When life is busy, it can feel like no matter how hard you try, you don’t have the time or energy to prepare a meal. That’s where meal prepping can be a real saviour. I’m going to let you in on a few meal prep tips you could use to make it even easier to eat well, no matter how busy you are!
Plan your preparation
You can tell from the name, meal prep is all about preparation. Make a plan to help you work out what food you need to buy and what recipes to follow. Having a cooking schedule makes it easier to figure out what items can be in the oven at the same time, or how many chicken breasts you should be grilling at once.
Choose vegetables that can be used several ways
Any vegetables that you can use in multiple recipes are great. Not only can it help you to save money, but it gives you more room in the fridge to store prepared meals. I highly recommend stocking up on vegetables that can be used both raw and cooked, such as carrots, mushrooms, leafy greens, onion, snow peas and capsicum. That way you’ll be able to use them in a whole bunch of meals.
Create an assembly line
Lay out what you need before you start cooking, just like a restaurant! It makes the process much easier and saves you time searching through the fridge when everything you need is at your fingertips.
Prep your grains in bulk
Pre-soaking and pre-cooking your grains means you have them on hand to add to any meal. Cooking grains can take a bit of time, so prepare a whole batch and then portion out what you need for the next few days. Once your favourite grains are cooked, you’ll be able to easily add them to salads or soups, as well as combining them with grilled meat and roast veggies.
Grow your own herbs
One thing I hear a lot from people talking about meal prepping is they get bored eating the same meals throughout the week. Having your own herb garden is a great way to beat this problem! Making a completely different meal each day is a bit of a stretch, but using basic ingredients and adding flavour with fresh herbs means you can enjoy a different taste each day.
If you’re a serial breakfast skipper, freezer pack smoothies could become your new best friend. Rather than spending time chopping and peeling fruit each morning, spend one afternoon a week (or whenever you have a spare moment) portioning fruit into freezer bags. Each morning, grab a freezer pack out and throw the contents into your blender along with your liquid of choice (milk, water, coconut water) and blend it up. That way, breakfast is ready in just a few minutes.
Follow these meal prep tips and you’ll save yourself time and energy in the kitchen. As I’ve said before, only do what feels comfortable for you, and work it to suit your lifestyle. That’s the best way to get the most out of meal prep.