If your goal is to eat healthier, then trying out some new meal prep ideas are a great place to start. They seriously nourish and fuel your body. And the more you plan ahead, the more it makes things a bit easier for you. Not to mention, you’re totally saving time, money, and your health as well.
But for a lot of meal prep newbies, it can be a bit daunting to dive right in. To make things easier and faster for you, we’ve compiled some of the most awesome meal prep tips and tricks that’ll help you start your week off right. So check them out and let me know what’s your favorite!
Whip Up Some Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are definitely trendy nowadays. And what I really love about them is that they require no cooking at all. All you have to do is combine rolled oats with milk, yogurt or any liquid you prefer, add some fruits and nuts and let it sit overnight. Just make sure you use double the amount of liquid for every serving of oats and stir them up before you eat to make it extra creamy and yummy. Make big batches at the beginning of the week to have a stress-free morning.
Mason Jar Meals
Whether you’re making fresh salads, chicken noodles, pasta, smoothies, or whatever meal you want, mason jars the way to go. They’re super handy, convenient and make sure your meals are properly portioned. Not to mention, mason jars are a gorgeous way to show off all the ingredients in your meal (just sayin’).
Prepare them ahead of time, make different options and be sure to have plant-based meals for two or three days at a time. Meaning no excuses for not getting in all your daily veggies and fruits!
Chop Raw Vegetables in Advance
To make your meal prepping much easier and faster, chop your raw vegetables in advance and save more time. Cutting veggies in bulk ahead of time will help you avoid wasting minutes on busy weeknights. Just be sure to store them in a covered container or sealed plastic bag to preserve their freshness, crispness, and juiciness. Chopped veggies will usually last for 7-10 days in the fridge. So it’s a total win.
Prepare Freezer Meals
The idea of making a big batch of meals and freezing them after sounds like a great solution for busy days. Stock your freezer with meals, from meat to pasta and soups, that will be ready in a snap. You just have to take them out in the fridge, reheat and have a tasty healthy meal.
You can also make freezer meals with freshly bought ingredients. Portion them, marinate and place in a ziplock. Put them in a fridge and whenever you’re hungry, you can easily get them. It’s practical and super fun to make.
Use the Slow Cooker
Slow cooker meals are game changers. They don’t require any cooking ahead of time, making them very quick and easy to prep.
They cook for the first time out of the freezer and don’t taste like leftovers at all. Knowing that there’s a lot of slow cooker meals available, you can make sure that your family will enjoy and love your cooking. You can save a lot of money and time by prepping a bunch of meals at once.
Bag Up Smoothie Ingredients
Tired of whipping up breakfast smoothie? Then definitely try this hack! Just labeled the ziplock bag with the name of the smoothie you plan to make like, strawberry banana or tropical Ssmoothie or whatever flavors you want. Combine the chop ingredients and liquid for each smoothie, fill up the bag and store them in your fridge. Then pull them out when you need them!
Pre-Assemble Lunch Box Meals
After you’ve cooked all your meals in advance, pre-assemble them in your lunch box and have a stress-free meal preparation. For moms with kids, I highly suggest you visit places where you can buy these fun pre-portioned items like chicken salad, hummus, and guacamole. Then pack them ahead for the school week and you won’t have to worry about forgetting any snacks.
Roast Different Vegetables with Same Cooking Time
Roasting vegetables is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness, but waiting 30 to 50 minutes for each pan of healthy goodness to cook can be time-consuming. To make things easier, prepare a large batch of veggies and try pairing them based on roasting time.
For fast-cooking vegetables that can bake in the same pan, put asparagus, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes together. For slow-roasting vegetables, put carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, and parsnips with each other. This will totally save you much time and energy.
Season Meats Three Ways Using Just One Pan
Another easy way to save a ton of time is by preparing two or three variations of meat at once, and using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Season your meat in the three ways you like and you won’t have to make one batch at a time. Spicy bbq, honey mustard, or sweet and sour; you can cook it all. Turns out that aluminum foil can do so much more than what you expect.
Upgrade Your Kitchen Tools
Investing in the right tools can benefit you with so many opportunities. For instance, think about your pots and pans. Can you fit them all on your stove at the same time? If so, you can cook more food in less time.
Another good example is investing in a spiralizer cutter. You can make spiralized vegetable easily using this tool and saving even more time.
Who says meal planning is a daunting task when there’s plenty of tips and tricks that can ease your cooking pain. All of them are super helpful, can easily be done and perfect for meal prep newbies. So give them a try and let me know what you think.
Now, what was your favorite meal prep hacks, let me know in the comment below. I’d love to hear them out.
Chasing Foxes was started in 2016 as a way for Grace and her husband, Silas, to start traveling. However, they started to realize that they had a passion for improving themselves, and wanted to help others level up their lives as well. So whether it's with cooking, travel, or staying healthy, they want to help you better your life bit by bit, as they do the same.