Don't underestimate the power of your cheese grater.

Grating Chocolate
Credit: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

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Grating Chocolate
Credit: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

1 Chocolate

A sprinkling of chocolate can top everything from frappuccinos and hot chocolate to cupcakes and cheesecakes. Start with a chunk of chocolate that fits easily in your hand, then grate with a handheld grater or a box grater (experiment with the various sides for different sizes).

Give it a try: Chocolate Cream Pie

2 Hard-Boiled Eggs

While a sliced hard-boiled egg makes for a healthy, delicious snack, grating an egg turns it into a garnish. It's especially delicious on top of grilled asparagus, but can also be used as a savory salad topper. Try using this technique to make creamy egg salad, too.

Give it a try: Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

3 Bread

Instead of tossing out heels of bread or tough ends of baguettes, place them in a large plastic bag and store them in the freezer. When you're in need of breadcrumbs, let the bread thaw slightly, then grate them on a box grater and lightly toast in the oven.

Give it a try: Spaghetti With Asparagus, Bay Scallops, and Buttery Bread Crumbs

4 Butter

Next time your recipe calls for cubed, cold butter, grate a stick of frozen butter into the dry ingredients. This will minimize the amount of time you'll be handling the dough, and the butter will be evenly distributed, resulting in tender, flaky baked goods.

Give it a try: Buttermilk Biscuits

5 Cauliflower

Replacing white rice with grated cauliflower "rice" is a great way to cut down on calories. Grate the cauliflower florets on the large holes of a box grater, then remove any moisture by squeezing out water with a paper towel.

Give it a try: Substitute grated cauliflower in our Spanish Beef and Rice Bowls With Avocado

6 Garlic

Not only will grating garlic ensure it cooks evenly, but it's also the best way to prepare it if you're planning on using it raw. A Microplane works best, and it's much faster than mincing cloves of garlic with a knife. Toss the grated pieces into salad dressings, salsas, or homemade aioli.

Give it a try: Easy DIY Salsa

7 Potatoes

Shredding potatoes makes for delicious potato pancakes and crispy hash browns, but you can also toss them in omelettes or a potato crust quiche. Use the biggest holes on your cheese grater to shred them—you can try this trick out with sweet potatoes, too.

Give it a try: Perfect Latkes

8 Carrots

Grated carrots can be used in both sweet and savory dishes: toss them in a salad, stir them into carrot cake batter, or use them to make a show-stopping stack of carrot cake pancakes.

Give it a try: Carrot Cake Pancakes

9 Cabbage

Adding freshly-grated cabbage into a creamy or tangy coleslaw ensures every piece is evenly coated. If you're using the slaw to top pulled pork sandwiches or hot dogs, this technique also ensures the pieces are small enough for a garnish. Grated carrots can be tossed in as well.

Give it a try: Tangy Red Cabbage Slaw

10 Ginger

Ginger root is fibrous and stringy, which can make it difficult to chop into small pieces. After peeling it, grate the fresh ginger across the grain, then toss into soups, stir-fries, and spicy ginger cookies.

Give it a try: Fresh-Ginger Cookies

11 Radishes

Raw radishes have a powerfully spicy kick, so grating them into fine pieces ensures they won't overpower your dish. Try them in salads, slaws, and sandwiches, or even creamy dips. Experiment with every color of radish, and use this technique for horseradish, too.

Give it a try: Avocado, Radish, and Snow Pea Sandwich

12 Cucumber

Cucumbers will shred easily on a box grater, and can add a fresh punch to a variety of dishes. We like to sprinkle them on a Mediterranean-style sandwich with hummus, or use them to make homemade tzatziki sauce.

Give it a try: Chicken Pita With Tzatziki