Whether you’re a busy mom, a young professional who works long hours or just a busy person in general that has other stuff they would rather do than cook all the time, preparing dinner can become a dreaded process. It’s a shame because I’m a firm believer that mealtimes should be a joyful part of your day—something you look forward to.
Unfortunately, though, all the planning, complex recipes and cleanup can suck the enjoyment right out of it. If you stick to delicious, healthy yet easy recipes and strategize what you’ll be eating ahead of time instead of making last-minute nightly decisions, you can save a lot of valuable time. AND if you cook in larger batches, you’ll save even more time throughout the week.
Sound good? Thought so! Yesssss to more free time, right?! If you have yet to hear about batch cooking, I broke down how it works, why it’s beneficial and additionally, some foolproof tips to get you started.
What is batch cooking?
It’s pretty simple—as the name suggests, it’s a way of cooking in larger quantities at a time. When you make more all at once, you set yourself up to have leftovers of those meals so that each lunch or dinner doesn’t take nearly as long to prepare.
It’s all about finding a block of time (usually 2+ hours), that works for you. For some, this may be a leisurely Saturday afternoon, or for others, maybe it’s a Sunday night activity while gearing up for the week. Or a slow Wednesday evening or whatever.
Either way, I suggest making it a fun ritual as opposed to a chore by cranking up some music, and possibly whipping up a smoothie to sip on and power you through the cooking.
Tip: I LOVE and highly recommend smoothie-drinking while cooking because it keeps me from nibbling too much!
Get your S.O., kids or a friend involved!
Why should I try it?
So, you’re curious about the benefits of batch cooking? Oh, Beauties, where to begin…
It reduces time
The big one is that it cuts down on time. With this method, you’ll only be cooking once, maybe twice a week, as opposed to every single night. Imagine being able to come home every night and have dinner on the table in 5-10 minutes—sounds like a fantasy, right? Totally feasible with batch cooking.
On top of that, you’ll only be grocery shopping 1-2 times a week, as opposed to little trips every couple days to grab random items you didn’t know you needed. And when you stroll into the supermarket with a precise plan of exactly what you’re buying for your batch meals, you’ll cut out any wasted time during your shopping trip as well.
The best part, though? Cleanup is no longer a massive ordeal every single night. Since you did all your cooking in one go, you’ll just have the plates and silverware to clear after dinner is done, as opposed to relentless pots, pans, etc. that can stack up every single day.
What all this means, ultimately, is that you’ll have more time to focus on what matters: spending quality time with your partner, family, friends or whoever you’re sharing a meal with.
It Eliminates Indecision
(ie scratching your head and wondering, “What should I make for dinner tonight?!”)
Yep, we’ve all been there. “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?” The conversation about what to make that seemingly goes in circles—which then delays your mealtime even further. By the time you sit down to eat, you’re straight up hangry!
Batch cooking takes the indecision out of the equation because you’ve already set the menu in advance.
It Keeps You on Track
A less obvious advantage to batch cooking is that it can help you to eat healthy more consistently. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of grabbing frozen dinners or fast food to-go on your way home from work when you’re exhausted and can’t bear the thought of dealing with dinner.
While these “convenience foods” may be tempting, they’re typically packed with sodium, low-quality vegetable oils, hidden sugars, preservatives, MSG and other stuff you definitely don’t want to be putting in your body—especially on a regular basis.
But when you know you have a healthy meal that’s already been prepared and waiting patiently for you at home, you won’t be lured in by grabbing something that isn’t good for you.
It Minimizes Waste (and lowers expenses)!
Let’s be real. Typically, when you go grocery shopping, you may toss items into your cart haphazardly—whatever looks good at the time. You’re not really thinking ahead in terms of how much you can realistically use that week because you haven’t planned for specific recipes that call for certain amounts of the same ingredients.
As a result, you end up watching helplessly as veggies wilt and other perishables go bad. One other perk to embracing batch cooking is that you’re less likely to waste food. No more forgotten food items—you’ll be buying only what you need, making it in advance and enjoying every bite.
What do I need to know to make it work?
First thing’s first: Embrace the fact that you may not be a pro at first, but you’ll learn by trial and error—and the more you stick to it, the easier it will get in a shorter amount of time!
The key is finding what tactics fit best into your lifestyle—whether it’s making meals in batches twice a week or twice a month. A lot of this will depend on how many people are living in your household. You’ll need to be mindful of which meals “keep” well in that their flavor holds up a day, or two, or three later.
Make sure you have plenty of room in the fridge and the freezer to store your batch meals. Be strategic about choosing recipes that have overlapping ingredients—that way you can simplify your grocery list while also making sure you don’t get bored with one dish all week.
If you’re smart about the order in which you make certain recipes, you may be able to reuse certain pots or pans with no washing in between whatsoever—and if two recipes call for the same temperature, you can even bake multiple dishes simultaneously, allowing you to maximize oven space and cut down on time.
Sound like a lot of effort? Trust me, it’s well worth it. And to make matters easier for you, I’m launching a brand new product on September 21st that allows you to easily take advantage of batch cooking and all its benefits!
My 30 Day Roadmap for Healthy Weightloss program includes daily meal plans, shopping lists and more, so you don’t have to put too much thought into making a positive change. Healthy eating shouldn’t cause you any headaches—and with this program, you’ll have straightforward guidelines to follow.
So if you’re seeking to make meal planning more streamlined and convenient and over EASIER while you boost your bod, energy and beauty, be sure to check it out!
In love and health,