When you’re eating real, whole foods, it’s hard to really go “all wrong.” But there are likely easier, neater, and time-saving ways to prepare and eat some of your favorite foods, some of which might even increase the nutrients from foods you’re already eating — nutrients that are currently ending up in the compost heap or trash can!
While there are seemingly as many ways to prepare and eat foods as there are people, we rounded up 10 foods you’re eating wrong and easy tips that make life just a little bit easier.
10 Foods You’re Eating Wrong
1. Kiwifruit. Let me guess, before you eat a kiwifruit, you likely go through the messy process of peeling it first. Yet interestingly, the skin contains three times more fiber and antioxidants (including vitamin C) than the fruit inside. The texture of the skin can be an issue, so just slice the whole fruit thinly into medallions and enjoy even higher amounts of nutrients.
Still love kiwifruit but just can’t get past the skin? Rather than peeling and losing much of the fruit, cut off each end of the kiwifruit and then use a spoon to remove the rest of the peel.
2. Mango. Soft mangos are juicy and delicious, yet they can be a stringy mess if you don’t know how to cut them. Start by cutting the mango lengthwise along one side of the pit. Repeat on the other side of the pit (leaving a thin strip of mango in the middle around the seed). Then, use a knife to cut just the flesh of the mango inside the skin both lengthwise and crosswise in a crosshatch pattern, ensuring you don’t cut through the peel.
Now, you just need to decide if you want to invert the mango to pop out the segments of pulp (it looks a bit like a hedgehog), scoop out the pulp with a spoon, or scrape your mango off using a glass (perfect if you’re adding your mango to you smoothie). Want more mango? (Yes!) You still have the strip from around the pit. Gently cut the flesh off the pit in the middle, cut it into sections with your knife — again leaving the peel intact — and enjoy.
3. Watermelon. When you’re a youngster, it’s fun (and cute) to have all the watermelon juices running down your chin. As you get older, not so much. Instead of cutting your watermelon into triangles, which allow the juices to flow way past the sides of your mouth, cut your watermelon in half and then cut lengthwise and crosswise. You’ll end up with perfect, bite-sized long strips that are so much neater and just as delicious to eat.
4. Strawberries. Do you feel like you end up tossing half your strawberry into the compost pile when you cut off the top? Let me stop you right there. Strawberry is one of the foods you’re eating wrong. The entire strawberry is edible, and if you are making a smoothie, salad, or baked dish, there’s no reason to toss any part of the fruit after you wash it.
But what if you’re just snacking on a couple of berries and don’t really want to chew on the greens? Simple. Place a hollow straw at the bottom of the berry and push the stem and leaves right out of your berry with significantly less waste.
5. Bananas. While many of us struggle to open a banana (“darn, I broke a nail!”), it’s becoming more common to open a banana the same way monkeys do: from the bottom. Instead of trying to break through the tough stem to remove the peel, flip your banana upside-down and pinch the bottom together. The peel opens up easily, so you can just continue peeling as usual—without the struggle. Keep in mind that the banana peel is edible — just like many of the other fruits we’ve talked about. In fact, the banana peel contains vitamins B6 and B12, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
6. Oranges. While most people peel an orange by digging in with their fingernails, it’s easier and neater to slice the peel around the entire middle of the orange and peel from the middle. Another nifty trick is to cut off the top and bottom of the fruit, slice the peel on just one side, and open up the fruit by rolling it out. Enjoy!
7. Peas. Like the sweet taste of peas but hate having to chase them all over the plate or watch that one random one roll across the floor? Guess what, peas are one of the foods you’re eating wrong. Using your fork, mash up your peas to enjoy all the good nutrition without your food seemingly trying to escape. Easy peasy.
8. Apples. Apples are awesome to-go snacks. You can eat the entire apple, core included (just be sure to spit out the seeds), by starting at the bottom of the apple rather than going around the sides. Or, if you prefer a sliced apple (yet don’t want to carry a knife with you and don’t find the browning of an apple all that appetizing), just grab a rubber band. Slice up your apple as usual and then put it back together. Wrap a rubber band around the outside of your apple to hold your slices in their original apple shape, and when you’re ready to eat, you’ll enjoy your apple sliced, fresh, and crisp — and not brown.
9. Salads. You want to take a salad for lunch but dressing on the lettuce makes it droopy by lunchtime and dressing on the side is easy to forget. What to do…? Pack your salad in a Mason jar instead. Place your dressing on the bottom topped with your carrots, celery, nuts, fruit, etc. Then add your greens to the top. Because the lettuce is separate from the dressing, it stays crisp. And when you’re ready to eat, it’s easy to toss all the delicious ingredients in your salad with a few gentle shakes.
10. Yogurt Whey. Ever opened up your container of Greek yogurt only to see some translucent, watery-looking substance floating at the top? You might be tempted to drain it (or wonder if your yogurt went bad). Not so fast. What you’re seeing is the whey protein that has separated from the rest of your yogurt. Yes, the same whey you find in your protein powder that’s loaded with muscle-repairing amino acids, calcium, and vitamin B12. Rather than tossing all this valuable nutrition, just mix it in with the rest of the yogurt and enjoy as usual.
Bonus: Eggs. Want to keep your sunny-side up eggs from running into each other as they fry? Slice your favorite color bell pepper into rings, place one ring in the pan for each egg, break an egg into each ring, and cook as usual. It makes it easy to keep your eggs separated for easy serving, adds nutrition from the peppers, and looks fancy to boot.
10 Foods You’re Eating Wrong: A Recap
Now that you know the foods you’re eating wrong, we hope these tips and tricks may save you time in the kitchen, so you can get back to having more fun. Let us know in the comments section below your favorite time-saving food-prep tricks.