Some like to call it ‘meal prep’...but we like to call it ‘short cutting.’
The idea of organising, cooking and preparing food in advance can seem like a daunting task, but weighed up against the time saved in the subsequent days... the effort is a small price to pay.
In fact, asurvey of 1,009 UK adults carried out by leading household appliances retailer Appliances Direct revealed that more than half (56%) of Brits will prepare their meals for the week ahead in January. This research shows that the habit will save the nation a hefty £27 and 3 hours’ worth of time on average over the course of a typical month.
Besides being a good money saving tactic, meal prep makes for healthier eating. Almost a third of those surveyed (32%) say they find preparing meals in advance is healthier, and that’s why they choose to do it, together with the fact that prepping meals in advance means less wastage.
So where to begin with meal prep?
1️⃣Firstly, pick a day. Sunday is always a good day, but you can do a midweek batch cook as well if this suits.
2️⃣ Stock up on containers. Having plenty of good size jars and containers will help you store your prepped and cooked ingredients.
3️⃣ Slow cook! Slow cookers typically make more of a meal than you would need for one night, so using this appliance often can ensure that there is always a surplus to refrigerate or freeze.
4️⃣ Chop and freeze your fruit in freezer bags. If you want to get into a smoothie habit, having the fruit pre-prepared can make this an easier process in the morning.
5️⃣ Roast your veg. Roasted vegetables are extremely versatile, and can be combined with pasta or cous cous for lunch, and added to sauces, risottos or pizzas for an evening meal. They can even be blended into soups. A tray of peppers, courgette, carrot, onion and sweet potato (for example) makes a good stock item for the fridge.
6️⃣ Think tins! Tinned food has a bad rep, but having a stock of mixed beans and canned lentils gives you an endless list of potential meal options at your fingertips.
TOP MEAL PREP TIPS
‘My top tip would be to introduce the concept slowly, particularly if you’re not familiar with the kitchen, and start by just prepping a couple of meals each week. Trying to completely change your way of eating in one go is more likely to fail than changing small bits at a time.’