What's one of the easiest ways to take control of your health and make sure you’re nourishing your body every day? Getting in the kitchen and cooking up a storm!
Making your own meals means you can control exactly what you’re eating, and avoid over-indulging on fat, salt, sugar or processed nasties. Done right, it’s also much easier on the wallet (and the waistline) than daily bought lunches and nightly takeaway.
That said, we get the issue here: between work, chores, family and having some semblance of a social life, many of us simply don’t have the time (or the energy!) to cook every single day.
That’s where meal prepping has your back! Setting aside a couple of hours once or twice a week to prepare a few food options in advance means you’ll always have a healthy, tasty meal waiting for you in the fridge or freezer. Here are some top tips for meal prepping like a pro.
Invest in quality storage
Good meal prepping requires the right tools. Grab some stackable glass or high-quality plastic Tupperware containers in a range of sizes (a few single-serves and family sized options are a good starting point).
Glass mason jars are also great portable salad, smoothie and soup containers and work for storing prechopped veggies or pre-prepped sauces and marinades. Freezer bags are also handy for storing batched proteins or smoothie ingredients (see below).
Make enough for lunch
If you’re on dinner duty, double the recipe so you have enough for the next day. It takes about the same about of time to cook two chicken breasts as it does one!
You can also get creative with the lunch portion so you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing two days in a row – Bolognese sauce makes a great toastie base, taco ingredients become a tasty salad mixed with a can of beans, leftover roast veggies can be transformed a delicious healthy wrap… you’re only limited by your imagination!
Quiches are also a great dinner to lunch option – our delicious Quiche Lorraine keeps in the fridge for five days.
Opt for freezable
Soups, stews and curries are meal prep staples – they can be portioned up and whacked in the freezer, then taken out on the morning of a busy day for dinner simplicity.
Make sure you label the Tupperware with the date and what’s inside, so you don’t end up with unidentified mush from 3 years ago.
It can help to take some time and think about exactly what receipts you’ll be making during the week so you’re not wasting precious time (and food).
Veggies, onions and proteins can then be prechopped ahead of time and stored in mason jars to take the grunt work out of mid-week meals like curries, pasta sauces and salads.
Ditto to salad dressings, marinades and homemade sauces (like this Responsibly Sweet Chilli Sauce).
Batch it up
One great hack is to cook a large quantity protein – think a roast chicken, a leg of lamb or a slow-cooked brisket – portion it out and batch it up in single-serve freezer bags for instant meal bases.
Try a smoothie pack
No time in the morning? We hear you! A smoothie pack might be just the answer.
Prechop your favourite fruits, bag them up in single serves and store in the freezer. Then it’s simply a case of tipping the contents into the blender with a dash of milk and whizzing up for a quick and healthy brekkie!
Full-fat yoghurt, nut butter and even a dash of Lakanto Sugar Substitute take a smoothie from good to amazing!
What are your meal-prep hacks and tips?!
Image source: Good Housekeeping