Alright y’all so here is the next most important post aside from how to be successful at meal planning, which I have already went over with you. Meal prepping goes hand in hand with meal planning, put these two together and you have doubled your succession rate for healthy home-cooked meals! No one wants to stand in the kitchen after a long day cutting up produce for forty-five minutes and then spend another forty-five minutes cooking the actual meal. Do y’all feel me? You will seriously be amazed at how easy and satisfying it is to simply pull the prepared ingredients out of the fridge and toss it into the skillet.
Prepping not only saves you tons of time during the work week but also saves so much money! How many times have you thrown out produce because it didn’t get used? Try prepping ahead one week and take note of the difference, I guarantee no produce or money will be wasted. Another reason why I love meal prepping is the fact I am more drawn to fresh fruits and veggies when they are right in front of my face and ready to eat. I am actually sitting here, as I am typing this, eating prepped cucumbers and carrot sticks with homemade ranch dressing. I will admit, if it was a whole cucumber and carrot sitting there it probably wouldn’t of been as appealing but since it’s right there when I opened the door, I have myself a quick and healthy snack! So now that you have picked out some yummy recipes for the week and have done your grocery shopping, now it’s time to pull out the cutting board and knife. Chop chop!
Meal prepping is actually one of my very favorite things to do on the weekend. I have tons of delicious looking fruits and vegetables laying on my counter and I know my week is going to go so much smoother being prepared. My tip for meal prepping is doing it as soon as you get home from the grocery store(or the same day). I feel that is when I am most successful and in the ‘mode’. As always do what works best for you, but I have found that is what works best for me to stay on track. I meal prep everything from fruits, vegetables, grains for the week, and any homemade snacks we plan to have on hand. I have even seen meal prepping videos where people prepare their lunches for an entire week, super cool! They didn’t have those videos five years ago but it’s a great idea and concept if that fits your needs.
First you will need to wash all fruits and vegetables and let them dry out a little before cutting and storing. *Tip-if you are wanting your fruit to last longer than 4 or 5 days I recommend not washing them until right before eating them. Fresh fruit is always eaten super quick in our house so sometimes I do go ahead and wash. If you are having any grains such as rice or quinoa now is a good time to get that going while the produce is drying. Rice and quinoa are staples in our house and we typically substitute more grains for less meats to save money. Side note – have you ever tried cooking your grains in broth? It adds so much flavor, give it a try and let me know what you think! Now your produce is probably good to go. Chop everything up and then place into containers. We personally prefer glass storage instead of plastic for more than one reason, but glass does preserve the freshness of the produce and will keep a little longer. I store fresh herbs and lettuce in gallon Zip-loc bags lined with paper towels. By now your grains are probably ready to cool off and put into storage. If not cooking grains, some other things I do during this time are boiled eggs(in my InstantPot), applesauce(also in my InstantPot), whole wheat muffins, black bean brownies, or granola, ect.
Depending on the amount of produce and extras that are on my meal plan, prepping normally takes me 45-60 minutes. Such a short amount of time on the front end that is going to save you tremendous amount of time the rest of the week. The beauty of it is you can meal plan around how much time you want to actually spend meal prepping. See folks, its all adjustable to fit your schedule and what best suites you! Now that everything is prepped and put away you can do a happy dance and pat yourself on the back. No really, go ahead and pat yourself on the back because you just accomplished a major victory.
Try it and let me know how it works out for you, you can not fail!