Disrespect your mother and get sent to your room. Disrespect Mother Nature and ignite a global glacier meltdown. Recent outrage has plastered posts across the Internet of produce enclosed in plastic packaging. Why the rage? Because nature has already gift-wrapped produce for us! Bananas have peels and cucumbers have a skin that keeps the goods inside fresh for the bite. The only double protection necessary in this world is for the President and your sex life. Be on Captain Planet’s side and reduce your contribution of plastic to landfills starting now.
A way to kick-start your plastics cleanse? Slicing vegetables and fruits yourself! Be the fruit ninja we know you can be. Coming home to cubed butternut squash, when you just want to whip up a roasted plate of vegetables, can be appealing when you’re not in the mood for peeling. But taking the time to do it yourself actually could make a difference in the world. Hey, if you can hold a plank for thirty seconds, you can take the time to dice an onion. You might cry, but it’s not as painful.
If you need your produce minced, diced, and cubed for instantaneous satisfaction, cut it up and store it properly the day before using. Here is a visual guide to slicing and dicing to avoid towers of landfill terror. Always use a sharp knife for smoother, safer cuts, and be sure to stay conscious of your finger placement so you can enjoy dinner with all ten.
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1. Butternut Squash
Chop off the stem and slice in half. Remove seeds. You can set the seeds aside and toast like pumpkin seeds or discard if you’re adverse to the gunk. Whole roast for tender veggie meat to turn into a puree for soup or to easily peel off the skin once it’s cooled. Alternatively, peel the whole butternut squash of its skin and then cube as such:
It’s just a flick of the wrist. Dig the tip of a pairing knife blade into a ripe avocado. Slice into the flesh in one motion around the pit all the way to the starting point. Twist to reveal the fruits of your low-key labor, toss the pit, and enjoy!
Getting to the goods in a melon isn’t as hard as hacking into the mainframe. With a sharp blade, cut the melon in half. When you remove the seeds, you can eat as is with a spoon, like a pint of ice cream, or chop into slices that look like big smiles. Want to get all the fruit from its shell? All it takes is a swift swoop of a knife to release it.
You can either dice an onion or chop into half moons, both of which are simple. To avoid unleashing the floodgates, keep the root (the end of the onion that’s a bit fuzzy) intact. Cut in half, end to end, and then go from there. To dice, make slits into the onion to the root followed by corresponding slits vertically to create a grid. Then dice dice dice dice dice! Take your time, your kitchen isn’t the set of a Food Network competition.
Almost too beautiful to cut into, isn’t it? But the fruit inside is worth the decorative destruction. There are multiple ways to cut into a pineapple, but this is the simplest no-fail way our parents taught us. Remove the top and bottom to have flat surfaces to stabilize the fruit. Cut off the skin, skimming it around the yellow flesh to avoid wasting luscious bites. A sphere of the core is in the center, so slice around that. Try not to eat it before you’re done slicing. (We’re guilty.)