While meal prepping may look like a challenge at first glance, you can overcome any obstacle with the right plan and execution. Effective meal prepping starts with the planning stage and continues through the cooking process to the proper and safe storage of the food. Here are three tips to help you master each step of the process so that you can meal prep like a pro.
The cornerstone of solid meal prep is the planning phase. Get out your calendar and plan your meals for a specified interval, but take into account any special events in your schedule. If you are looking to save money, try to group meals together by similar ingredients. After you have your meal plan, you need to make your grocery list. Carefully assess how much of any given ingredient you'll need for each individual meal and multiply appropriately. Then, hit the store. Be sure to do this just before you intend to devote some time to preparation and cooking so that the ingredients are used at their freshest.
Now, the fun really begins. Once you have all of your ingredients, you can begin cooking. Be sure to organize your tasks in a way that makes logical sense and does not waste time. Understanding when it is all right to cut corners will also help. For example, instead of spending a long time cutting vegetables, you can consider buying some of them already chopped. It can be easy to get careless when you are making such large amounts of food at one time. Remember the importance of being especially careful while working in the kitchen. It is estimated that 1 in 10 homes will have a kitchen fire this year, so you must stay vigilant when cooking.
Once you have all of the delicious food prepared, you need to properly store it for future use. Depending on your food storage options, your personal needs and the type of food you've prepared, there are a variety of ways that you can accomplish this goal. Ideas to consider include freezer bags, airtight plastic or glass storage containers and vacuum-sealed bags. Mason jars also present an ideal way to keep salads and smoothies fresh. If you are prepping a hot meal, be sure to let the food thoroughly cool down before freezing it.
Meal prep is an exciting culinary adventure. It may take a little practice, but you will soon be a pro at mastering every step of this process.
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