Top Tips for Meal Prep
For those of you that know me I bloody love meal prep! Its amazing for so many reasons. It saves us money, keeps you on track and eating healthy and nutritious food, you know exactly whats in it (so no nasty preservatives or additives!), you can freeze it and save it for a rainy day, you can make it just as you like it, the list goes on...
I want to get everyone involved in the meal prep fun on a Sunday and making nutritious and healthy meals for the week ahead. So if you are considering trying it for the first time or you are already a regular preppin' pro here are some tips that may help.
1. Balance it out
One of the main reasons to meal prep is to make sure we are getting the right nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). So take the big three food groups carbohydrates, protein and fat. (macronutrients) and make sure have some of each. Include starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, wholegrain rice or pasta. Leave the skin on the spuds and go for wholegrain versions of rice, pasta, bread, wraps etc for extra fibre. Get some protein in there, whether this be meat, fish or beans and lentils. If you're having meat, try and keep it lean to reduce the saturated fat value. Turkey, chicken and fish are all great sources! Fat is also important, aim for a good amount of unsaturated fats such as avos, nuts and seeds, olive oil, oily fish counts too!
2. All the Veg
Add as much veg as you can. Vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals which are essential to a healthy balanced diet. If you wanted to get your 5 a day in each portion, you will need to add 80g of 5 different veg per portion. For instance, if you are making 4 portions, you will need 80g x 4 of each veg. You don't have to get fresh veg either, frozen is just as good and often a cheaper alternative.
3. Make more than you think you need
Generally what I have found with prepping is the ingredients I have don't make as much as I thought they would, so make extra then box it up into portions so you know how much you have left. Anything left over you can freeze for a rainy day... there's nothing better than not having food in the house and remembering you have some homemade goodness in the freezer.
4. Keep it simple
There is no need to over complicated meal prep by spending loads of time on it, the key is for it to be quick, easy, stress-free and it only take up a small part of your Sunday. Chunky soups, stews, casseroles and curries are all super easy to prep and cook. Once everything is in the pan you can put it in the oven or leave it on the hob for it to cook. You could even put it all in a slow cooker and leave it all day!
5. Experiment with flavours
Once you get the hang of prepping, there may come a time when you start making the same thing every week and eventually you get bored of eating it. To make sure this doesn't happen, experiment with different flavours and try some different herbs and spices. Here's a guide to different herbs and spices and how to use them.