I am back after a little bit of a hiatus. Glad to be back & thanks for having me back. 😉
Today’s Tid-Bit Thursday, I will be letting you all in on a little secret. A little secret that has saved time, money, sanity, and has led to a few less tears that were otherwise shed in the evening hours. I was initially going to have a month-long series showcasing and sharing my love of freezer meals. But February happened and we were sick, attempting to get better, and sick again, and before you know it February was over and there was no #freezermealfebruary . I still feel absolutely guilty, but I had to do what I had to do. Sorry ladies. Maybe next year??
This lovely tidbit is Batch Cooking.
What is batch cooking? Batch cooking is what I would like to refer as “freezer meals for those who don’t have freezer space”. Doing all of the annoying, slightly time-consuming leg-work for the meals you hate doing and may also prevent you from cooking (especially cooking healthy), ahead of time. It is AMAZING and I LOVE it.
I wish I was more organized and could say that I did it on a particular day of the week, month or year… and it took a particular amount of time But I’m NOT THAT ORGANIZED. #lifegoals
Batch Cooking 101
What do I do?
Decide what you are going to have for a meal whether it is the morning that day, a few days in advance or even a month in advance (if you plan accordingly.)
Then doing all the leg work cutting the onions, fruit or veggies, and even pre-cook the meat & starches.
I am blessed with ample freezer space therefore I am able to do more at a time and just throw it in my super organized freezer until I use it.
How long does it take?
This one is totally up to you. Mainly depends on how organized you are, how much space and time you have to work with, and if you don’t have to entertain crazy toddlers at the same time you are attempting this task. I usually do my batch cooking after I go grocery shopping, after I meal plan.
Batch-Cooking Tip: If you clean as you go, it will be less overwhelming and the counters will be available to prep the next round of recipes.
What does it entail?
Cooking, slicing and dicing and doing all of those time-consuming little things ahead of time, into the portions that your recipe calls for.
How often do you do it?
Once a day ( I had a friend that would do it every day during nap time) once a week or once a month. So much flexibility to do what works for you.
I usually will do it after I do my shopping, and I do my shopping AFTER I do my meal planning.
How does this save money?
Batch cooking helps take the stress out of 6pm by doing all of the busy work.
I buy a lot of ingredients in bulk to save time and MONEY (meat, veggies, pasta, cheese, chocolate chips… and the list could get long) breaking them into commonly used sizes helps SOOO much
I will also do my meal plans according to what I ALREADY HAVE & what is on sale.
WHY BATCH COOK?
I find that I am more likely to stick to my meal plan if most of my busy work is already done.
Great way to use the ingredients you already have around the house.
Save you time from cooking throughout the week.
Keeps you on track with your health goals.
Keeps you on track with your money goals, budget etc.
This is especially important for those of you who have a specific health goal that’s high priority: weight loss, muscle gain, fitness/strength goals this will keep you on track!
Takes the mental “burden/obligation” off your mind of thinking “What am I going to make for dinner *sigh*” or “I still have to cook *grunt*” etc.
Consistency is key when making and achieving your health and wellness goals; what’s more consistent than having your meal prepared and planned for you a week in advance?
Fun way to diversify your food and meal choices throughout the day and week
COMMON SUPPLIES NEEDED:
Calendar, paper & pen, or planner
Ziploc sandwich and snack-size bags (prefer using freezer bags) * so I can throw the items in my freezer until I need it
Several large mixing bowls
Fresh ingredients from your garden, the local farmer’s markets, grocery store, Bountiful Baskets, or CSA’s, etc.
Time and patience (especially you’re first time)
Friends or loved ones to join in (or do it solo like I do!)
What do I batch cook?
-Ingredients for upcoming freezer meal
-Freezer dump meals
Any further questions? Have you batch cooked before?