Some top tips and suggestions for batch cooking to help you save time and money!
It may seem daunting at first, but batch cooking can save you time and money, whilst also stopping food from going to waste. On top of that, it makes food shopping easier and lets you enjoy delicious and healthy food throughout the week, even on the days when you don’t have time to cook! Keep reading for a few top tips to make batch cooking simple and fun.
What can you cook?
Batch cooking is super easy to do for meals that you can cook in a big pan or dish, like curries and stews. However, most foods can be frozen/stored after cooking so use your imagination! You could make a big batch of soup and freeze it in single portions to have for lunch throughout the week, or make sauces/stocks in advance. Cornish pasties are especially good; you can grab one out of the freezer and quickly heat up for an easy meal.
Done right, batch cooking is simple and handy, but you do need to stop and think a bit before you start to make sure nothing goes wrong and to save time. Be sure to follow these tips when attempting batch cooking:
Before you even start cooking, you are going to need some containers to store your food in until you get around to eating it. Hard containers made of plastic or glass are great for batch cooking as they come in a range of sizes and are reusable. Remember, square containers will stack together better in your freezer and it’s also really helpful if they are microwave safe. Alternatively, some people like to use freezer bags, but bear in mind these aren’t as sturdy and you can’t reuse them. Most supermarkets will sell cheap food containers that will last a lifetime.
Plan your portions:
It’s easy to accidentally freeze an entire batch of food and have to defrost the entire lot. This can easily be avoided and save you having to eat the whole batch in one go, or waste food, by freezing your food in individual portion sizes. You’ll only have to defrost one at a time to enjoy right when you need it – another reason a good set of food containers is handy!
There’s no getting around it, batch cooking does require a block of free time to cook for the week ahead. However, there are a few ways to save even more time cooking, and with a bit of imagination your kitchen appliances can really help. For example, don’t waste time cutting 6 onions by hand if you happen to have a food processor that can do the job just as well! Look around at what tools you have available and think if there are ways you could save time by prepping ingredients in bulk.
Last but not least, get creative with your batch cooking. Read a few different recipes before you start cooking to get an idea of what is essential or not to your meal, and feel free to experiment! Add ingredients you really like, leave out ones you don’t. There’s also nothing wrong with swapping similar ingredients out. For example, swap vegetables based on what you have at home or what needs eating before it goes off. Batch cooking is a great chance to use up any ingredients you have lying around that need using up, preventing food from going to waste.