If the only time you pull out your cheese grater is to grate cheese, you're making your grater sad. It's capable of so much more than shredding cheese! And if you've got one of those old, rusting graters you're almost ready to throw out -- don't. You can still use that, too. You'll never guess all the ways you can hack a cheese grater.
1. "Chopped" onions and garlic. If you're in a real rush while cooking and don't mind shedding some serious tears, try grating that onion or garlic instead of chopping. It's not what your anal-retentive perfectionist Food Network-watching friend might do, but in a pinch, it'll get the job done.
2. Chocolate for melting. Grating your chocolate instead of chopping it is not only easier (maybe?), but also helps your chocolate to melt faster. Make sure your chocolate is room temperature to begin with, but not too warm.
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3. Citrus zest. Instead of painstakingly cutting lemon or orange peel and then mincing it (or using a rasp), you could grate that peel. Just go easy and try not to grate the bitter pith as well.
4. Shredded veggies. This one you probably already know -- but just in case! You can grate zucchini for bread, grate potatoes for latkes, and grate carrots for salads. You can grate just about any hard vegetable.
5. New soap out of old. If they don't all smell too differently, you can save your soap slivers and grate them. Then melt, pour into a mold, and now you have a new bar.
6. Earring holder. Take an old box grater, clean off any rust, and then paint a bright color. Now it works as an upcycled earring holder!
7. Pendant light. Sounds crazy, right? But it has holes, so why not? Here are instructions for turning a cheese grater into a pendant lamp.
8. Candle votive. If that's too advanced for you, just paint the grater black and put it over a candle for a votive.
9. Planter. Turn that grater upside-down, line with a milk carton, and use as a grater planter.
Have you ever used a grater for any of these?
Image via noiis/Flickr