Meal prep. The word itself is exhausting but the benefits are endless, saving time and effort in the long run.
First and foremost, with your perfectly organised jars and containers, you’ll become the organisation guru all your friends aspire to be. And don’t forget to call yourself ‘moneybags’, because you’ll be away laughing about all that cash you will be saving. And did someone say, health goddess? Yeah, we are looking at you.
And if this isn’t incentive enough for you to get preppin’, then here are eight hacks which will help ensure you become a meal prep queen:
1. Mason jars are your new best friend
Clean out those empty peanut butter jars or go on a treasure hunt for handy containers at your local antique store. Mason jars at this size are perfect for just about any recipe like bircher mueslis, nutrient-rich salads, deconstructed pasta, and even pancake mixes – just to name a few.
2. Stack that salad
Salads are by far one of the healthiest and easiest meals. The anatomy of a good salad jar consists of a delicious dressing as the base then your vegetables (hold fire on the greens), grains and beans, cooked meat, tofu or another source of protein, followed by leafy greens (like spinach), topped off with nutrient-rich nuts and seeds. Whoa!
3. Freeze your grains
So you’ve made enough quinoa to feed a small village? Put your leftovers in a snaplock bag and freeze it for another time. To defrost, simply pop it in your microwave.
4. One sheet wonders
Who said you can’t cook everything on a tray or in a pan all at the same time? Make sure you lay down some baking paper before you start. It makes the clean up so much easier.
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5. Sunday or someday?
Don’t get caught up in having to meal prep on a Sunday night as this is the stigma that scares most people. Instead, choose to prep your meals whenever you have the time by setting an alarm and clearing your schedule for roughly 2 hours. A standard time frame is one and a half hours to prep, and the remaining time to clean and pack. If you’re an early riser, prep in the morning and if you are a night owl, prep at night.
6. Make a banging meal prep playlist
It’s proven that listening to music can boost productivity. Creating a lit playlist to listen to while you are meal prepping will make the time go so much faster. Standard crowd favourites for meal prep include old school R&B and party anthems.
7. Treat yo’ self
Meal prep doesn’t need to be all about salads, overnight oats and stir-fries. These to die for brownies from Nadia are super healthy, so you won’t feel as bad if you accidentally eat the whole tray.
8. The secret formula
Four vegetables, two proteins and one grain. The 4-2-1 formula is a great way to balance portion sizes and will help any prepper out; beginner or advanced. Prep away, babe!