Batch cooking is a fantastic way to take the hassle out of cooking healthy, wholesome food and is also great for saving time and money. What’s not to like?! Here’s how it’s done…
Buying food in bulk is loads cheaper than buying smaller amounts on a more regular basis, so you can save money by buying the ingredients in one go and using them straight away to cook several meals. You don’t even have to cook the whole meal, one popular batch cooking method is to cook and freeze the main ingredients, then just defrost when they’re needed. For example, cooking a whole batch of minced beef with onions and freezing it means you’ve already got the main ingredients for making shepherd’s pie, spag bol and chilli con carne.
If you’ve always got dinner in, you’re also less likely to ring for an expensive take-away!
Top tip: When out shopping, there are plenty of bargains to be had later in the evening as food reaches its sell-by date. If you’ve set aside an evening for batch cooking, pop into your local supermarket first to see how cheap you can pick up reduced meat and veg.
Tasty time saver
Having a ready prepared meal means you won’t have to cook from scratch every night, and they’re also really quick to reheat if you’ve got a microwave. If you’ve cooked bolognese for example, you just need to boil a bit of pasta to go with it – meaning you’ll have a delicious healthy meal in minutes. By chopping and cooking all your ingredients the previous day, week or month, it’ll free up some time for speedy reheating when you’re busy.
Batch cooking is ideal for people who are looking to eat healthier, or trying to stick to a particular diet. If your priority is weight loss, muscle gain or general health, you can tailor each meal to your diet, and have it ready when you need it. You’ll be much less likely to grab fast food if you’ve got the perfect meal in the freezer!
Top tip: When following a recipe, the easiest way to bulk cook is to use twice the ingredients to make twice as much, or quadruple them to have plenty of leftovers to freeze or have as lunches.
With the cold weather most certainly here, it’s a great time to start thinking about home-made soups and casseroles, curries and bakes; all of which can be portioned out and popped in the freezer for another day.
At Wilko, we have everything you need to make batch cooking easy – from pots and pans to a great range of freezer and microwave friendly containers to decant your home-made deliciousness into. Label it up and you’re good to go – just remember to take it out the freezer before you shoot off to work!
Top tips for the perfect freeze
- Always cool foods properly before you freeze them – Freezing food while it’s still hot will only increase the temperature of the freezer.
- Don’t re-freeze anything that’s already been frozen – When batch-making to freeze only ever use fresh ingredients that have never been frozen.
- Always make sure frozen meals are thoroughly re-heated – Check that the centre of the meal is piping hot before serving.
- Seal and label food well – Sealing your food well will protect it against freezer burn and keep it safe from raw food. Clear labelling including the contents and date will help you make savvy food choices fast.