Batch cooking is a fantastic way to take the hassle out of cooking healthy, wholesome food and is also a great way to save time and money. What’s not to like?!
Here’s how it’s done…
Buying food in bulk is loads cheaper than regularly buying smaller amounts. Depending on the ingredients, you can save money by buying everything in one go and using your haul 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 ingredient 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. It’s a great way to add to the batch meal you’ve already prepared. If you’ve set aside an evening for batch cooking, pop into your local supermarket first to see if you can pick up any reduced meat or 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 and you’ll have a delicious healthy meal in minutes. By chopping and cooking all your ingredients the previous day, week or month, speedy reheating will free up some time 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.
Home-made soups and casseroles, curries and bakes are perfect in this cold weather. They 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, you’re all set. Just don’t forget to label it and take it out of the freezer before you shoot off to work!
Top tips for the perfect freeze
- Always cool foods properly before you freeze them
- Don’t re-freeze anything that’s already been frozen
- Always make sure frozen meals are thoroughly re-heated
- Seal and label food well