always get stuck in your teeth, then consider de-stringing your celery stalks. All you have to do is shave the curved side to remove said fibers with ease.

Chocolate curls always add a little extra panache to desserts. Start with a room-temperature bar of chocolate. Then use your vegetable peeler to shave off inch-long pieces. Decorate the tops of all sorts of cakes (cheesecake, German chocolate, and so on), or sprinkle them over puddings or ice cream…you get the ideal. It’ll look like you took hours to make your dessert and folks will be wowed by the presentation!

Whether you’re creating a chalkboard dinner menu or listing the week’s spelling words on your classroom chalkboard, blunt ends do not result in a pretty result. But that multi-tasking vegetable peeler can bring chalk back to life. (NOTE: You’ll want to do this over a trash can to avoid a dusty mess on your floor or counter.)

Finally (but not really—someone out there will find another use, I’m sure), if you don’t have a spiralizer, don’t despair. The vegetable peeler can create your veggie “spaghetti” strands just fine!

Isn’t it great when someone thinks outside the box and then passes on their discoveries? Who knew there were so many uses for this unassuming but dependable kitchen staple?


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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