Cutting corners in life isn't something you're usually encouraged to do but when it comes to kitchen prep, I'm all about finding those shortcuts. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook and bake, I'm just not a fan of all the work that comes with it - like slicing, dicing, and chopping herbs. It may have something to do with my irrational fear of cutting my fingers off, or I could just be lazy. I've heard it both ways.
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A great example here is my pasta sauce. I'm absolutely obsessed with pasta and prefer to make my own sauce with fresh ingredients. The last time I chopped garlic I almost lost the tip of a finger because I was showing off. The knives were sharp and my reaction time was slow. Bad things happened and I've been leery of garlic ever since.
If you're hesitant to explore your chopping skills for fear of injury, you're not alone! You're not hopeless either because there are alternatives out there that are just as good as chopping your own herbs and spices. These are also great for letting kids help out in the kitchen without risk of severing a digit.
4 Alternatives to Hand Chopping Herbs & Veggies
The Chef'n Zipstrip Herb Stripper ($6.99 on Amazon) lets you easily strip and collect fresh herbs from their woody stems. Just insert the stem into the hole, root side first, and pull it through. The integrated bowl catches the stripped herbs and all you need to do is discard the stem. The cup clearly marks 1 tablespoon, 2 tablespoon, 3 tablespoon, and ¼ cup measurements. The Chef'n Zipstrip Herb Stripper can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
The Zyliss Easy Pull Food Chopper ($24.88 on Amazon plus 10% off with coupon) is a multi-blade designed food chopper that blends ingredients in seconds. Use it for chopping, preparing, blending and pureeing ingredients without having to get your hands near a blade! It comes with a 5 Year Zyliss Guarantee. The included 25-Ounce bowl is top rack dishwasher safe.
Dorot * ($2.99 in the freezer aisle at most major grocery retailers) does the hard work for you by crushing and chopping herbs & veggies, then flash freezing them for later use. I got a few to try and was instantly smitten with the perfectly portioned cubes. You just pull the tray from the freezer when you need them, pop out a cube or two, and add them to your recipe. It's the best mess-free way I've found yet to get the benefits of fresh herbs and vegetables without the hassle.
The Microplane Herb Mill ($19.95 on Amazon) has dual action blades that cut herbs like scissors without bruising or blemishing. The unit includes one fixed blade and an integrated stripper with graduated holes to gently remove leaves of stemmed herbs. The large capacity body is clear so you can see the contents and cutting in action.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to venture further into the kitchen and use more fresh herbs and vegetables. If you have a tool or trick you love please do share it in the comments!