Meal Prepping - 101
Whether you are getting started or just curious about meal prep, this handy guide covers it for you.
What ismeal prepping?
Meal prepping is an approach to making meals ahead of time. The idea is to have meals ready in hand, so you are not overwhelmed during mealtimes. People choose tomeal prep for different reasons. It could be to cut down the kitchen hours, weight loss, make healthy dietary choices, or to eat a variety of meals without going to restaurants.
How to get started onmeal prep?
Here are the crucial steps inhealthy meal prep,
Step 1- Have a meal plan:
Open your calendar and determine how many days worth of meal you want to prepare ahead. It can be for a week or a month. Starting small and then extending it for many weeks is ideal. Based on this information, estimate the number of meals you'll need taking the household members into account.
Step 2 - Making your grocery list:
Once you have the number, now it is grocery time. Based on the number and variety of meals, you would like to make a list of ingredients. To ensure it ishealthy meal prep, ensure that every meal has protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Make a master list for default grocery items like onion, tomatoes, carrots, etc., add or remove ingredients based on your preferences.
Step 3 – Get down to prep:
Designate a specific day and time that works for you to prepare your meals. Start with meals that take the longest cooking time first, so you can get started on it and work on other recipes. Be wise and avoid methods that may require the same appliance, for instance, an Instapot or oven. Plan your recipes in such a way that allows using your cooking mediums, such as electric gadgets, oven, and stovetops, efficiently in the given time. Although it may be a struggle the first time, you'll figure it out soon.
Step 4 - Choose the right size containers:Depending on how you want to take your meals, buy proper containers. For instance, bento boxes are great for lunches, freezer-safe large containers suit well to store bulk cooked meals.
Step 5 – Storing and reheating:
Frozen food tends to expand as it freezes, so be sure to leave at least an inch and half headspace when storing foods. Always store your prepared food in a clean container. Leak-proof, microwave-safe containers are the best choices. Glasswares are great options for storing and re-heating. Be aware of food safety measures. Thaw frozen foods in your refrigerator instead of the countertop. Avoid heating the same food many times to avoid food poisoning. When reheating, ensure they reach at least 165°F before being consumed. Eat frozen meals within 24 hours of defrosting.
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