meal preppingthe biggest advantage of meal prepping is time
Meal prepping means preparing a meal and means preparing a whole meal – or part of a meal – for a later moment. Making a shopping list, shopping and planning recipes for the week is also part of meal prepping. For example, you can cook a number of large portions on one day of the week, on your Sunday off or spread over several days, or prepare parts of a meal and freeze it for later. Think of several servings of grains and legumes, a large pan of curry or vegetable soup. Divide the portions into airtight and reusable containers and place in the fridge or freezer. This way you can go ahead all week! Dressings for salads and pasta sauces are also great for prepping for later. It is also possible to prepare breakfast for the next morning, such as overnight oats.
The advantages of meal prepping
The biggest advantage of meal prepping is time. Yes, it takes some time to prepare everything in advance, but you had to invest that time in cooking the meal for that day. Actually it is more efficient. You probably experience the big time savings around dinner time, when you are tired from your working day. You no longer have to think about what you want to eat, no more shopping and no more cooking.
Meal prepping can be useful if you want to eat healthier or lose weight. Just think: when you’re tired, you’re more likely to crave ‘easy and tasty food’. That is often just a little less healthy. If you make a weekly menu with healthy and tasty recipes, you can be sure that good meals are ready for you throughout the week. You will not be tempted to eat an easy, less healthy meal.
Preventing food waste
By prepping smart meals, you can also prevent food waste. For example, do you have a large cauliflower or broccoli at home, or a huge bag of green beans? And can’t you finish everything on time? Then cook all the vegetables and keep the part that you don’t need immediately in the freezer. It will then remain good for months.
Finally, you can also save money with meal prepping. You can buy more consciously, you eat less take-out, outside the door or expensive ready-made meals.
Tips for meal prepping
- Choose a time when you start thinking about the meals. You don’t have to start big, for example see if you can cook for three days in advance. Put together your menu for those days, make a shopping list and do the shopping. Here you can make a profit by cleverly combining offers.
- Cook double portions for each meal, and freeze the extra portion.
- Have good freezer containers that can hold one or two servings. So you don’t have to defrost too much at once. Write on the containers (with a sticker) what is in them and the date of preparation. A meal can be kept for three months in the freezer. In the fridge for 3 days.
- Allow cooked food to cool for a while before putting it in the fridge or freezer. Hold for about half an hour. Never leave food out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours because of bacterial growth.
- Store prepared food in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Did you cook for more than 2 days? Then keep this food in the freezer. It can then be kept for 3 months.
- Store pre-prepared meals at the correct temperature. The ideal temperature for your refrigerator is 4 degrees, for the freezer it is -18 degrees.
- Freezer meals can be placed in the fridge the night before to thaw. You can also thaw small portions in the microwave. Do not let food thaw outside the refrigerator all day or night.
- Heat pre-prepared meals well (steaming hot). This is best done in a pan.
- Prevent food waste. Take a look at what you still have at home and make your weekly menu based on this.
- Turn leftovers into another dish. For example, you can put a leftover curry in puff pastry or a leftover nasi in filo dough and you have a delicious snack.