Just Getting Started
I started “meal prepping” about six months ago, and in that time I have learned a lot.
Meal Prepping is also an easy quick-meal solution on busy days. In addition, it has helped me to learn more about food safety.
In the beginning, I would see Instagram posts depicting a week’s worth of food. The reality is that the food breaks down and is gross by the time the end of the week arrives. No one wants to eat rotten or spoiled food!
I generally meal prep around three times per week and make two days of meals at a time. The one exception is oatmeal with berries; oatmeal can last at least three days.
Below are tips that I have learned that may help you begin meal prepping for yourself and your family.
Limit the Use of Plastic
I started with cheap plastic containers from Walmart. Big mistake. The food spoiled quickly and the texture was undesirable.
I found these glass containers with compartments (I’m not an affiliate) on Amazon and bought three sets of them. The plastic is limited to the lid and the food stays fresh and retains a good texture.
I wanted the glass containers that have the bamboo lids, but they are pretty pricey for a family of three. However, if you are meal prepping for yourself or have deep pockets, I would try the bamboo to limit the use of plastic.
Don’t Cook Frozen Vegetables
Place the frozen vegetables in their compartment and they will defrost in the refrigerator. When you heat up your meal for about three and a half minutes, the vegetables will warm up and soften.
Don’t Season with Lemon or Lime Juice
I love squeezing lemon and lime juice over my vegetables. However, if you squeeze the juice over them and then store the meal, the vegetables will turn brown.
Try Simple Meals
I bake my meats and I use jasmine rice beneath them. I try to enjoy brown rice, but I really just hate it. I can tolerate quinoa.
More complex meals can spoil easily, especially if they contain a lot of dairy.
Simple meals will last longer and retain a better texture.
Make Oatmeal with Soy Milk or Oat Milk
I prefer soy milk because soy is a complete protein. Regular milk can cause the oatmeal to spoil more quickly. Also, I’m lactose-intolerant so I have to limit dairy.
My kids wish I would just quit dairy and never eat ice cream again!
Oatmeal made with soy or oat milk will last much longer. I place berries in the second compartment and when I warm up the oatmeal, the berries soften. Then, I mix the berries with the oatmeal and add agave nectar-my favorite sweetener.
I hope these meal prepping tips help you get started with meal prepping. Making meals in advance can help you on difficult days, busy days, and they can help you maintain a healthy-eating plan.
Photo: Glass Food Storage Containers with Bamboo Lids (4 Pack, 36 Ounce) Eco Friendly Meal Prep Containers Airtight – Plastic Free, BPA Free. Amazon.com