Why Food Prepping isn't Boring After All
Food truly is medicine, yet busy lives mean that more people are ordering a Deliveroo rather than cooking at home. According to a study by Hello Fresh, a quarter of us can cook only 3 recipes. And only 58% of families are sitting to eat together during the week.
It’s understandable that people need to grab food on the run, but this is an area where you could so easily improve your wellbeing. You might think that food prepping is dull and restrictive, however to truly take care of your health, it’s important to plan your meals in advance. In the same way that you shouldn’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry, food prepping means you’re more likely to nurture yourself with meals that are satisfying.
Why Do You Need to Food Prep?
I used to think that having a plan for meals was uptight or fuddy duddy. I’ve now come to see it as an essential way to take care of my mind, body and emotions. The days when I buy something sugary because I haven’t brought a healthy snack are so noticeably different in tendency to get irritated at the little things.
Food prepping is a skill that helps you and the environment in so many ways:
-It’s healthier as you end up eating more fresh food and less sugar, baked goods and crips
-There’s less food wastage
-Less packaging so less plastic and cardboard waste.
How to Food Prep
Find out a way that works for you and your lifestyle but here are some tips to get you started so that you can prep happy.
-Have a system for food delivery or food shopping or visiting your local Farmer’s Market for fresh produce.
- Do a big Sunday cooking session. The Hemsley sisters recommend cooking on a Sunday: roasting veg, making humous, soaking Bircher oats, boiling eggs etc. Starting the week on the right track will really help you.
- Get yourself some good-quality containers. Ideally glass or stainless steel and definitely avoid plastic. Pyrex dishes with lids are great and my personal favourite are Life-Factory. They are dishwasher-safe and ovenproof.
- Get a food flask. Hot meals at lunch time are so much more satisfying. You can feel smug at how much better they are for you and how much money you save. Personally I love choosing where to eat lunch out, but it is harder to find food that help to manage my thyroid that is also appealing to eat.
- Learn a repertoire of 3-5 meals that you can make on rotation. There’s a Pea and Coconut soup by Anna Jones that I adore and that tastes like a fresh Thai curry https://houseandhome.com/recipe/green-pea-and-coconut-soup/
- Use Pinterest to search for quick recipes using ingredients that you are trying to use up.
-Follow some food writers who can inspire your creativity. Nigel Slater, Meera Sodha and Anna Jones are some of my faves.
- At the beginning of each week, work out what meals you are going to have and mark them in the diary.
- Try recipe boxes. Riverford have organic vegan, fish and meat options. Abel and Cole and Healthy Fresh are also worth trying. The soup in last weeks’ box was celeriac and apple and it was perfect for this chilly weather.
- Make the most of the pressure cooker. You’d rarely find an Indian household without one. Soak beans overnight and then cooking time is reduced in the pressure cooker. A slow cooker is another good option.
- Make your freezer your friend. You can chop onions and keep them in bags in the freezer. Make a large pot of soup, keep some for lunch the next day, and freeze a batch for when you’re coming home late from work.
- Find a few simple things that you can reuse. Anna Jones has some great suggestions in her books that create a formula for different meals.
- Freeze chutneys, herbs and other flavourings. Keep chilli and truffle oil and other flavourings to add that something extra.
-Keeps crudités in the fridge for healthy snacking.
-If you have a good blender you can easily make nut butters, chutneys and mayonnaise to liven up your quick meals.
- Use Pinterest and BBC Good Food to search for recipes for the ingredients you have.
-Build up a repertoire of 5-7 meals that are easy to make, delicious and well-balanced. The more you repeat them the quicker you become at making them.
- Keep breakfast the same. Boiled eggs and avocado or porridge and nut butter are two easy options. If you add boiling water to porridge oats and leave them to soak whilst you take a shower, you only need a couple of minutes of stirring and adding a little milk at the end.
If you do end up with food - use the Olio app to find someone local who will gladly take it off your hands.
Do you have any other suggestions for food prepping? I’d love to hear them.