Baking soda is a product that has always found a place in the pantry, especially thanks to its digestive functions. Who has never put a pinch of baking soda in a glass of water to soften the heaviness of the stomach? Actually baking soda can be used in many different ways in the kitchen: we tell you about 8 unusual but very useful uses of baking soda.
1. Softer and more digestible legumes
Legumes are difficult to cook and often cause digestion problems. What to do to avoid it? Just put a pinch of baking soda in the cooking water to make them softer without flaking them off, but also to make them less heavy to digest. The right proportion is half a teaspoon per two liters of water: the use of baking soda does not affect the final flavor of the vegetables.
2. Soft and well-leavened desserts
Baking soda is not a leavening agent, but when in contact with another acid ingredient, such as lemon juice, it is able to facilitate leavening. You can then use it to make more soft and airy cakes, muffins, donuts. But baking soda is also used to make the pastry more crunchy and crumbly: even in this case, a pinch in the dough is enough.
3. Sweeten the tomato purée
A method that is often used in the regions of Southern Italy to make tomato purée less acidic: add a pinch of baking soda during cooking. When the tomatoes used are not very sweet or are a little out of time, it can happen that the tomato purée is a bit "sharp": but you can resolve this problem with the baking soda. This also applies to jams based on sour fruit, such as red fruits: to sweeten them, just add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 1.5 kg of fruit.
4. Wash and disinfect the vegetables
Baking soda has a slight disinfectant and antiseptic function: you can use it to wash vegetables. In particular, to clean those that are in contact with the ground, such as potatoes and carrots, it is useful to leave them to soak for a couple of minutes in lukewarm water and baking soda.
5. Get a soft and tasty boiled meat
Boiling meat is not easy to prepare and often the result is not what is expected. Much depends on the cooking of the meat, which if not done properly, is stringy and difficult to chew. But baking soda can save you from disaster: to have a softer meat, just put half a teaspoon per liter of water at the beginning of cooking.
6. Create a sparkling lemonade
To make a fresh and slightly sparkling lemonade, just put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a liter of water and lemon. Store it in the refrigerator for a few hours and then offer it to children and adults: it will be a real success.
7. Reduce the unpleasant smell of vegetables
Foods like cabbage, cauliflower and turnips are very important to include in the daily diet, especially in winter, in their season. But it may happen that you do not tolerate their smell, especially during cooking: so, to mitigate their unpleasant smell, just put 2 teaspoons of baking soda per liter of water.
8. Beat the egg whites until stiff
One of the most difficult operations when cooking a dessert is to beat the egg whites until stiff and prevent them from disassembling during preparation. Don't worry: baking soda comes to your rescue. Adding a pinch during the whisking of whites, you will get perfectly whipped egg whites in a short time.