Has a pod coffeemaker or espresso machine invaded your kitchen, replacing your old-school Mr. Coffee? Don’t throw out your basket coffee filters! We use them every day for more than just making coffee…
Messy food solution: Tacos can be messy to eat but not if you use a coffee filter as a holder. Once you try it, we’re sure you’ll agree…it’s neat.
Stock filter: If you have fatty broth, strain it through a coffee filter (a cone coffee filter works in this instance too).
Cast-iron protector: Moisture causes rust. To absorb moisture when any piece of cast-iron cookware is not being used, let it sit on a coffee filter. If you’re placing something on top of your cast-iron pan (or any other scratchable pans), layer a coffee filter or two in between.
China protector: If you are going to stack your fine china dishes, put a coffee filter or a paper plate between each piece. Doing so will prevent damage to the dishes’ decorated surfaces.
Microwave helper: If you’re zapping something that may splatter—such as vegetable soup or lasagna—fan out a basket coffee filter underneath your bowl or plate (of course, you could also use a paper plate or a piece of waxed paper under the dish to catch the splashes). Instead of having to clean the microwave, just toss out the coffee filter (or paper plate or wax paper). A basket coffee filter also makes a handy microwaveable cover to that bowl of soup when you don’t feel like wrestling with plastic wrap or a wax paper roll.
Greek yogurt maker: You’ve probably noticed that plain ol’ yogurt costs significantly less than the trendy Greek stuff. If you want to save some dough and some calories (since Greek yogurt is a healthful replacement for sour cream or mayonnaise), line a strainer with a coffee filter and place it over a bowl. Fill the center of the filter with plain yogurt. Cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. After about six hours, you’ll have a thick Greek yogurt that you paid a lot less for.
Easy healthy-cheese maker: Make a higher-protein version of Brie or Rondelé cheese by emptying a large container of unflavored Greek yogurt into a strainer lined with a coffee filter and set over a bowl. Let it drain, refrigerate overnight, mix freshly ground pepper and chives into the resulting yogurt “cheese” and use it as a spread for whole-grain crackers and crudités…or as a higher-protein cream cheese substitute.
Thanks to Leslie Bonci, RD, CSSD, MPH, owner of the Pittsburgh-based nutrition consulting company Active Eating Advice by Leslie, for help with this tip.