Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time
7 Meal Prep Tips To Save You Time
When it comes to healthy eating, preparation is the key to success. But if you love the convenience of prepackaged foods and restaurant meals, it might be hard to go cold turkey on your take-out routine.
Luckily, planning and preparing your meals ahead of time will make healthy choices a no-brainer. Plus, if you're intimidated by cooking, there are tons of sneaky tricks that can help make assembling delicious meals a cinch.
1. Season meat three ways using just one pan.
If you’re sticking to lean meats like chicken, chowing down on the same flavors can get tedious after a while. Save time without boring your taste buds by preparing two or three variations of chicken at once, using aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Sriracha, BBQ, honey mustard — you can have it all. Three birds, one pan! Photo and recipe: Kevin / Fit Men Cook
2. Hard-boil eggs in the oven — not in a pot.
Eggs should be a staple snack for any health fiend. The problem: You can usually only fit up to five eggs in a pot. To make a delicious dozen in one go, bake your eggs in muffin tins for just 30 minutes. Ta-da! You’ll get a perfectly hard-boiled batch. Pro tip: Do a small test run first to ensure your oven doesn’t run too hot or too cold before cooking a full pan of eggs. Photo and recipe: Lindsay / The Lean Green Blog
3. Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins.
Never have the time to measure out a million fixings for a morning sip? Save time by buying the ingredients in bulk, blending your favorite beverage, and then freezing the mixture in muffin tips. Next time you need a shake, stat, toss two or three “smoothie cups” in a blender for a quick and easy breakfast. Photo and recipe: Matt / Muffin Tin Mania
4. Chop or spiralize raw vegetables in advance.
Too hangry to make dinner at the end of a long day? Cut veggies in bulk ahead of time to avoid wasting precious minutes chopping on busy weeknights. Zucchini noodles ("zoodles") and butternut squash noodles will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated properly in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware. Photo and tip: Ali / Inspiralized
5.Customize healthy oatmeal jars.
Fiber-rich foods like oatmeal are ideal for keeping you satiated until lunchtime, but most packets have lots of added sugar and unnatural preservatives. If you DIY and use portable glass jars, you’ll control exactly what and how much you’re eating. From “monkey mix” to “raspberries and dark chocolate,” these genius flavor combinations will keep your taste buds happy, too. Photo and recipe: Rachel / Clean Food Crush
6. Bag up smoothie ingredients.
Ever put a little of this, a little of that in your blender and end up with a supersized smoothie? Save yourself from unnecessary calories by pre-assembling and freezing the ingredients. By measuring out your berries, yogurt (frozen in an ice cube tray) and greens ahead of time, your shake will be perfectly portioned, every time. Photo and recipe: Rachel /The Chic Site
7. Use muffin tins for smarter breakfast frittatas.
You could enjoy a fancy frittata every morning of the week, and only turn your stove on once. The secret? Make-ahead egg muffins! You can store in the fridge for up to five days so you don’t get bored throughout the week. Wrap them in a paper towel to microwave them so they won’t dry out. Photo and recipe: Kendra Montgomery / Full Fork Ahead