Save Massive Amounts of Time with these Meal Prep Tips
When it comes to meal prepping, there isn’t just one correct way, go ahead with whatever works well with you. And although two methods are never alike when it comes to meal prepping, here are some tips and hacks brought to you by book authors, dieticians and YouTubers who know what they’re doing. So let’s get a little bit of efficiency going, with a pinch of simplicity and a whole lot of time saving.
When you prep different food groups, and are a novice in the kitchen, things can get overwhelming. Do not go down the one-by-one route and instead multitask. For instance if you’re planning on making roasted vegetables, you already know that’s going to take time. So while you pre-heat your oven, prep your veggies by chopping and seasoning them and in the oven they go. While that’s being done, prepare your vinaigrette for your salad or boil the pasta. Having 2 or 3 things going on simultaneously cuts down on a lot of cooking time. Why not make it more interesting by playing aloud your favorite songs right there in the kitchen.
Identify your problem areas
Everything that you’re about to consume in a week does not need prepping. How about you only prep those meals or foods, which you struggle with the most. If making breakfast or snacks gets you worked up, why not prepare the trail mixes, muffins, eggs or pancake batter in advance so that they’re ready to go when you are.
Prep your food groups
A key to avoiding eating the same food groups over and over again are picking and prepping ingredients, which can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, sliced vegetables, grains, and meats can be combined in different variations to make balanced meals for a week.
Don’t forget about snack time
More often than not, we get so tied up with the major meals that we forget to prepare for the in-between hunger pangs. Opening a bag of processed food would be the simple solution but it will also negate all the hard work of fixing healthy meals and the time spent fixing them. So weather its baked kale chips with homemade hummus or a fruit salad, prep away to healthy snack heaven!
The freezer is your friend
Read up online or ask your mum about which foods freeze well and can be consumed even weeks later. This is not only saving you time, but because lesser food will go bad and you’ll not have to throw them away. So, you end up saving money too. Premade chicken, soups, broths, cooked rice can all be stowed away in the freezer for later use.
Use smart hacks and shortcuts
It is perfectly okay to sometimes buy pre cut veggies, ready to eat quinoa, or pre sautéed vegetables. They do make dinnertime (and invariably, your life) much easier. You’ll be amazed by how much time you’ll save yourself, purchasing pre-roasted chicken or tuna cans, which can be used for salads, veggie bowls and stir fried dishes.
Be mindful of the containers you use
From plastic containers you use to store your food, all the way to the plastic grocery bags you buy, meal prepping and planning is made much easier by the use of plastic. But at the same time, convenience has serious negative effects on our plant. Instead, endeavor to use less plastic and more sustainable resources when prepping. Glass containers, bamboo straws, silicone and cloth storage bags and beeswax wrappers are all things which are non-toxic and can be washed and reused multiple times over. Say no to single-use ware.
Handy herbs save the day
Healthy eating necessary means using fresh herbs to flavor your food. Unless you grow your herbs, you’ll probably end up with shriveled and dried up herbs in your fridge in two or three days. The solution to this is watering them. Just like how you keep your flowers fresh by keeping them in water and changing the water, soak your herbs in a few inches of water and cover the container up with reusable plastic bags. Remember to change the water every few days and your cilantro, mint and parsley will stay fresh for weeks.
Ever had those days when you’re not able to make a grocery run, or maybe you’ve just cancelled a dinner plan and want to stay home instead? Don’t order out, but use things from your home to whip up something delicious. For this, you need a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Frozen meats, grains, beans, condiments, spices, oils and broths are a must in your stock inventory.
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