After planning comes prepping. Meal prep doesn’t always have to involve fully cooked meals. Sometimes, simply getting some ingredients ready is all you.
I almost always have chopped frozen fruits in my freezer. This makes smoothie making a breeze. So what do I freeze? Mostly pineapple, soursop, pawpaw and mango. I always look forward to mango season, where I buy mangoes in large batches, chop and freeze. These come in handy for smoothies, sorbets and syrup. Mango sorbets are a favourite at ours.
When buying fruits and vegetables, it is important to think about how best to preserve them. Greens are great in the fridge for a few days but they can also be frozen. This gives them a longer shelf life while maintaining their nutrients and vitamins.
I love smoothies and make them in batches of 2 or 3. That way, breakfast is sorted for 3 days. All I have to do is bring one out to defrost when I wake up and that’s it.
Prepping for lunch typically means having cooked vegetables in the fridge or a basic salad. Cooked vegetables could be with or without greens. Typical vegetables cooked for the week are a combo of cabbage, carrot, green beans, onions and garlic. If it’s a meat-free meal, mushrooms are a part of the mix. The vegetable mix lasts for 2 or 3 meals and then another batch is made, if needed.
Some weeks, I have a bowl of efo riro (stewed greens) made. This is portioned in bowls and then frozen. It also serves as an alternative to cooked vegetables. In recent years, I have chosen to eat less beef. This means that my efo riro only has some fish and shrimp in it. (I know this isn’t a fully loaded efo, but I love it). I still eat beef as it is a source of iron, just not as often as before.
Sweet potatoes are also a favourite. This is batch baked to last for up to 2 meals each time. It just makes life easier. I’ll have this two days in row. With prepped fruits and vegetables, whipping up a meal is super easy.
I am able to eat the same thing for lunch 2 or 3 days in a row, it does not bother me and it definitely makes it easier on the pocket. Batch freezing and batch cooking are definitely the way to go when trying to eat healthy on a budget. How well you can preserve your foods make a difference.
This week, I will be prepping sautéed greens, to be eaten alongside plantain or baked sweet potatoes. What will you be prepping/eatiing?