Meal prepping this weekend? Avoid These Top 5 Mistakes!
As the colder months approach we find juggling our jobs, side-hustles, and family life. We’re busier than ever, and meal prepping is a fantastic way to create a little extra “you” time during the week. By not having to worry about pesky school lunches or family dinners every night of the week, you can focus on other things in your life: spending time with the family or that last work assignment that needs to get done.
However, if you’re new to the meal-prepping game, There are a few mistakes you could make that could make your meals monotonous (or just downright gross). Here are a few of our favorite tips for avoiding meal-prep blunders:
Beware of “overprepping”: Aka prepping wayyy too much food! Especially when you’re prepping food for multiple dinners or lunches, it can be easy to get carried away. (We’ve been there! ;) If you prep too much, you run the risk of the food going bad, or you might overportion the food just to use up what’s left over. To properly prep the right amount of food, think of the amount that each individual will be eating and how many times (you might even want to break out those measuring cups and kitchen scale). Then, only cook that amount of food.
Ask yourself, “is this food meant to last?”: After being cooked or washed, some foods just hold up better than others. Strawberries or raspberries, for instance, mold quickly after being washed, so they aren’t ideal for prepping. Avocados also brown quickly, so you would need to take extra steps and either add it later or store it apart from your other foods. Foods that add crunch -- granola, breading, everything bagel seasoning -- also probably won’t be very crunchy by the end of the week, so you’d have to take extra steps to store them differently.
Have your storage containers ready to go: Once you’re done prepping, it can be a whole other job to get storage containers ready. We recommend having them set on your counter already to avoid rushing to get them when your food’s ready to be packaged. We like labeling our storage containers with the days we’ll be eating them (and the meal, too, if you’re prepping for more than one meal). A simple sticky note will suffice for this.
KISS: Keep It Simple, Silly!: Meal prepping doesn’t necessarily mean “cooking” all your meals. Maybe choose just one meal to cook, like dinner. Then, the rest of your meals can be uncooked meals that you assemble together. Think of meals like salads, parfaits, overnight oats, and veggie snacking containers: they’re just as healthy while also saving you the time of having to cook a whole other meal.
Stay stocked up & do your homework: There are literally thousands of meal-prep recipes online (and even some on our blog, right here!). Find a recipe you like and want to use before going shopping. In that same vein, keep your pantry stocked with the non-perishable essentials, like dried beans, whole grains, oils, and/or sweetners: this will prevent last minute grocery runs that do nothing but frustrate you and waste time.
Are you in need of meal-prep help?
Have you made any of these meal prepping errors?
What would you add to the list?
Drop a comment below to let us know! And, be sure to sign up for our Masterclass on meal prepping!
Going live in just a few days, this class will go over how to create a successful plant-based meal-prep schedule. Be sure to sign up using this link, and be on Facebook Live at 8PM EST on Monday, September 28th. See you there, VegiFam!