Let’s face it, when you’re a busy mum finding time to cook 21 healthy meals each week can be tough. Setting aside some time on the weekend to bulk cook meals and snacks the family loves, will not only save you heaps of time in the week, but it will also ensure you are staying on track with your health plans, and won’t be tempted to opt for a takeaway or unhealthy options. It’ll also save you from that dreaded mid-week thought ‘Ah what am I going to make for dinner?!”
Initially, it may seem a little daunting to bulk cook lots of different meals, but you could start by just doubling or tripling your favourite family meal. You’re cooking anyway, why not just make extra for another day? When you get into the habit of planning and cooking big batches – you’ll always be one step ahead (with a freezer full of healthy meals!)
Get Our Top Ten Handy Tips to get you Bulk Cooking and Freezing!
1.Plan Plan Plan
This is probably the most important Tip! Before you start, write out a list of what you’re going to cook. Think about if you’re preparing meals for the freezer or fridge as not all meals freeze well. Curries, stews and soups are perfect to portion up for the freezer, while you might make up a stirfry or chop up salad ingredients for the fridge to use that week.
2.Shop your pantry and fridge
Think about what you’ve already got in the fridge or pantry that you can use in recipes so you aren’t wasting food and money. The Healthy Mummy App is great for this as you can search an ingredient and it will give you a heap of ideas of what to cook.
3. Reuse ingredients
Pick similar ingredients that can be used in a couple of different recipes. It’ll save time on prepping lots of different ingredients and you may get a deal on buying in bulk.
4. Shop in season
It’s a no brainer, but if you’re cooking in bulk, always try and shop fruits and veggies that are in season. They’re obviously going to be cheaper and you can really take advantage of deals and items on sale.
5. Prep Before Cook
Before you start cooking, write out your plan of attack! Think about what you’re going to cook first, how long everything is likely to take, and that you’ve got necessary containers! Then prep all your ingredients. Chop everything you need first, as it will save time when you get going with the actual cooking!
6. Mix up Cooking Styles
If you are planning on getting lots of meals prepared in one go, choose recipes where you can use different kitchen aids.
- For example, you might start by preparing Slow Cooker Asian Chicken in the slow cooker,
- Easy and Healthy Beef Stew in the oven, and
- Chicken, Cashew and Brocolli Stir Fry on the stove top.
- If you’ve got a Thermo Mix, get that cranking too! Try this Thermomix Healthy Hedgehog Slice.
If you’ve got lots of things going at once you’ll get the job done quicker!
7. Don’t forget Snacks!
For many people who are on a weight loss journey, snacking on the wrong foods can be their downfall. When you get peckish in the middle of the day or just before bed, having healthy low calories snacks you can just grab will keep you on track, and stop you reaching for the Tim Tams! Snacks like Healthy Nutella Bliss Balls , and Easy Zuchinni Muffins are great to keep in the fridge or freezer.
It’s worth getting some good containers in different sizes to store all your healthy meals. Make sure everything is cooled properly and you’ve expelled as much air from your container or freezer bag to avoid freezer burn.
9.Portion up Properly
If you are trying to lose weight and are watching your calorie intake, it’s important that you portion your meals up correctly so you know what calories you have in your portions. This can get a little tricky if you are portioning up for your whole family. Writing out how many portions are in each container will help you stay on track, (even if your partner has more portions that you!) Doing different size portions in different container sizes will give you extra options too.
10. Label Everything
When you’ve finished a big bulk cooking session, and you have all these awesome meals laid out on the kitchen bench and you’re feeling very proud of yourself, it’s easy to think you’ll remember everything you’ve cooked! But it’s amazing how similar everything begins to look once it’s been in the freezer for a week or so. Always label exactly what you’ve made, how many portions in each container, and the date you made it.
Don’t think of bulk cooking as a huge chore, enjoy it! Make that time, your time. Crank up the music, get the kids involved and use the time as a bit of therapy, knowing that you’re getting yourself super organised and ahead, ready to smash your health goals!
Get more recipes to bulk cook on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!
Each month our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge gives you a meal plan, exercise routine and tips and advice to help you be the best version of yourself.
Do you find yourself victim to emotional eating? Take the stress out of putting so much emphasis on food and diet and try our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge which has been described by 100,000’s of mums as a lifestyle change!
With a weekly meal plan consisting of 3 main meals and 3 snacks – The Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help you stick to a healthy food plan and hit your weight goals.
You can find out more or join the 28 Day Challenge HERE.