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Batch Cooking – Set yourself up for Success!

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Intro
The key to saving time is advanced planning and preparation, and this is usually best tackled before the week even begins! Batch cooking in advance can save you hours during the week. Gloria Cabrera provides these tips to help you successfully plan ahead with batch cooking.

Do you ever feel like you don't have time to prepare meals during the week? Most people do and this often leads to buying meals out or less healthy food choices.

The key to saving time is advanced planning and preparation, and this is usually best tackled before the week even begins! Batch cooking in advance can save you hours during the week. Batch cooking can include:

·       Steaming up a big batch of vegetables and storing these in an airtight container in the fridge, ready to be added to a meal during the week or simply dressed up and served with a quick protein e.g. tinned fish, beans or eggs.

·       Washing, peeling and chopping raw vegetables up and storing these in airtight containers in the fridge ready to be used for meals or salads

·       Cooking grains and legumes so that these are ready and easy to add to meals

·       Making sauces or dressings that you'll use in cooking during the week in advance etc

·       Making up a few meals and freezing these in single or family portions for quick meals during the week.

 

Where to Start...

·       Take 30-60 minutes to plan out a meal plan for what you'll be eating that week.

·       Check your pantry and fridge and make a shopping list of what you need to buy at the shops.

·       Go shopping for meal ingredients that you will use during the week e.g. vegetables, meat, legumes and grains. It's always good to buy some easy meal ingredients too e.g. salad leaves, frozen steamed vegetables.

·       Set aside around 90 minutes on your day off to do some batch cooking or ingredient preparation - Sundays are often good.

 

Batch Cooking Steps

1.     Clear and clean the area + equipment you will be using before starting

2.     Ensure you have all the correct equipment you need before starting e.g. chopping boards, knives, pots, pans, storage containers, ingredients

3.     Determine the order you will be preparing your batches e.g. if cooking grains or legumes you should start cooking these first as they will take the longest and while they are cooking you can cut up vegetables or other ingredients that you will use in meals

4.     Determine how you can stretch some of the ingredients you prepare for meals during the week e.g. different ways to cook the same ingredients.

5.     Freeze meals in one portion or family portion sizes and store raw vegetables or pre-cooked vegetables (e.g. steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables) in airtight containers in the fridge.

When prepared in advance you save time during the week and making a meal can be as simple as re-heating or throwing a few pre-prepared ingredients together. So why not try it this weekend?

 

Batch Cooking – Set yourself up for Success!
Gloria Cabrera
Accredited Nutritionist (AN), Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Dietitian, Nutritionist