12 Good Meal Prep Concepts to Free Up Your Time

12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

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

RELATED: 15 Genius Meal Prep Concepts from High Trainers

Fortunately, planning and getting ready your meals forward of time will make wholesome decisions a no brainer. As a substitute of working to the deli for a chilly reduce calorie bomb, you’ll have a house cooked feast available that may be heated up quicker than you may stroll two blocks. (Leaving you with extra time to squeeze in your each day exercise!) And hey, you’ll lower your expenses when you’re at it.

Plus, when you’re intimidated by cooking, there are tons of sneaky tips that may assist make assembling scrumptious meals a cinch. From simple breakfast choices to strategies for whipping up meals in bulk, we’ve acquired professional 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.

RELATED: 5 Good Apps to Make Meal Planning Straightforward

12 Meal Prep Concepts to Strive Now

Meal Prep: Chicken Seasoning

1. Season meat 3 ways utilizing only one pan.

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

RELATED: 16 Wholesome Rooster Recipes That Don’t Suck

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 superbly hard-boiled batch. Professional tip: Do a small check 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 1,000,000 fixings for a morning sip? Save time by shopping for the components 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 simple 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 an extended day? Lower veggies in bulk forward of time to keep away from squandering precious minutes chopping on busy weeknights. You can also make this step a breeze with a easy Spiralizer (round $30 apiece). Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will keep recent 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 identical cooking time.

Roasting greens is an effective way to carry out their pure sweetness, however ready 30 to 40 minutes for every pan of nutrient-rich goodness to prepare dinner might be time-consuming. To prep a big batch of veggies, strive pairing them based mostly on roasting time. Quick-cooking greens that may bake in the identical pan embody asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting greens embody 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 simple to mindlessly munch if you’ve acquired a complete bag sitting in entrance of you, however having simply sufficient able to go for lunch or a snack will maintain you from going overboard. The jars pictured above are the Blender Bottle Go Stack Twist ‘N Lock ($11 for a set of 4).

RELATED: What 200 Energy of Nuts Seems Like

Meal Prep: Oatmeal Jars

7. Customise wholesome oatmeal jars.

Fiber-rich meals like oatmeal are perfect for preserving you satiated till lunchtime, however most packets have a lot of added sugar and unnatural preservatives. Should you 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 maintain your style buds comfortable, too. Picture and recipe: Rachel / Clear Meals Crush

RELATED: 11 Tremendous-Straightforward Mason Jar Present Concepts

Meal Prep: Smoothie Baggies

8. Bag up smoothie components.

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

RELATED: 9 Smoothie Bowl Recipes You’ll Need Each Morning

Meal Prep: Egg Muffins

9. Use muffin tins for smarter breakfast frittatas.

You may get pleasure from a flowery 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 may 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 important for muscle restoration after a troublesome 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 might have greater than 400 energy and 28 grams of sugar, strive making your personal power balls. Whip up a batch and retailer them within the fridge for as much as six days. Picture and recipe: Lee Hersh / Life by Each 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 rooster (or salmon or beef) and placing it on picket skewers will help you management how a lot you’re consuming in a single sitting. (4 ounces of rooster has roughly 36 grams of protein, and 6 ounces of salmon has 34 grams of protein.) Cook dinner up a batch and avoid wasting skewers for the remainder of the week. Should you’re utilizing picket ones, keep in mind to soak them in water in order that they received’t catch fireplace in your grill or oven. Picture and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Each 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 high. Put a paper towel sq. on the high to soak up moisture when 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 resolution.

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

Begin Stashing!

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

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

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