12 Good Meal Prep Concepts to Free Up Your Time

12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

On the subject of wholesome consuming, preparation is the important thing to success. (These Boy Scouts are onto one thing.) In actual fact, one examine revealed within the American Journal of Preventative Drugs means that spending time on making ready and cooking meals at house is linked with higher dietary habits. However in case you love the comfort of prepackaged meals and restaurant meals, it could be arduous to go chilly turkey in your take-out routine.

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Fortunately, planning and making ready your meals forward of time will make wholesome selections a no brainer. As a substitute of operating to the deli for a chilly minimize calorie bomb, you’ll have a house cooked feast readily available that may be heated up quicker than you possibly can stroll two blocks. (Leaving you with extra time to squeeze in your each day exercise!) And hey, you’ll get monetary savings whilst you’re at it.

Plus, in case you’re intimidated by cooking, there are tons of sneaky tips that may assist make assembling scrumptious meals a cinch. From straightforward breakfast choices to strategies for whipping up meals in bulk, we’ve obtained skilled tricks to set your self up for a fuss-free and wholesome week. Whip out your favourite plastic container (we’re loving these leak-proof choices) and get began.

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12 Meal Prep Concepts to Strive Now

Meal Prep: Chicken Seasoning

1. Season meat 3 ways utilizing only one pan.

If you happen to’re sticking to lean meats like hen, chowing down on the identical flavors can get tedious after some time. Save time with out boring your style buds by making ready two or three variations of hen without delay, utilizing aluminum foil dividers in your pan. Sriracha, BBQ, honey mustard — you possibly can have all of it. Three birds, one pan! Picture and recipe: Kevin / Match Males Prepare dinner

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Meal Prep: Hard Boiled Eggs

2. Arduous-boil eggs within the oven — not in a pot.

A superb supply of protein, nutritional vitamins A and B and wholesome fats, eggs needs to be a staple snack for any well being fiend. The issue: You may normally solely match as much as 5 eggs in a pot. To make a scrumptious dozen in a single go, bake your eggs in muffin tins for simply 30 minutes. Ta-da! You’ll get a wonderfully hard-boiled batch. Professional tip: Do a small take a look at run first to make sure your oven doesn’t run too sizzling or too chilly earlier than cooking a full pan of eggs. Picture and recipe: Lindsay / The Lean Inexperienced Weblog

Meal Prep: Frozen Smoothie Cups

3. Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins.

By no means have the time to measure out one million fixings for a morning sip? Save time by shopping for the substances in bulk, mixing your favourite beverage, after which freezing the combination in muffin tins. Subsequent time you want a shake, stat, toss two or three “smoothie cups” in a blender for a fast and straightforward breakfast. Professional tip: Improve to a high-powered blender (we see you Ninja Professional!) to mix frozen meals with ease. Picture and recipe: Matt / Muffin Tin Mania

RELATED: 7 Scrumptious Protein Smoothie Recipes 

Meal Prep: Spiralize Raw Veggies

4. Chop or spiralize uncooked greens prematurely.

Too hangry to make dinner on the finish of a protracted day? Minimize veggies in bulk forward of time to keep away from wasting your minutes chopping on busy weeknights. You may make this step a breeze with a easy Spiralizer (round $30 apiece). Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will keep contemporary within the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped greens like carrots, onion and pepper will final every week when refrigerated correctly in a sealed plastic bag or container. Picture and tip: Ali / Inspiralized

RELATED: 11 Low-Carb Veggie Noodle Recipes

Meal Prep: Roast Veggies

5. Roast completely different greens with similar cooking time.

Roasting greens is a good way to deliver out their pure sweetness, however ready 30 to 40 minutes for every pan of nutrient-rich goodness to prepare dinner will be time-consuming. To prep a big batch of veggies, strive pairing them primarily based on roasting time. Quick-cooking greens that may bake in the identical pan embrace asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting greens embrace carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips. Picture: Jenny / Choosy Palate

Meal Prep: Portion Control Jars

6. Make parts crystal clear.

Guard in opposition to overeating by portioning your nuts, pretzels, veggies or favourite nibbles into plastic baggies or moveable jars. It’s straightforward to mindlessly munch while you’ve obtained a whole bag sitting in entrance of you, however having simply sufficient able to go for lunch or a snack will hold you from going overboard. The jars pictured above are the Blender Bottle Go Stack Twist ‘N Lock ($11 for a set of 4).

