You’re probably cooking a lot more meals at home these days, but that doesn’t have to mean you have to spend way more time cooking!
We are all about healthy eating AND efficiency here at CLEAN.FIT, so we’re excited to share some of our favorite cooking hacks that will save you time (and sanity!).
Let someone else do the grocery shopping for you! We suggest spending time planning out your meals and snacks each week, yet saving time on doing the grocery shopping. (Planning ahead can also save $ too!) Most major grocery store chains offer delivery or curbside pick up for free or only a small fee - usually no more than the cost of your favorite latte! Check with your local store for options.
Keep clean up simple. No one wants to spend hours cleaning up after cooking, right?! Try to look for one-dish recipes and casseroles. And for baking or roasting, line the tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper so you can just toss it - mess free!
Double-up. When you are cooking a meal, try doubling or even tripling it (depending on your hunger levels and family size). Enjoy the leftovers for other meals, or start a stockpile in the freezer so that you can rotate pre-made frozen meals each week - sans the cooking!
For weekends when you feel like making a home-cooked breakfast such as pancakes, waffles, or muffins, make and freeze extra - then just pop in the toaster oven throughout the week for a grab and go breakfast that has a fresh-baked taste!
Batch prep and reuse. Try to consider how cooking one thing once can be re-used for other recipes throughout the week. Especially with protein - you can make say, a huge batch of chicken at the beginning of the week, and then use it multiple times for multiple meals such as atop salads, in fajitas, and casseroles.
The freezer is your FRIEND! In addition to freezing whole meals, use the freezer as a storage space for meal “accessories” - for example:
Chopped bell peppers and onions to add to recipes,
Peeled bananas or avocados for smoothie bases
Cut (fresh) broccoli or cauliflower to steam for a quick side dish
Sauces, soups, and broths for quick prep
Get creative with ice cube trays. Ice cube trays can be used for freezing all sorts of things to toss in recipes such as:
Fresh herbs chopped with olive oil
Make leftover coffee into ice cubes to make iced coffee
Freeze leftover wine cubes to add to sauces, etc
Go with prepared items. There is no shame in buying ready-to-use items like minced garlic, rotisserie chicken, ready-to-eat beets or lentils, and even pre-chopped or frozen veggies. These will save you time and still ensure you’re getting a healthy, home-prepped meal!