If there is one thing that can make your busy life a lot easier and healthier, then it’s meal prepping and bulk or batch cooking. Spending a few hours, once a week, on prepping meals for the week ahead will save you a lot of time and money.
Sometimes you can even reduce your cooking time to only 10 minutes or less. This will create more time to spend with family and friends or to relax or do the things you truly love.
And not only will it create more time and make you happier, but it’ll also be less likely to opt for unhealthy, processed foods which are loaded with preservatives, colorants, salt, sugar, MSG, and so much more chemical crap. So it’s good for your health as well!
Here are my 10 tips and tricks to make batch cooking easy and fun
1. Make a Plan
Although there are some hardcore preppers out there, who spend 1 entire day in their kitchen to prepare meals for a whole week, spending around 2 hours will already make a huge difference. So it’s up to you how much time you want to spend.
Make sure you know exactly what you are going to cook before heading to the store and make a shopping list. Don’t forget to check out pantry staples as well. I usually go grocery shopping on a Saturday and dedicate about 2 hours that same day or on Sunday on batch cooking or meal prepping.
Choose to do most prepping for meals where you have the least time… like breakfast or dinner.
2. Get Your Kitchen Ready
Make sure your fridge/freezer is cleared of all items that shouldn’t be in there to make some room for new groceries and prepared meals. Stock up on easy-to-stock food storage containers. This will save a lot of space in your fridge and freezer.
3. Use Your Food Processor Whenever You Can And Bulk Up
When you are prepping a few dishes, check for similar ingredients and chop them together. Use your food processor whenever you can to speed up the process.
4. Freezer Meals
You can either cook whole meals and freeze them for later use or make parts of the recipe or just cut vegetables or other ingredients in advance. This will reduce actual cooking time. If you are planning to take bulk cooking serious, you may want to invest in a second freezer. Home cooked frozen meals take a lot of space. Also, don’t forget to cool meals to room temperature before freezing them and label well.
Many dishes can be stored for 6 to 9 months, but it is better to eat it them within 3 months to avoid a change in texture and flavor.
5. Season Big Batches Well
If you are doubling, tripling or quadrupling a recipe to freeze for later use make sure to season them well… spices and herbs tend to react differently in bigger batches, so sometimes you are going to add more than just double. The best way to find out, taste it and adjust to your needs.
Scroll down for more batch cooking tips and tricks to save time and money.
6. Do Not Overcook Veggies
When you are cooking bigger batches to freeze for later use, do not overcook your veggies. Make sure they are still a bit crisp, they will cook a bit more when reheating and can get mushy when overcooked.
7. Make It A Family Effort
Make prepping day a family thing… spending 2 hours with 2 to 3 people will make a huge difference. And on top of that, you are engaging the whole family in living a well-balanced healthy lifestyle.
8. Dishes Suitable For Batch Cooking
- Cut up veggies and fruits
- Green smoothie freezer bags (click here for more info)
- Toddler meals
- Raw Chia seed jam
- Coconut yogurt
Cooking a fresh meal is always best, but if you are short on time, like most people, it is so much better to eat home-cooked, pre-prepped, or frozen meals than the processed crap or fast foods found in grocery stores or take away restaurants.
I usually make a batch of chia seed jam (which lasts up to a week in the fridge), coconut yogurt for a week, smoothie freezer bags when I know I’m going to be in a hurry in the mornings, soup, and some kind of stew or curry.
I also try to bulk veggie and fruit cutting and freeze banana chunks and mango for creamy smoothie recipes.
So once a week I spend around 1 to 2 hours prepping this and to give you an idea we spend around 20-40 minutes a day in the kitchen to prep the rest.
What are your favorite kitchen hacks to save some time? Share them with us in the comment box below!
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.