Decorate cupcakes without a piping bag

Decorating cupcakes is a tricky business, and there’s only so far splodging and smoothing with a spoon can get you. Luckily, snipping one corner of a Ziploc bag will give you an instant piping bag in a pinch, which you can either insert a piping tip into or just use by itself to control the flow of icing. Either way, your cupcakes will thank you.

Freeze leftover wine as a flavour-booster

If you like to host dinner parties, you’ve likely ended an evening with a couple of inches of wine left in the bottle before. Rather than throwing it out, simply pour the leftovers into a Ziploc bag, seal and freeze. While it won’t be good to drink, it can be added to soups, stews, risottos and sauces to increase richness, complexity and depth of flavour.

Make smoothie bags ready post-workout

Smoothies are an excellent make-and-go option, but they’re not always the most convenient. Not only can the produce go bad before you’ve used it up, but getting the individual components out of the fridge every day is a hassle. Instead, try portioning out your usual smoothie blend ingredients and freezing them in Ziploc bags. You can defrost them the night before and then simply dump and blend.

Microwave steam veggies with no mess

For nights when you have lots of different dishes or ingredients on the go, skip the extra washing up and instead, just steam your veggies in the microwave. Simply add your fresh or frozen vegetables of choice to a Ziploc bag and microwave in short bursts. The moisture released will steam the veggies without the need for water or a bowl.

Easily portion burger patties

Making sliders is a rewarding process that takes up a fair amount of time. Rather than individually handling twenty burger patties, just add your meat into a Ziploc bag and roll out. Then, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to divide the mixture into squares, and cut away the top layer of plastic. The bottom layer can be used to flip the sliders onto the pan, then removed.

Prep chicken six ways in one

If you have a bag of chicken fillets or breasts that are about to go bad but can’t decide what to do with them, the solution is simpler than you might think. Simply place pairs of the protein into their own Ziploc bags, and add a different sauce and seasoning to each. Put the bags in your freezer and you’ve meal prepped in minutes!

Keep salad leaves greener for longer

Everyone wants to eat healthier and get enough color on their plate at each meal, but it’s difficult when salad greens seem to wilt as soon as you so much as look at them. The solution is to add the greens to a Ziploc bag with a single paper towel, which will absorb excess moisture while also keeping the greens crisp and fresh.

Quickly poach fish without the fuss

Poached fish can be an absolutely delicious midweek meal, but using a special sous vide cooker has a steep learning curve and isn’t worth the effort. Instead, simply add the fish to a Ziploc bag with butter, lemon, salt and pepper, and semi-submerge it in gently simmering liquid. The result will be perfectly poached fish with minimal cleanup.

Make ice cream without a churner

This method isn’t the most speedy or efficient, but if it’s the summer holidays and you have kids you need to keep busy, it’s definitely worth a try. Simply fill one large Ziploc bag with ice and rock salt, and a smaller one with cream, milk, vanilla and sugar. Place the smaller bag inside the larger one and shake vigorously, and you’ll eventually have ice cream.

Prep your omelets ahead of time

If you love a morning omelet but hate how many bowls and plates you dirty in the making of one, try breaking your eggs and adding your seasonings and veggies to a Ziploc bag. Then, you can just pour the mixture into a hot, oiled pan to cook it. If you really want to minimize cleanup, you can even eat your omelet out of the pan afterwards.