Truth be told, keeping up the preparation of plant-based meals every day can be tiring and even overwhelming. This is especially true for those who lead busy lives and often have to work with a tight schedule. Food prep can be simply elaborate and time-consuming at certain times!
The good news is that there are cooking hacks and tricks you can use to make your meals not only easier to prepare but also healthier and tastier! All you need to do to get started is to get creative as you whip up your food. Take a look at the different steps involved in your usual preparation process and see what you can improve.
To give you an idea, check out these four easy cooking tips:
1. Prepare Your Ingredients Ahead of Time
If you would take a look at it, meal prepping mostly involves preparing the ingredients—not the meal itself. You spend most of the time washing and chopping your vegetables. By the time they’re ready for cooking, you’ve most likely become tired from all the running around.
To save time and energy, prepare all your ingredients a day or two before you intend to cook your plant-based meals. This means you dedicate a separate day for simply washing, chopping, slicing, and dicing. On the day you need to prepare your salad, for example, all that’s left to do is to grab the ingredients you prepared beforehand and put them together!
2. Batch Cook Your Vegetables
This is a great time-saving hack as it ensures that you finish cooking your vegetables at the same time. If you are not quite sure as to how to group your ingredients, here are some categories worth remembering:
- Root vegetables - This group includes vegetables such as beets, radishes, potatoes, and carrots.
- Leafy greens - As its name suggests, this group includes kale, spinach, and collard greens as well as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
- Stalk vegetables - This includes celery, fennel, and rhubarb as well as beans, peas, and other pods and seed vegetables.
Cooking vegetables together according to these categories can greatly help you cut down your cooking time.
3. Blanch Leafy Produce
Blanching not only gives your vegetables that enjoyable crunch but also helps them last longer. This is a great technique to apply, especially for your seasonal produce.
All you need to do is to put them in boiling water for around seven minutes. This water must have a tablespoon of sea salt. Afterwards, put them right away in an ice bath or run them under ice-cold water. Doing so will preserve the veggies’ vivid colors along with their nutrients.
4. Create Freezer Meals
Life will get in the way now and then, and often at the times you least expect it to. Considering this, whipping up your own healthy freezer meals will help you get through your unexpectedly busier days.
You can make a double batch of your plant-based meals to freeze the half. Aside from this, you can also take your leftover and transform them into a new meal to be stowed away in your freezer. Having these backups will keep you from turning to quick-service restaurants for the days where your schedule is packed.
All in all, these simple yet effective tips will help you make your plant-based meal preparations easier and more time-efficient. Following these can even turn cooking into an enjoyable activity for you. Ultimately, it can help you get the nutrition you need and keep up your healthy eating habits no matter how busy life can get at times!
Another smart way to stay healthy amidst your hectic schedule is to incorporate meal replacement shakes into your diet! If you are looking for quick yet highly nutritious blends, try our Essentials Shake today—a nutritionally complete plant-based meal that fuels you to look, feel and perform at your best!