Foods you've been eating all wrong

As someone who spends a majority of her time thinking about food, I'm always happy to figure out new ways to make eating easier. Efficiency minimizes waste. That means you get to eat more of what you love and it makes you feel present. By paying attention to how you're preparing and eating your favorite foods, you get to exercise mindfulness come meal time, which is always a good feeling. Whether you're simply peeling a banana or devouring classic spaghetti, you can always benefit from having a few tricks in your back pocket. Read on, food friends.

Cake

While it may seem intuitive to cut a round cake into wedges, this is not the ideal method if you want to keep the crumb moist for another day. When you leave an open triangular gap, you might find it difficult to cover for refrigeration. The result is dry, unsavory cake the next day.

Instead, try cutting a long, thin piece out of the middle of the cake. To do this, cut a straight line across the cake a little to one side of center. Next, make another parallel cut on the other side of the center. Now you have a thick rectangular slice that can be easily cut in half. Check out the video above for a visual aid.

Ice cream for a crowd

Scooping ice cream can require more elbow grease than you think, especially when the container is taken directly from the freezer. All this fine and not too taxing when you're just serving yourself. However, when you're serving ice cream to a crowd, you want to conserve energy and still dole out frozen treats efficiently.

If you find yourself needing to serve ice cream for a big group, try a different approach. Place a cylindrical ice cream container on a sturdy cutting board. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the ice cream in half all the way to the bottom of the container. Working in batches, place one half cut-side down on the cutting board. Remove the container material and slice the ice cream crosswise to create perfect individual servings. You really only want to commit to this if you're sure you're using the entire thing, but who doesn't have room for more ice cream?

Bananas

Following nature's lead is usually the way to go, especially when it come to enjoying a banana. While it may seem intuitive to find the stem and then peel from there, you may have already noticed that the multiple attempts this usually requires leave behind unsavory blemishes and bruises. The easy fix? Do as monkeys do, and switch up your peeling technique altogether. Those in the know have been doing this for years with great success.

First, flip your banana over so the stem is on the bottom and the nub is facing up toward your face. Using your index finger and thumb, squeeze this upward-facing tip gently, causing the peel to naturally split open. Now peel back and enjoy your banana. There are even step-by-step guides should you need more guidance or just want to practice your banana-peeling skills.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes are adorable mini cakes with rich frosting on top. I love making them as much as I enjoy eating them. That said, I do find the ratio of cake to frosting per bite to be way off the mark and far from ideal. If you start at the top, you get a mouthful of frosting and maybe a few cake crumbs. Then later you're left with just cake and no frosting. If you try to eat from the side, you get frosting up your nose. The last thing anyone needs in life is cupcake disappointment of any kind.

To remedy the ratios involved with cupcake eating, simply remove the liner from the cake part. Break off about half of the cake from the bottom and place the half on top of the frosting to create a cupcake sandwich. Now you get a reasonable amount of cake and frosting in each bite, and you won't need to blow rainbows out your nose afterward.

Ketchup in packets

While I'm not sure what this says about my character, I do know that eating French fries on the go is a big part of my adult life. As such, I've had to deal quite extensively with ketchup packets. Tearing open those little packets and squeezing ketchup onto the fries can be messy when you're on the move.

To make your fry-dipping experience a little easier, try bringing the fries to the ketchup instead of the other way around. (I know. My mind was blown, too.) Open your packet and dip your fry inside the packet, eliminating the chances for spillage or waste. And there you have it — yet another way to win at life.

Bacon

Bacon is one of my favorite sandwich ingredients — when I'm fixing a BLT, of course, but also as a savory addition to any sandwich I happen to be assembling at the moment. The problem with the usual arrangement of bacon slices in a sandwich is that they tend to slip out during eating or you don't get bacon in every bite due to gaps between slices.

The best way to make sure you get to enjoy bacon in every sandwich bite is to create a simple weave pattern with the slices. Lay a few slices horizontally in front of you, then weave in more slices in the other direction, interlocking the pieces. The woven rectangle you create just happens to fit perfectly over a slice of bread. You may even prefer to weave the bacon before cooking to make sure everything is grease-locked into place.

Soups

After scalding my tongue while eating soup far more times than I can count, I knew something about my approach had to change. We're always told to enjoy our food, especially soupy varieties, while it's still steaming hot, but burning your tongue is a great way to dislike the rest of the meal. Is timing really the main issue here?

I want to eat my soup while it's still hot, gosh darn it. Well, a friend let me in on the secret to enjoying hot soup without suffering from a burned tongue. The soup at the outer edge of the bowl is slightly cooler than in the center of the bowl. Start eating the soup around the edges and work your way in from there.

Apples

Apparently there's a right way to eat an apple, and most of us have been doing it all wrong. Biting into an apple on the side and working your way around is the conventional manner even though doing so leaves you with a lot of wasted apple when you discard the core. What would happen if you ate the core?

Well … nothing. The core is perfectly edible. To do so, start eating your apple from the bottom and work your way up. This method lets you eat more apple and all you have to do is spit out the seeds.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti noodles can be long and unwieldy to cook and to eat. The struggle is very real. That said, you should never resort to using a knife to cut your pasta no matter how out of control those strands get. Believed to be a distinctly un-Italian practice, cutting your noodles to make them easier to eat is a big no-no. The only tools of cutting technically allowed? Teeth — once you manage to get the spaghetti in your mouth.

Kiwis

The kiwi is a lovely fruit that tastes good and looks like art. That said, peeling one can be a pain since it's easy to waste so much of the sweet-tart green flesh. The fuzzy brown skin is incredibly thin, making the task of efficient peeling all the more difficult. If you've got a ripe kiwi to work with, that may make the situation even more precarious.

To get the most out of your kiwi, lay your fruit on its side. Using a sharp paring knife, slice off the ends. Then insert a spoon between the skin and the flesh of the kiwi, making sure the inside curve of the spoon is flush with the natural curve of the fruit. Go all the way around! Never waste any kiwi again.