A simple guide to bulk cooking to save time, effort and money.
COOKING in bulk can be a convenient way to take some of the pressure off the demands of a busy life. It involves preparing meals ahead of time and then storing them in either the fridge or freezer.
Bulk cooking also allows to reheat and eat, instead of cooking everyday.
So to ultimately save time during the busy week, set a few hours aside to devote to cook in bulk.
Here are some handy tips for cooking in bulk:
Take a look at the week or month ahead and decide which bulk cooking recipes you would like to prepare. Check your store cupboard essentials, make a shopping list, and make the time to gather your ingredients before you start cooking.
It is also suggested to make space in your fridge or freezer. Keep a note of what recipes you have chosen, and if they work well together, you can repeat your plan the next time you are cooking in bulk.
Let your dishes cool to room temperature before refrigerating them. This avoids heating up other foods in the fridge.
Once your food is at the correct temperature, or it has been cooling on the counter for two hours, place the food in the fridge immediately to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Label your meals
Take your storage game a step ahead by labelling each meal as well as the day you plan to eat it. This way, you will not get confused and can easily spot your meal in the refrigerator.
Use your gadgets
Feel free to use all the gadgets you have at your disposal when it comes to cooking in bulk. Break out your slow cooker to make a big serving of soup, oatmeal, or chilli. Use your stick blender to make quick work of puréeing soups or sauces.
Use a stand mixer to shred chicken as well as a mini chop to cut up onions, peppers, carrots and other ingredients.
There is no gadget too small to be recruited for weekly meal prep sessions, and you can earn back a great deal of time when you let them simplify tasks for you.
Have good containers
The last thing you want is to spend an afternoon cooking plenty of delicious meals, just for them to get freezer burn. To avoid this, invest in some good quality containers that are easy to stack and reuse.
Get containers in a variety of sizes so you can freeze whole dishes like lasagna as well as single servings of things like curries.
You can build this collection up over time though, so do not break the bank buying everything at once.