The Benefits of Vegan Meal Prep
By taking just a couple of hours to prepare all of your dishes for the week, you can be sure that delicious, healthy meals will never be more than ten minutes away.
This frees up a lot of ‘brain space’. You won’t have to deliberate about what to eat after a busy day at work or spend large amounts of time cooking. It can, therefore, help you stick to a healthy lifestyle when you’re tired and willpower would normally go out of the window.
Meal prep also helps keep grocery costs down and reduces personal food waste. You only buy exactly what you’re going to eat, meaning you’ll throw away less food and help your budget go further.
Here’s how you can do it: simply take advantage of some free time during the weekend – usually two hours will be enough. Some people even like to meal prep twice a week (Saturday and Wednesday, for example) so that they can increase their variety and freshness of foods.
Put on your favorite show, podcast or music and get washing, chopping and cooking in the kitchen. Before you know it, you’ll be relishing this time you get to kick back and relax in the kitchen.
Hopefully, it’s sounding a little more appealing by now? Let’s move on to some things you should consider before starting.
Our Tips for Meal Prepping
Every endeavor comes with a learning curve and we wanted to equip you with some basic guidelines. Below are some tips on starting your vegan meal prep – because it helps to know what foods can be cooked in advance, and how to keep food fresh for as long as possible.
We’ve also included some equipment suggestions which will make your meal prep a whole lot easier.
Health, Safety & Storage Tips
1. Fridge vs. Freezer
Foods stored in the fridge should be eaten within 2-3 days. If you don’t think you’ll eat something within this time, it’s best to freeze it and then take it out of the freezer the day before you want to eat it.
2. Be Careful with High-Protein Foods
Plant foods generally have a lower risk of food poisoning than animal foods. This is because bacteria thrives more on protein-rich foods, rather than starches and sugars.
The exceptions to this are rice and quinoa, as they are high in protein, so take extra care when storing and reheating these.
3. Use Your Senses
When checking if food is safe to eat, go by how it looks and how it smells. Resist tasting food to see if it is safe to eat!
4. Reheat Properly
Be sure to always thoroughly reheat foods you want to eat hot. The rule is to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot – never eat something that is ‘just about’ warm! According to the USDA, the ‘danger zone’ temperature at which bacteria can thrive is between 4 and 60 degrees Celsius. Reheated food should be piping hot in the middle.
5. No Warm Food in the Fridge
Leave food to cool almost completely before placing it in the fridge. Placing warm food in the fridge risks increasing the overall temperature of the fridge and puts other foods at risk of spoiling.
6. Eat Up and Defrost Timely
According to the NHS, refrigerated food should be consumed within two days, and frozen leftovers should be fully defrosted in the fridge or at room temperature before being eaten. It is good to bear this in mind as you plan your week of meals – at best allow 24 hours for something to fully defrost.
What Recipes Work Well?
The great thing about meal prepping is that there are a whole myriad of dishes that lend themselves well to the practice.
Soups, stews, chilis, mason jar salads, grain salads, oats, falafel, veggie balls, bean burger patties, all types of buddha bowls, energy balls/bites and baked treats can all be enjoyed within ten minutes, by taking just a bit of time to prep at the beginning of the week.
Below are some tips on how to get the most out of your meal prep. It may take a few weeks to get the hang of things, but eventually, you’ll know what you enjoy most and how much you like to eat at each meal time.
—– Read More @ www.nutriciously.com/vegan-meal-prep/ (Source)
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