6 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Paper Bag

Paper bags are good for a whole lot more than just brown-bagging your lunch
6 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Paper Bag

One paper bag, many uses.

Ripen fruit. Place unripe fruit like apples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, and avocados in a brown paper bag at room temperature to ripen faster.
Place fruit like pears and apples in a brown paper bag to ripen.
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Pop popcorn. Save money on artificial-ingredient-heavy prepackaged microwave popcorn and make your own. Add ¼ to ½ cup popcorn kernels to a paper bag. Fold the bag over on itself twice and place right-side up in the microwave. Cook until the popping slows down to 1 to 2 pops per second, 1 to 3 minutes. Add butter, salt, and spices straight in there and shake it up.
Instead of store-bought, pop popcorn in a paper bag.
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Dry herbs. Dry herbs in a paper bag to keep dust and bugs off of the herbs as they dry. Place herbs in a paper bag (punch some holes throughout for proper circulation) with the stems aligned with the bag opening; tie the outside of the bag to keep the stems in place and hang for 1 to 2 weeks, checking on the herbs periodically.
Keep dust off drying herbs with brown paper bags.
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Drain fried foods. Save paper towels and re-use flattened paper bags to drain fried food or baked goods.
Drain fried foods on flattened paper bags.
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Disposable serving bowls. Cut or roll down the top half of lunch bags to portion out disposable bowls for chips, snacks, and candy.
Serve chips and candy in paper bags.
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Gift bags. Use programs like Adobe Illustrator for printing straight on the bag for goody bags. Or decorate with string, name tags, and bows.
Decorate paper bags for goody bags and presents.
(Credit: flickr/ohsohappytogether)

Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.

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