Top 10 food prep hacks!
As so many of my clients are extremely busy ladies juggling full time jobs and family commitments, I often get asked for tips on how to create quick and healthy meals. It’s easy to be put off by recipes that involve lots of prep but there are lots of ways you can make life much easier for yourself! Over on the Make It Happen club my clients have been sharing their food prep hacks… read on to discover what they are and some of mine!
Turmeric is full of amazing health benefits and I encourage all my clients to incorporate it into their diets – usually with a shot first thing in the morning. One of the Make It Happen group shared this top tip – make a batch of turmeric, lemon and ginger and freeze in ice cube trays… then you can simply defrost them individually overnight to drink in the morning!
This is one of my favourite and easiest breakfasts…I prep mini bowls of oats, chia seeds, chopped almond cacao powder and coconut yogurt and pop them in the fridge and leave overnight. Then in the morning it’s just a case of grabbing a spoon and tucking in!
Another client had a productive Sunday prepping salmon in foil – just add your choice of veg, herbs and spices and freeze. Then it’s all ready to stick in the oven whenever you need a speedy but healthy dinner!
4. Frozen avocados
My PA was really excited when she realised that you can freeze avocados! She buys them when they’re ripe and then cuts them in half, freezes and then adds them straight into her green smoothies. This not only reduces prep in the morning but the icy avocado gives smoothies a really thick and creamy texture.
Tinned and ready made soups are often full of salt and sugar (and expensive!) and not many people realise how easy it is to make your own healthy soup! Just grab whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, cook them in stock until they’re tender and then blitz in a blender to your chosen consistency. It’s easy, super healthy and if you make a big batch you can freeze or keep it in the fridge for the next day!
I made this one last weekend and my veg-hating twin boys can’t get enough of it! I used onions, garlic, celery, sweet potato, carrot, chick peas and wheat free veg stock 🙂
6. Chop chop chop!
Set aside a bit of time at the weekend for some mini-bulk chopping! In Dr Chatterjee’s new book ‘The Four pillar plan’ he talks about always having chopped onions and garlic in the fridge. Nearly all vegetables can be peeled, prepped and chopped and then stored in Tupperware or food bags in the fridge so that when you’re cooking a mid-week dinner you can grab and add them to the pan with none of the faff! I wouldn’t advice doing more than two days in a row with veg as they can lose some of their nutrients and freshness when chopped. But every couple of days is fine and why not pre chop carrot, celery and cucumber crudites and take a handful to work to snack on!
7. The freezer is your friend
As we’ve seen in the posts above, freezing is a great way to ensure you have an array of food at your fingertips. Fresh herbs are perfect for cramming into ice cube trays and they defrost instantly when you add them to soups, stews and curries! If you see veg on offer in the supermarket, why not roast and freeze it? I found some organic beetroot and celeriac in my local Waitrose recently that was 25% of the full price and as i didn’t want to use it that day, it’s chopped up and in my freezer ready to go some point soon!
8. Jam jar dressings
Jam jar dressings are super simple to make… for example, add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a jar, screw the lid on and shake to combine. You can store it in the fridge for a couple of days, and just shake and drizzle over salads whenever you need to.
One of the easiest things to make is a frittata – just grab whatever veg you have and chop, stick in a pan with some eggs and cook on the hob or in the oven. It’s fab for breakfast, lunch or dinner and keeps well in the fridge. You can make it in muffin tins too for smaller portion snacks! I make one most Sunday’s at means I have a healthy 4pm snack on Monday or something healthy for lunch on Tuesday too!
10. Go go gadgets!
Make the most of all the kitchen equipment in your cupboards, they really do save time. Food processors can chop and slice vegetables in a flash…. finely grate garlic/ginger/chillies straight into the pan rather than fiddly chopping…. blenders are quicker than mashing by hand! And one client was bought a soup maker recently where you just add the ingredients and leave and 30 minutes later you have a tasty soup – how cool is that?!