Do you batch cook?
I first got into batch cooking when my children were babies and toddlers to make my life easier when it came to meal times. Batch cooking to me, doesn't just mean making larger portions of dishes and putting half in the freezer, which I also do most of the time. It also means dedicating a morning or afternoon to having a big cook off. If the oven's on then it makes sense to make use of it and put several dishes in at once! Having your freezer stocked with wholesome and nutritious meals means that you don't have to resort to poor food choices when you are tired or hungry and there's nothing left in the fridge.
Before you start
Plan a couple of meals that use similar ingredients. This could be meatballs in a tomato and vegetable sauce and bolognese sauce. Or it could be two recipes that have a similar base of ingredients such as onions, celery, carrots, red peppers, garlic. If you are going to chop up one onion then you might as well chop up two or three.
Make sure the meals that you choose have similar oven temperatures or if not then you can cook the lower temperature one first and then increase for the second one, but this will make the cooking process take longer.
Now double or triple the ingredients for each dish so that you can make plenty of portions.
Use an internet shopping site to deliver the ingredients early in the morning to save having to go to the shops. This leaves you more time to cook.
Make sure you've got plenty of glass freezer-friendly containers and jars to contain your cooking. Also don't forget labels, you might think you will remember what's in each pot, but I can tell you from experience - you won't and they all look very similar when frozen.
Don't overcomplicate and try and plan to cook six different meals. I usually only do two or three at one time.
Before you crack on with the cooking make sure your dishwasher is empty and fill a sink full of hot soapy water to keep on top of the clearing up.
Use your food processor to chop the vegetables such as onions, celery, red peppers, carrots etc. It makes it so much easier when chopping large portions.
Once chopped place the vegetables in dishes or on chopping boards to use for each dish so they are easy to hand.
Do all the sweating of your vegetables at the same time.
While the vegetables are sweating over a low heat prepare the meat or spices and sauces.
Try and keep organised and tidy as you cook. Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher and wash knifes or chopping boards in the sink as you go along. This keeps your work tops tidy and available for the cooking.
Hopefully these tips have helped you. Do you have any helpful tips for batch cooking? Do let us know we love to hear from you!
Recipes suitable for batch cooking
We have several recipes on our website that are suitable for batch cooking and freezing.
Batch cooking main meals is key to be able to deal with hectic schedules as well as the unexpected.
Healthy snacking is also often an issue especially with active kids and teens! So most of our energy balls and snacks will keep in the fridge for over a week and can be frozen.
Tomato and coconut chicken