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Meal Prep: Oatmeal Jars

7. Customise wholesome oatmeal jars.

Fiber-rich meals like oatmeal are perfect for conserving you satiated till lunchtime, however most packets have plenty of added sugar and unnatural preservatives. If you happen to DIY and use moveable glass jars, you’ll management precisely what and the way a lot you’re consuming. From “monkey combine” to “raspberries and darkish chocolate,” these genius taste combos will hold your style buds glad, too. Picture and recipe: Rachel / Clear Meals Crush

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Meal Prep: Smoothie Baggies

8. Bag up smoothie substances.

Ever put a bit of this, a bit of that in your blender and find yourself with a supersized smoothie? Save your self from pointless energy by pre-assembling and freezing the substances. By measuring out your berries, yogurt (frozen in an ice dice tray) and greens forward of time, your shake shall be completely portioned, each time. Picture and recipe: Rachel / The Stylish Website

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Meal Prep: Egg Muffins

9. Use muffin tins for smarter breakfast frittatas.

You might take pleasure in a elaborate frittata each morning of the week, and solely flip your range on as soon as. The key? Make-ahead egg muffins! Make a number of of those recipes prematurely (you possibly can retailer within the fridge for as much as 5 days) so that you don’t get bored all through the week. Wrap them in a paper towel to microwave them in order that they received’t dry out. Picture and recipe: Kendra Montgomery / Full Fork Forward

Meal Prep: Energy Balls

10. At all times roll with some protein-rich snacks.

Protein is crucial for muscle restoration after a tricky exercise and it additionally retains starvation at bay — making it an A+ alternative for snacks. As a substitute of reaching for a packaged protein bar that would have greater than 400 energy and 28 grams of sugar, strive making your individual vitality balls. Whip up a batch and retailer them within the fridge for as much as six days. Picture and recipe: Lee Hersh / Life by Every day Burn

RELATED: 11 No-Bake Vitality Bites

Meal Prep: Meat Skewers

11. Skewer meats for fast parts.

Kabobs aren’t only for road meat. Weighing your hen (or salmon or beef) and placing it on wood skewers might help you management how a lot you’re consuming in a single sitting. (4 ounces of hen has roughly 36 grams of protein, and 6 ounces of salmon has 34 grams of protein.) Prepare dinner up a batch and avoid wasting skewers for the remainder of the week. If you happen to’re utilizing wood ones, bear in mind to soak them in water in order that they received’t catch hearth in your grill or oven. Picture and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Every day Burn

Meal Prep: Mason Jar Salads

12. Pre-assemble jarred lunch salads.

Assume salad from house is a no-go as a result of it all the time will get soggy? Assume once more. Utilizing a glass jar will save your veggies from getting mucky earlier than lunchtime. Put your dressing on the backside of the jar, layer sturdier produce like cucumbers and peppers. Then save any leafy greens or grains (we’re loving quinoa) up prime. Put a paper towel sq. on the prime to soak up moisture in case you’re storing the salad for a number of days. Or, go for a salad jar like this one — full with a separate dressing compartment — for a mess-free answer.

Nonetheless hungry? We’ve obtained 9 extra mason jar recipes to point out off in your work fridge. Picture and Recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Every day Burn 

Begin Stashing!

Need extra meal prep suggestions and tips? Take a look at Laura Prepon’s Stash Plan for concepts to construct your individual stash of wholesome favorites at house. In response to Prepon, it’s all about constructing “kitchen confidence.”

Initially revealed January 2015. Up to date August 28, 2016. 

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