Sometimes you’re so busy that you don’t have time to cook and you order take-out. To help you develop healthy eating habits and save money, batch cooking is the perfect solution for you.
To develop this method you only need a few hours of your free time, healthy ingredients, food preservation packaging, a desire to eat healthy and a minimum of planning.
You may think that this is a complicated task and do not dare to plan the food you are going to prepare and cook it. Look at it this way: in less than five hours, you will have finished your meal for the whole week and, at mealtime, you will only have to heat it up in the oven or microwave.
Stay with us to learn about the advantages, the keys to organizing a healthy menu and some good foods for batch cooking.
What will you find in this article?
- What is batch cooking and what are its advantages
- Objectives of batch cooking
- Important details when batch cooking
- How to create your batch cooking menu?
- Foods to include in your healthy cooking batch
What is batch cooking and what are its advantages
Batch cooking is a procedure that consists of cooking a whole week’s worth of food in a few hours. This saves time during the week, leaving more space for your work or study routine.
Under this method, you use the ingredients until they are not wasted, you cook the products better, you store them in the fridge to maintain their freshness and you don’t waste time cooking daily.
In addition to preventing you from wasting time in the kitchen, using the batch cooking method allows you to create a diet without high-calorie or processed foods ordered to restaurants by the delivery service.
You exchange the investment of prepared food for food purchased at the market. In a short time, you will notice a big saving.
You also use, more effectively, services such as gas, so at the end of the month the bill will not be as expensive and you contribute to the care of the environment.
Objectives of batch cooking
As you know, batch cooking is a method of planning the meals you will eat during the week.
Although it seems complicated to have to choose each of the foods you will eat during the next seven days, you can find several recipes and use them every few days, so you don’t get bored with the food.
After you have planned your week’s menu, you only need to buy the food you need to prepare the dishes and not improvise when you get home if you are missing something.
Your diet will be healthy because this method gives you the opportunity to cook any kind of food such as soups, creams, meats or grains.
Important details when batch cooking
Before you start applying this method of meal preparation in your life, you need to know certain fundamental aspects that are part of it.
With them, preparing food under batch cooking will be much easier to understand and apply.
Some of these details are:
Order and cleanliness of your appliances
You need more space than usual to store the containers that will hold the food you will be cooking, so you should remove anything that you do not use and takes up space.
You should also keep your refrigerator or freezer clean so that no containers get dirty or lose storage space.
The correct refrigeration will prevent the food from losing its condition or being damaged, so everything must be clean and in good working order.
How do I prepare the vegetables in the batch cooking?
Ingredients such as vegetables and legumes should be soaked in water and vinegar in a container to kill any bacteria.
When you have spent some time preparing them, cut them according to the use you are going to give them in your meals and store them in the containers.
If you need the vegetables, take them out of the fridge the same day so that they do not get damaged or wither.
Individual packaging or containers
Since you are preparing the food for each day of the week, it is necessary that you keep the portions in individual containers so that you do not compromise the portion of food from another day.
Also avoid taking too long to defrost and refreeze food, which can cause food to be damaged or lost due to sudden temperature changes.
Also, ideally, different types of food should be stored in colored containers for easy identification.
Label the containers
Even though the different food groups are separated in different coloured containers, it is necessary to identify what the contents of each container are.
This way you don’t confuse them and you can keep track of the meals you have eaten over the course of the week.
Bet on dishes that can be frozen
Almost all foods have the ability to be frozen, but you must take into account the time it will last in the refrigerator when consumed or disposed of.
In that case, you can store them in airtight containers so that they do not suffer any change due to exposure to intense cold.
If you have food that cannot be frozen, you can use a machine to create a vacuum and store it in the refrigerator.
Make sure your packaging works perfectly
This advice should be applied at the time of purchase of the containers to prevent food from spilling. You must make sure that the containers close easily and that they can be stacked easily and stably.
If you buy soup or creamer containers, it is important never to fill them to the top to prevent the soup from overflowing when heated.
In order for your batch cooking menu to be perfect and comply with each one of the advantages it offers to your life, it must follow these characteristics:
- The food you cook should be kept for a week, so it is ideal to vacuum pack it so as not to lose any of the nutritional values the food has.
- You must balance each of the components of the nutritional pyramid.
- Food with good taste and without excess of seasoning.
Foods to include in your healthy cooking batch
The batch cooking method seeks to plan the meals of each week, prepare them in one day and store them until it is time to consume them.
As some people do not like to repeat meals in a short period of time, you can vary the dishes between weeks.
As part of your planning, you should consider using the same ingredient in more than two meals to get the most out of each item you purchase.
You should also take into account the length of time each food is kept, so choose the best quality ingredients to make them functional for longer.
If you prepare soups or creams, you should serve them in their packaging, wait for them to cool down and then vacuum-seal them and store them in the fridge or refrigerator.
Main dishes and meats can be kept in perfect condition for a week, as long as they are stored in the refrigerator.
Side dishes such as grains, tubers or vegetables will stay fresh in your refrigerator or freezer for three to five days.