Meal prep made easy

It’s often as simple as doubling the recipe and dividing the leftovers into meal-sized portions for the week ahead. You can also prepare batches of different base ingredients, or entire meals and freeze them for another convenient option that can save you time and money. Having ready-made whole meals on hand also stops you from ordering in or hitting the drive-thru on the way home.

 

All you need to do is simply reheat your waistline-friendly meal or combination of ingredients in the microwave or in a pot – no mess, no fuss. Diet plan adherence has never been easier!

 

Batch and freeze basics

Obviously, certain foods are better suited to the batch and freeze method. Using the wrong options will likely leave a mushy mess on your plate after you’ve reheated your meal.

Avoid freezing:

 

  • Egg and cream-based sauces like mayonnaise – they can separate and curdle.
  • Hard-boiled eggs – they go rubbery.
  • Vegetables with a high water content (lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts and radishes) – they become mushy and limp.
Great base ingredients for batching and freezing:

 

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Grated cheese
  • Squash
  • Potato
  • Mince (meatballs, burger patties)
  • Sauces (tomato-based sauces are extremely versatile)
  • Shredded chicken or beef
Great whole meals to prep and freeze for an easy breakfast or dinner:

 

  • Stews
  • Bone broths
  • Soups
  • Oatmeal
  • Lasagne
  • Toasted sandwiches
  • Casseroles
  • Protein pancakes
  • Muffins (the healthy kind, obvs).
  • Batch and freeze tips
Before you freeze your food, follow these tips:

 

  • Allow the food to cool down properly before placing it in the freezer.
  • Freeze food in realistically sized portions.
  • Prevent freezer burn by covering food properly in air-tight containers or plastic wrap.
  • Label and date the containers.
  • Remember that your batch and freeze lifestyle is only as effective as the quality of your storage containers. Air-tight options are best, but leave a little space between the lid and any liquid you freeze, and never freeze liquids in glass containers because it expands as it freezes.

When cooking or reheating meals from frozen, start at a lower temperature. Once thawed, increase the temperature to reheat the ingredients or meal.

 

And contrary to popular belief, freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. If you are unsure about how long something has been frozen, or your meal seems a bit off once defrosted, don’t take any chances. And only refreeze something that has been reheated. Never refreeze food that has merely thawed.

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