Preparing and cooking meals can be very time consuming and is a process that a lot of people would just rather avoid. But even if you don’t enjoy the whole cooking thing, you can still eat delicious, nutritions meals at home. There are a variety of solutions and kitchen hacks you can try that just might surprise you. Below are a rew ideal places to start when thinking of meal prep hacks to fit into your busy schedule.
The best meal prep hack if you’re extremely time poor? Pre-packaged meals! Ordering healthy pre-cooked meals, such as the ones available through fivepointfour (for Australia) or Sweet Roots NYC in New York, will save you an enormous amount of time in the kitchen. You also don’t have to spend countless hours trying to decide what you feel like eating. And another bonus? There are plenty choices that are designed to be nutritionally balanced and often run on a menu rotation so you’re not eating the same thing every night. No matter where you live, chances are there’s a similar service available. (If you know a good site that has a list for lots of different locations, please comment below!)
Chop and Freeze
Yes, you can buy bags of veggies that are already frozen, but these don’t always include your favorites, and can be expensive if you’re using a bag to feed your whole family. Instead, bulk-buy fresh veggies, chop them all up yourself and freeze in containers. This idea can also be applied to meat. Chop up meat into portion sizes first than freeze them, that way you can just grab out the portion you want depending on how many people you’re cooking for.
SKIP Some Steps
Peeling vegetables is a big one; potatoes and carrots don’t lose their deliciousness just because they still have their skins on. In fact, the skin is usually where the highest nutritional value hides, particularly fiber. If you buy organic veggies then definitely consider leaving all the skin on. If not, you still can, but make sure you’re rinsing and scrubbing them good to remove any chemicals that are likely present. You can even go a step further and use vinegar or lemon juice to get rid of them.
Utilise the Oven
Yes, food may take a little longer to cook in the oven, but it is actually the best place to cook food when you don’t have much time on your hands. Cooking vegetables or meat in the oven requires very little prep-time and very little from you in terms of cooking time. It allows you the entire cook time to get other to-do items crossed of your list – including a bit of exercise!
Cook in Bulk
A great idea for sauces and soups, as they are easy to cook in large batches, is to cook it up in bulk. All you need is a larger saucepan. And don’t feel like you have to eat it all in the next few weeks either! These types of foods will often last for a while when frozen, so you can set up your weekly meal plan to include a couple of your frozen goodies each week. Here are lots of ideas for batch cooking.
Everyone has different lifestyles, many with super-hectic schedules that make every spare minute precious. The above are just a handful of meal prep hacks that you can easily incorporate into your own busy life and that will hopefully take some of the added stress away from meal time. What are some of the best tricks you’ve learnt when it comes to quick food preparation? Write your comments in the space below.