Modern life is busy. Many of us aren’t just raising families. We’re also working, looking after our homes, helping with homework, taking on DIY projects, trying to make extra money from side hustles, ferrying our kids to training sessions and extra classes, as well as parties and friends houses. We’re busy, all of the time. We’re also more aware than previous generations of our own health and wellbeing. We’re trying to find ways to eat healthy meals, to walk 10000 steps a day, to work out and keep fit, to sleep well, to drink water and to encourage our children to adopt healthy habits from early on that will help them to live long and healthy lives.
All this can be tough. But, a big part of living that healthy lifestyle and getting the energy that you need to do all of the things that you’ve got to do, is what you eat. But at the same time, cooking takes time. You know that to feel great, you need to eat well, you need to cook from scratch, you need to pick out ingredients, and you need to make the right decisions with your diet. But, how can you have the time to do it?
When you are so busy running around looking after everyone, how are you supposed to find the time to cook healthy family meals every day? Well, batch cooking meals can solve this, and many other problems.
Batch cooking is exactly what it says on the tin. Cooking meals in large batches and freezing them in family sized portions. Many of the meals that we usually eat freeze perfectly well and all you need to get started is some family sized containers and some labels so that you can name and date what you make. Here’s a look at some of the fantastic benefits of batch cooking.
It Saves You Money
So many families today are struggling for money. They live paycheck to paycheck and desperately finding ways to cut money. They are applying for bad credit installment loans and cutting back on expenses. But, one of the areas that most of us are spending much more than we need to is food.
Batch cooking can work out much cheaper than cooking individual meals. Buying food in larger portions is often cheaper than just buying the amount that you need. Cooking in bulk is also a great way to use less of the expensive ingredients, like meat, and more of cheaper, healthier ingredients like lentils, beans, vegetables, and chickpeas, without altering the taste.
It Saves You Time
Cooking filling, healthy meals for your family takes time. Even recipes with a 30-minute cook time often take much longer when you factor in all of the preparation. If you work until 5 pm, you don’t get home until 6 pm, you need to be cooking immediately if you want to have any chance of eating as a family before the kids go to bed. Then once they do, you are washing up and tidying, and you barely get a minute to yourself.
Batch cooking is a great way to save time. Plan your meals for the week, so that you know what you are having and when. Then, get what you need out of the freezer either the night before or in the morning before you start school runs. Then, all you need to do is put it in the oven and serve when you are ready to eat.
It might take a little longer to batch cook, as you’ll have more to prepare and the extra step of decanting into freezable containers, but not as much longer as cooking the meal multiple times.
You’ll Maximize Your Oven Usage
Your oven uses power and money. Cooking two dishes filled with massive batches uses the same power as cooking one small meal. Maximizing your oven use like this will save you money in energy and help you to lead a greener life.
Batch Cooking Can Help You to Cut Waste
Food waste and packaging waste are big problems. Both financially and environmentally. Batching means that you reduce both. Buying larger packets of food doesn’t use much more packaging, and freezing meals in portions mean that you make the most of every ingredient. You waste much less food. Cooking as soon as you buy things and freezing them for later also means that there’s no chance of food going past its best in your fridge before you get the chance to use it.
It Can Be a Healthier Ways to Cook
Batching is a brilliant way to get more vegetables and other healthy ingredients into your meals, as well as being a way to ensure you eat them. When we’ve got no plan, it can be tempting to eat takeout or fast unhealthy food when we’re short on time. When you batch cook, there is always something in the freezer waiting for you when you are hungry.
Batch Cooking Can Help You to Lose Weight
Meal prepping is also a way to track what you are eating. You could take these meals to work for your lunch, instead of eating out. You know what you are eating. You know what’s in your meals and how many calories you are consuming. If you are trying to lose weight, this control over your meals can be a big help.
Planning Meals Helps Add Variety to Your Diet
Do you find that you eat the same five meals on rotation all of the time? Most of us do. Batching cooking gives you the time to try new recipes and add different things to your diet.
It Can be Great Fun
Clear a day in your diary to fill your freezer with meals. Spend it trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. You might find that you really enjoy this day and discover a new love for cooking.
You’ll Eat Together More Often
When we’re busy, we don’t always have the time to eat together. You might give the kids a fast and easy dinner and grab something yourself once they are in bed. Bulk cooking and having meals ready to go means that you’ll all eat together much more often, and eating has a family has many benefits of its own.