How to Peel a Banana Like a Monkey: 12 Kitchen Shortcuts and Tips

Updated on February 28, 2020
Margie Lynn profile image

Over the years, I have come up with dozens of kitchen hacks, shortcuts, and tips that I think you will love.

12 Kitchen Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier

I love shortcuts and "hacks" that help make cooking a little easier. Over the years I have come up with dozens of kitchen tips that I think you will love. Sometimes the easiest way to do something is also the smartest!

I have compiled this list in hopes that some of my kitchen shortcuts might come in handy for you too. You are never too old to learn something new! Happy cooking and baking!

1. Use Baking Soda to Put Out Kitchen Grease Fires

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you have a grease fire is to pour water on it. This just spreads the flaming grease around and makes the fires much worse!

If you don't already, make sure you have a box of baking soda on hand just in case you encounter a grease fire. It's amazing how fast a grease fire can get going -- almost like a flash, and there you are with a big fire you need to put out fast.

Every kitchen should have a box of baking soda to put out grease fires. It smothers the fire and puts it out when water will only make it worse.

Did you know that monkeys peel bananas upside down? Or maybe they're the ones doing it right-side up!
Did you know that monkeys peel bananas upside down? Or maybe they're the ones doing it right-side up!

2. Peel a Banana Like a Monkey

Only humans go about peeling a banana from the top down. Monkey's watch us doing that and shake their heads—what are we thinking? The top stem is the toughest, most difficult part of the banana to get through. Dumb humans are wasting time and probably also smashing the top bit of the banana by trying to twist off that tough stem.

Monkey's, being smarter than us, simply turn the banana over and pop it open from the bottom. It's a whole lot easier to open and peel a a banana that way, folks. Just take it from a monkey.

3. Easily Remove Pomegranate Seeds by Whacking It With a Spoon

Pomegranates are beautiful, sweet fruit, but every bit of the sweet insides contains about a million inedible seeds. Getting those seeds out is real pain unless you know the trick:

  • Cut the pomegranate in half
  • Hold it open-side-down over the sink
  • Whack it with a wooden spoon
  • Watch the seeds fall out!

This kitchen shortcut can save you serious time when you're trying to do a million things at once!

4. Caramelize Onions Quickly

Caramelized onions are a wonderful source of flavor and sweetness. All it takes is a chopped onion, some butter, and a good amount of time. The onions slowly get a little browned, and the sugar in them intensifies, of "caramelizes." Served over a nice grilled steak, there is really nothing better!

To cut the time it takes to caramelize onions, simply add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking onions. You'll be surprised by how more quickly the process is accomplished!

5. How to Cut Onions Without Crying

Speaking of onions, to do anything with them in your kitchen you're going to have to cut them up. Onions have a pungent, irritating juice that protects them from being eaten up by wild animals. It makes your eyes sting and run, and if you're like me it can be so bad that you can't even see what you're doing! Onion 1, me 0!

But you can beat the crying onion problem with a few tricks. The one I use is easy: I keep my mouth shut. It really works! For some reason keeping your mouth shut keeps the onion fumes from getting to your eyes.

My mom used to cut onions under water. I tried that and I didn't cry, but it was a realy pain and a lot of the slices floated away. So I think I'll just keep my mouth shut when I slice onions.

6. Quickly Peel an Entire Head of Garlic

Here's how you can quickly peel a whole head of garlic in one minute or less. Take two bowls the same size, place the head of garlic in one bowl, put the other one on top and hold them together. Give the whole thing some good shaking. You will end up with peeled garlic cloves!

7. Microwave Corn on the Cob in Just a Few Minutes

This is an easy way to cook corn on the cob. Take off any outer husk that is dirty. Cut the bottom end off of the corn. Get a paper towel and moisten, lay in the microwave. Lay the number of ears of corn you want to cook on the paper towel.

Guide for cooking corn on the cob in the microwave:

  • 1 ear corn: 2 minutes
  • 2 ears corn: 3-4 minutes
  • 3 ears corn: 5-6 minutes
  • 4 ears corn:7-8 minutes
  • 6 ears corn: 8-9 minutes

Time can vary depending on your microwave.

8. Peel Ginger With No Hassle

Ginger is such a great flavor. It's also cheap, and you can freeze it if you want to. One problem with ginger is the tough outer skin that you have to cut off, which is a total pain and takes effort.

This is a great technique to peel ginger: simply use the edge of a spoon to gently scrape the tough outer skin away. You don't cut anything -- just scrape.


9. Handle Sticky Ingredients With Ease

It's easy to keep sticky ingredients like shortening, honey, peanut butter from sticking to the spoon or cup when you're using them for baking. Prepare the surface and it will just slip right off. Just spray the measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before you dip into that sticky stuff.

10. Peel a Tomato in Seconds With the Microwave

Peeling a tomato with a knife is just about impossible. My mom showed me how to dunk them in boiling water for a few minutes and then ice water to get the skin to slide off, but you can make it even easier if you just place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let it site for two minutes and then the skin will slide right off.

11. Make Your Own Fruit and Vegetable Wash

To make your own fruit and vegetable wash, simply fill a spray bottle with 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Give it a shake to mix and it will bubble some! This is a great, inexpensive wash that will keep your fruits and vegetables clean and fresh.

12. Safely Cut Hot Peppers

My skin is sensitive to the juice from cutting hot peppers. You can protect your sensitive skin from pepper juice by coating them with a little vegetable oil before you chop. The oil keeps the juice off of your hands.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

        Margie's Southern Kitchen 

        4 years ago from the USA

        I love finding easy tips that make chores easier! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • peachpurple profile image


        4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        clever tricks! Yes, I use spoon to scrap off the skin off ginger and I didn't know that garlic head could peel off that easily with you tips. thanks

      • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

        Margie's Southern Kitchen 

        4 years ago from the USA

        So glad you found some that are useful to you! Love finding easy tips! Thank for coming by!

      • lindacee profile image

        Linda Chechar 

        4 years ago from Arizona

        These are great tips Margie! I especially like the ones about removing pomegranate seeds and peeling ginger. I'll be trying both of them. Thanks for sharing!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)