Whether you're new to meal prepping or looking for time-saving shortcuts, here are the top Meal Prep Hacks you need to know!
In today's fast-paced world, finding time to cook a fresh and healthy meal every day can be a challenge. That's where meal prep comes to the rescue! It can quickly become a daunting chore, though.
Whether you're a busy professional, a student, or a parent on the go, mastering the art of meal prep can revolutionize the way you eat. Here are some top meal prep hacks to help you breeze through your week with delicious, ready-to-eat meals at your fingertips.
Start with a Plan
The key to successful meal prep starts with proper planning. Sit down at the beginning of the week and decide what you want to eat.
Consider your dietary preferences, nutritional goals, and any ingredients you already have on hand. Planning your menu ahead of time helps streamline your grocery shopping and ensures a variety of meals throughout the week.
You don't have to spend more than 15 minutes on this and it'll save you so much time when it comes to executing your meal prep for the week. Learn how to meal plan fast here.
Choose Versatile Ingredients
Opt for ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes. Grains like rice, quinoa, and pasta, along with proteins like chicken, tofu, and beans, can be the foundation of various meals. This way, you can prepare a large batch of a single ingredient and use it creatively in different dishes to avoid monotony.
Looking for some inspiration? Try these 5 easy rice recipes to spice up dinner!
Do Ingredient Prep
Ingredient prep has been a total hack for meal prepping faster. Before I implemented it in my routine, I used to spend hours batch-cooking my meals for the week on a Sunday. It was always so exhausting and overwhelming.
Instead, I spend around an hour prepping all my ingredients for the upcoming week. Doing things like chopping all my veggies and mixing sauces ahead of time cuts down so much time when it comes to cooking each night. You can learn more about how I ingredient prep on the blog.
It's been such a game-changer, I even developed an entire meal prep app around it! Dinner Prep Pro provides you with set meal plans and prep ahead instructions designed to make you more efficient in the kitchen.
Use Grocery Store Shortcuts
There are so many grocery store shortcuts you can buy to expedite your cooking. Rotisserie chicken is a classic example of something that's much quicker and easier to buy at the store when you're making a recipe that requires leftover chicken.
It can also be helpful to buy already-prepared vegetables like zucchini noodles, coleslaw mix, or cauliflower rice. These can be more expensive than doing the work yourself, but if you're pressed for time, they're definitely worthwhile!
Double Your Recipes
Want to work smarter and not harder while meal prepping? It's as easy as doubling your recipes and freezing the leftovers for another day!
Soups, stews, pastas and sauces can be frozen in individual portions, ready to be defrosted whenever you need them. I include freezing instructions for all my recipes on the blog so you'll know any special considerations they require (i.e. how to reheat them).
Check out these healthy make-ahead freezer meals for some tasty ideas!
Store Everything Properly
Investing in a set of sturdy and versatile food storage containers is a game-changer for meal preppers. Opt for containers that are microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and have leak-proof lids. Having a range of sizes will allow you to portion out different components of your meals, from main dishes to snacks.
The proper meal prep containers will also help your food last longer. One notable example of this is mason jar salads. By layering your salad in a mason jar with the dressing on the bottom, it'll stay crisp and fresh for days.
Use Appliances to Save Time
Some appliances are excellent when you're meal prepping. A rice cooker, for instance, is a great way to cook all sorts of grains hands-off.
Don't forget a food processor if you detest chopping vegetables. It certainly helps make ingredient prep feel way less like a chore.
Wanna Learn How To Meal Prep?
My meal planning service, Dinner Prep Pro, removes the guesswork and helps you get dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes each night. My meal prep checklists only take 1 hour each week!
Incorporating these meal prep hacks into your routine can make a massive difference in your eating habits and overall well-being. Not only does meal prep save you time and money, but it also empowers you to make healthier choices! So, put on your apron, gather your ingredients, and get meal prepping! Your future self will thank you.
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